Frequently Asked Questions

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Question 1: On the recent FOA DE‐FOA‐0001098 MARINE AND HYDROKINETIC (MHK) RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (R&D) UNIVERSITY CONSORTIUMThere is a limitation stated on page 12 of the solicitation that "applicants may only submit one full application to this FOA."Does this refer to the institution as an applicant (multiple Principal Investigators from the same institution are not allowed) OR does the word "applicant" refer to Principal Investigator (Principle Investigators may submit only one application but multiple submissions from the same institution are allowed).
Answer 1:

Per Section III. F. of the FOA, only one application may be submitted by a domestic university, or a consortium where one domestic university is designated the lead.  Any other submissions received listing the same Applicant will be considered noncompliant and not eligible for further consideration. This limitation does not prohibit an Applicant from collaborating on other applications (e.g., as a potential Subrecipient) so long as the entity is only listed as the Prime Applicant on one Full Application submitted under this FOA.  

Question 2: The abstract states: The mission of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind and Water Power Technologies Office (WWPTO’s) Water Power Program, herein referred to as the (Program), is to research, develop, and test innovative technologies capable of generating renewable, environmentally responsible, and cost effective electricity from U.S. water resources. These include Marine and Hydrokinetic (MHK) technologies that harness the energy from waves and from tidal, river, and ocean currents. The abstract does not mention Salinity Gradient Power specifically. Would Salinity Gradient Power technologies be considered under this opportunity with equal weight to the other items listed?
Answer 2:

Marine and Hydrokinetic (MHK) Renewable Energy is defined in  Sec. 632 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 as follows:


For purposes of this subtitle, the term ``marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy'' means electrical energy from--

            (1) waves, tides, and currents in oceans, estuaries, and

        tidal areas;

            (2) free flowing water in rivers, lakes, and streams;

            (3) free flowing water in man-made channels; and

            (4) differentials in ocean temperature (ocean thermal energy



The term ``marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy'' does not include energy from any source that uses a dam, diversionary structure, or impoundment for electric power purposes.


This definition does not include salinity gradients, therefore an application based on “Salinity Gradient Power technologies” would not fall under the Area of Interest as described in Section I. B. of this FOA.

Question 3: I had an unforeseeable problem that came up which caused me to not be able to make the Marine and Hydrokinetic Webinar. Is there any way that I can get some of the information on this project since I just was not able to get on the internet in time?
Answer 3:

The webinar can be accessed through the Summary page for the FOA on Exchange here -


Question 4: Does the program want all proposed projects to be self-contained within a focus area or can some proposed projects have a cross-cutting element that support multiple focus areas?
Answer 4:

The application will be evaluated based on the total impact of the suite of proposed R&D Activities. The proposed R&D Activities can be self-contained within a single strategic opportunity or involve cross-cutting elements that support multiple strategic opportunities within the Program’s portfolio.  Refer to the Technical Volume section under Application and Submission Information (Section IV.C.2) : “R&D Activity Objectives:  The Applicant should provide a clear and concise (high-level) statement of the goals and objectives of the R&D Activity, the expected outcomes, and the relevance to one or more of the strategic opportunities listed in the Area of Interest section”.

Question 5: 1) If a foreign entity provides salary support for one or more of its employees to participate in proposed Consortium activities both overseas AND in the United States, would the portion of salary support for activities performed in the U.S. count toward meeting the cost share requirement? 2) Either way, we assume that any foreign entity salary support for Consortium activities performed OUTSIDE the United States would NOT count toward meeting the cost share requirement, unless a waiver was requested and granted.  Is that correct?
Answer 5:

1) The work performed in the United States could be counted as cost share without a waiver. 

2) Correct. 

Question 6: 1) Is the team required to include all MHK technologies (e.g., wave, tidal current, open ocean current and river)? 2) Can you elaborate further on the Waiver for foreign entities? How do we ensure that they would/might be approved before May 30? 3) Can you elaborate further on the six strategic areas? For example: - Device and/or array operation and maintenance (O&M) logistics development: Understood. - High-fidelity resource characterization and/or modeling technique development and validation: does modeling only refer to resource characterization or does it include device or array modeling? - Distributed application device development and techno-economic studies: are you referring to distributed generation? - Array-specific component technology development (e.g. moorings and foundations, transmission, and other offshore grid components): are you implying that single units alone (e.g., WEC device) are not considered under this area? - Array performance testing and evaluation: appears to refer to at-sea (field) tests. Is that a correct interpretation? How do we reconcile infrastructure dev < $100K vs. at-sea tests? My information indicates that, for example, wave energy developers are trying to test individual units and that they will not be ready to test arrays for a few years. - Novel cost-effective environmental monitoring techniques and instrumentation testing and evaluation: Am I correct in assuming that the T&E refers to only environmental monitoring but not, for example, real-time monitoring of waves and currents as input to control systems?
Answer 6:


1)  The team is not required to include all MHK technologies.

2)  Waiver requests (if applicable) are required to be submitted with other application material as listed in Section IV. C. of the     FOA, by the deadline of 5:00 PM ET on May 30, 2014. Waiver requests will not be reviewed/approved prior to the application submission deadline. 

3)  The strategic opportunity areas are presented at a high level to encourage creativity and innovation in the proposed R&D Activities.  Applicants are encouraged to propose a suite of R&D Activities which most effectively leverage their existing capabilities, address strategic opportunities detailed in Section I.B, and demonstrate an awareness of relevant industry and national laboratory activities.

Question 7: 1)There are a few MHK centers funded by DOE already. How is the opportunity for teams consisted of schools not from the centers? 2)Is it possible, by some way, for your program to create a partner finder? 3)Is there any chance for your program to suggest different teams to be combined as one team after the review?
Answer 7:

1)   All Domestic Universities are eligible to apply as a Prime Recipient or Subrecipient. 

2)   No, it is solely the Applicant’s responsibility to form an eligible team (see Section III) prior to submission. 

 3)  Though not EERE’s intent, the Program does have the ability to combine consenting, eligible (see Section III) teams into one project during negotiations. 

Question 8: I have a Marine & Hydrokinetic Research and Development proposal (Attached), that I feel is a good fit for your announcement. I welcome any comments on the contents of my proposal.
Answer 8:

Please review the complete information on the referenced Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) on the EERE Exchange website here -


Please note that applications must be submitted through EERE Exchange by the stated deadline to be accepted for review. Applications not submitted through EERE Exchange will not be reviewed or considered.  


Question 9: Given that an application proposing either: (i) greater than $100,000 infrastructure development; or, (ii) activities with no MHK field research will be deemed nonresponsive, could you please describe the difference between equipment and infrastructure?  We assume that field research would include equipment valued at more than $100,000.
Answer 9:

For the purposes of this FOA, the term “infrastructure” refers to the facilities, vessels, and other equipment used for research and development in a broad range of marine and hydrokinetic research and development activities.  The term “equipment” is defined in the Department of Energy’s Financial Assistance Regulations at 10 C.F.R. § 600.101 to mean “tangible nonexpendable personal property including exempt property charged directly to the award having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5000 or more per unit.”  Highly-specialized equipment with a narrow range of applicability to R&D activities is not considered to be infrastructure. This FOA intends to leverage existing infrastructure, and the total costs of infrastructure development under this award should total no more than $100,000.  The $100,000 limitation does not apply to non-infrastructure equipment purchases, though applicants are strongly encouraged to leverage existing equipment within the consortium to as great an extent as possible. 

Question 10: One of the responsiveness criteria for the FOA is, "Applications proposing new major (greater than $100,000) infrastructure development rather than leveraging existing infrastructure for MHK R&D;" will be considered non-responsive. Would this definition of infrastructure include the purchase of field operations equipment (such as ROV)? Should this be interpreted as a cap of $100,000 on equipment in a proposal budget?
Answer 10:


Please see Q&A #9 above and advise if it does not answer your questions.

Question 11: Can private companies be involved as part of a project task?
Answer 11:

Per Section III of the FOA, Eligibility Information, “For-profit entities and nonprofits that are incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a particular State or territory of the United States are eligible to apply for funding as a Subrecipient, but are not eligible to apply as a Prime Recipient.”

Question 12: In the table on page 15 of the FOA, it indicates that the Technical Volume component does not include the Work Plan. However, in the table which begins on page 16, it appears that the Work Plan should be included in the Technical Volume. Please clarify.
Answer 12:


The FOA has been modified to remove “sans Work Plan” from the table on page 15. Please see Modification 0001 to the FOA here -


Question 13: I’m reading on page 15 of the above mentioned FOA and I’m confused about the third item in the table. The EERE 159 form includes a tab labeled SF-424, but in this table the SF-424 is listed as a standalone requirement. Can you give me more information to help me understand what this is asking for?
Answer 13:


The EERE 159, Budget Justification, includes a tab labeled SF-424A, which is a summary of the cost categories within the Budget Justification document. The SF-424 is the Application for Financial Assistance and is a standalone document.


Question 14: Hello – What is the funding level for subawards that requires a completed EERE_159? The FOA says $250,000 and the EERE_159 says $100,000. Thanks for clarifying.
Answer 14:


Please follow the instructions in Section IV. C. of the FOA – “Applicants must provide a separate budget justification, EERE 159 that includes a budget for each budget year as well as a cumulative budget, for each subawardee that is expected to perform work estimated to be more than $250,000 or 25 percent of the total work effort (whichever is less).”

Question 15: The FOA instructions are asking for the Technical volume as a pdf and the work plan as a doc file, but there is only one place to upload the documents. It seems that you are asking for one document in two formats that don’t go together. Please advise. Thank you.
Answer 15:


The Work Plan has been added to the list of required documents for the FOA in EERE Exchange. You should now be able to upload it as a separate document in Word format.


Question 16: I am seeking an estimated time of arrival for reviewer comments. Our team is on standby so we can complete responses before the deadline.
Answer 16:


Reviewer Comments should be released via EERE Exchange by close of business today, June 26th. Please note that when you are notified and go into Exchange, you may need to scroll down to access the Comments.

Question 17: Have Reviewer Comments been completed?
Answer 17:

Reviewers have completed their initial evaluation of your applications to DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0001098:  Marine and Hydrokinetic (MHK) Research and Development (R&D) University Consortium. 


Reviewer comments are now available to you via EERE-eXCHANGE (  Please respond IMMEDIATELY to if you find you cannot access reviewer comments as we will not extend the deadline of 5:00pm Eastern Time on July 1, 2014 for you to prepare and submit a Reply to Reviewer Comments. You must reply in three pages or less, responding to individual or all comments, or supplementing your full application, however you desire. 


EERE will not review or consider ineligible Replies to Reviewer Comments (see Section III of the FOA); however EERE will review and consider each eligible Full Application, even if no Reply is submitted or if the Reply is found to be ineligible.


Replies to Reviewer Comments must conform to the content and form requirements specified in Section IV.E of the FOA (attached), including maximum page lengths. If a Reply to Reviewer Comments is more than three pages in length, EERE will review only the first three pages and disregard any additional pages.


Replies to Reviewer Comments must be submitted through EERE-eXCHANGE, and will not be accepted via email.  If you have any questions regarding this process, please send them to before the submission deadline of 5:00pm Eastern Time on July 1, 2014.