Gentlemen, start your green engines. In recent weeks, the government has thrown stimulus funds at a slew of alternative fuel and power projects.
First came the Department of Energy's Clean Cities Grants, which doled out $300 million in alternative transport dollars. The Wisconsin Clean Transportation Program was a typical recipient, winning $15 million for the deployment of more than 500 alternative fuel vehicles and 10 refueling stations. No corporations were awarded funds directly, but UPS
I should also note that natural gas vehicles fared very well relative to biofuel-powered fleets in this round of grants. Score one for the Pickens Plan.
The other prong of said plan, the large-scale development of our nation's wind resources, has also gotten a helping hand from Uncle Sam. Yesterday, the Treasury Department, along with the DOE, dished out $500 million in cash awards to renewable energy projects. Of the dozen recipients, 10 were wind projects and just two were solar-powered.
The largest award, at $114 million, went to the second phase of Iberdrola's Penascal Wind Farm in South Texas. Iberdrola is a huge Spanish utility that dwarfs local alternative energy enthusiasts like Edison International
As with the possibility of France's Areva winning nuclear enrichment loan guarantees over local player USEC
Once again, my hat is off to Energy Secretary Steven Chu for speeding this award process along. These grants were awarded just 30 days after applications were accepted -- that's half the mandated turnaround time, and a blink of an eye in the land of bureaucracy.