(Bloomberg) -- Plug Power Inc. says it’s on track to receive as much as $1.66 billion in government support to build hydrogen plants, despite calls from a key Republican senator to scrutinize the US Energy Department’s funding.

“This is just part of the everyday business in Washington,” Plug Chief Executive Officer Andy Marsh said Tuesday at a conference. “We’re still on track.”

John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate energy committee and a critic of the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office, last week asked the agency’s inspector general to investigate potential improprieties by the program and its director Jigar Shah, a veteran entrepreneur in the clean-technology industry.

The request poses a threat to Plug’s plan to build as many as six hydrogen production facilities in the US. The funding is critical for the company, which has faced a cash crunch in the past year as it burned through liquidity. But Marsh said the investigation won’t be an issue for Plug.

“Barrasso just doesn’t like the loan program, and he doesn’t like Jigar,” Marsh said at the Evercore ISI Global Clean Energy & Transition Technologies Summit in New York. “My Republican lobbyists tell me they’ve seen this before.”

Representatives of Barrasso didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The Energy Department said its Loan Programs Office continues to work with Plug on the conditional commitment. 

“As with every conditional commitment issued by the Department of Energy, prospective borrowers must fulfill conditions precedent ahead of a loan closing, which can include legal, technical, commercial, contractual, environmental, and financial requirements,” the department said.

--With assistance from Ari Natter.

(Adds Energy Department comment starting in seventh paragraph.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.