The slides will not be provided. A summary of the webinar is outlined below. The information provided in the webinar only summarizes the FOA and does not supplement or take precedence over the FOA text posted on EERE Exchange. Please consult the FOA for further information.
The Incubator Program:
The goal of the SunShot Initiative is to reduce the cost of solar energy (hardware, installation, and associated soft costs) by 75% to $1/W for utility scale installations by the end of the decade. This is equivalent to a levelized cost of energy of approximately $0.05-$0.06/kWh at utility scale making solar energy competitive with traditional energy sources without the aid of subsidies.
To facilitate the accomplishment of this goal, the Incubator program looks to invest in companies which have an idea or prototype whose introduction to the market could lead to a significant decrease in the costs associated with solar energy. This round of Incubator funding has a broad scope and covers both hardware and non-hardware costs of systems that convert sunlight into electricity. Areas of programmatic interest include, but are not limited to:
Photovoltaics Concentrating Solar Power
Balance of Systems Plug-and-Play Wiring and Installation Techniques
Power Electronics Energy Storage
Tools to address Non-Hardware Costs
Key Deadlines for this Funding Announcement:
Concept Papers Submission: 5 PM ET, April 9, 2012
Technical support e-mail: EERE-ExchangeSupport@ee.doe.gov
Expected Date of Concept Paper Notification: 5 PM ET, April 27, 2012
Submission Deadline for Full Applications: 5 PM ET, May 29th, 2012
Please triple check your entries in EERE Exchange
Submissions could be deemed non-compliant due to an incorrect entry
Make sure you hit the submit button
Any changes made after you hit submit will unsubmit your application and you will need to hit the submit button again
Follow formatting criteria and page lengths stated in the FOA. Extra material will be REDACTED OR REMOVED and will NOT be provided to reviewers. Sections that exceed page length maximums will be redacted even if overall application is within page limits
Awards for the Incubator funding opportunity are done in two tiers. Tier 1 aims to accelerate the development of innovative solar and balance-of-system (BOS) technologies to the prototype or alpha product stage. Tier 1 is divided into two subsections, hardware and non-hardware. Tier 1a awards for hardware development are up to $1,000,000 for a duration of 12 months. Tier 1b awards for non-hardware projects are up to $500,000 for a duration of 12 months. Tier 1 awardees must provide a cost share of at least 20% of the total project cost.
Tier 2 awards are for both hardware and non-hardware solutions and support the scaling up a prototype to pilot-scale production or a beta product launch. Tier 2 awards are up to $4,000,000, with a typical award of $1-2 million, and have a duration of 18 months. Tier 2 awardees must provide at least 50% of the total project cost as a cost share. Applicants do not have to be previous Tier 1 awardees to apply for Tier 2 funding, and determination of which tier to apply to should be dictated by the applicant’s technology readiness level.
Cost shares are required for all Incubator awards. The method for calculating cost share is shown below.
Awardee cost share = Awardee contribution/(DOE contribution+Awardee contribution) x 100%
The awardee portion of the cost share can be cash or in-kind contributions. Cost shares shall be incurred in equal installments over the life of the award. All expenditures must be allowable, allocable, and reasonable in accordance with applicable Federal cost principles.
What is “allocable”? (FAR 31.301-4)
A cost is allocable if it is assignable or chargeable to one or more cost objectives on the basis of relative benefits received or other equitable relationship. Subject to the foregoing, a cost is allocable to a Government contract if it:
(a) Is incurred specifically for the contract;
(b) Benefits both the contract and other work, and can be distributed to them in reasonable proportion to the benefits received; or
(c) Is necessary to the overall operation of the business, although a direct relationship to any particular cost objective cannot be shown.
An applicant may NOT use the following sources to meet cost share obligations:
Revenues or royalties from the prospective operation of an activity beyond the project period
Proceeds from the prospective sale of an asset of an activity
Federal funding or property (e.g., Federal grants, equipment owned by the Federal Government)
Expenditures that were reimbursed under a separate Federal program.
Project Teams may not use the same cash or in-kind contributions to meet cost share requirements for more than one project or program.
The Prime Recipient of the award must incur at least 60% of the awarded funds and corresponding cost share. The Prime Recipient must expend 100% of the total project cost in the United States. However, applicants may request a waiver of this requirement where their project would materially benefit from, or otherwise requires, certain work to be performed overseas.
In the Statement of Work, which is part of the Full Application and further negotiated after selection, the awardee and DOE will agree on a series of deliverables which will be delivered over the course of the award. A specific payment is associated with each deliverable (portion of the awarded money from DOE) that will be made once the deliverable is verified by DOE or a third party. Deliverables must be verifiable through a mechanism that the applicant proposes and represent significant progress towards achieving the project objective. Deliverables are meant to be aggressive but should not be unattainable; therefore deliverables should be constructed very carefully. Reports are NOT an acceptable deliverables.
Criteria Weighting for Concept papers:
Applicants should carefully read and address the scoring criteria stated in the FOA.
For Concept Papers, the scoring criteria are broken into 2 equally weighted sections:
Overall Project Plan - 50%
Impact of the Proposed Project on the Goals of the SunShot Initiative – 50%
Reviewers will only consider the specific criteria stated in the FOA when evaluating application materials.