June 30, 2022

Volume XII, Number 181

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DOE Announces Over $3 Billion in Funding Opportunities to Support U.S. Battery Supply Chain Buildout

On May 2, 2022, The U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE) issued through its Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (“MESC”) and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (“EERE”) Funding Opportunity Announcement (“FOA”) No. DE-FOA-0002678 directing $3.1 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“IIJA”) to support a domestic battery supply chain, specifically, “new, retrofitted, and expanded commercial facilities as well as manufacturing demonstrations and battery recycling.” A separate FOA was also announced providing an additional $60 million for “second-life applications for batteries once used to power EVs, as well as new processes for recycling materials back into the battery supply chain.”

DOE’s announcement described both FOAs as "key components of the Administration’s whole-of-government supply chain strategy to strengthen America’s energy independence to reduce our reliance on competing nations and support the President’s goal to have electric vehicles make up half of all vehicles sales in America by 2030.”  

Under the $3.1 billion FOA, DOE anticipates 17-34 awards between $50 million and $400 million.

The FOA organizes 12 specific areas of interest into two broad grant categories:

  1. Battery Material Processing

  2. Battery Component Manufacturing and Recycling

Applicants are required to submit a Letter of Intent by May 27, with a full Application Submission Deadline of July 1, 2022.

The separate $60 million recycling FOA requires submission of Concept Papers by May 31 and a full Application Submission by July 19, 2022.

DOE noted that the IIJA authorized more than $7 billion to strengthen the U.S. battery supply chain, from raw materials to domestic manufacturing, along with other funds set aside for more downstream battery storage deployment and EV charging infrastructure.

This week’s funding opportunities come on the heels of a diverse array of Executive Branch actions to spur domestic investment in U.S. battery storage technologies for electric vehicles and stationary energy storage.

On April 18, the DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program announced a conditional commitment to lend up to $107 million to Syrah Technologies, LLC to expand its facility in Vidalia, Louisiana to ramp up production of natural graphite-based active anode material (AAM) for electric vehicles. If the loan closes, it will be the first Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program loan in over 10 years and the first loan to an upstream supply chain entity rather than an electric vehicle manufacturer.

In late March, President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act with respect to raw materials for large-capacity batteries, including lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and manganese. The invocation requires the U.S. Department of Defense to support feasibility studies to support the securing of a domestic supply of such materials through “environmentally responsible domestic mining and processing; recycling and reuse; and recovery from unconventional and secondary sources, such as mine waste.” Read Lauren Loew’s coverage of rising lithium prices and the dearth of U.S. capacity.

© 2022 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 124
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About this Author

Joel Meister, Foley Lardner Law Firm, Washington DC, Energy Law Attorney
Associate

Joel Meister is an associate and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He is a member of the firm’s Finance & Financial Institutions Practice and the Energy Industry Team.

Before joining Foley, Mr. Meister was a manager in Deloitte Tax’s Washington National Tax (WNT) office, in the Federal Tax Accounting, Periods, Methods, and Credits group. His practice focused on renewable energy transactions, assisting project sponsors and investors with issues associated with the section 48 Investment Tax Credit (ITC), section 45 Production Tax...

202-672-5468
R. Lynn Parins Energy Lawyer Foley
Senior Counsel

Lynn Parins is a senior counsel and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s Finance & Financial Institutions Practice and Energy Industry Team. His practice focuses on the intersection of finance, real estate and renewable energy development, as he assists sponsors, developers and investors to navigate the project financing of predominantly solar, wind and other sustainability improvements to real property. Lynn has extensive experience leading clients through complex credit and project development structures for large...

608.258.4339
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