Frequently Asked Questions

Select a FOA to view questions and answers for the specific funding opportunity. Alternatively select "Non-FOA related items" to view system FAQ items.

Question 1: In reviewing the General Requirements for Both Topic Areas, I noticed the statement that the dispensing sites must provide, 100 kg/day hydrogen. Unfortunately this single requirement clearly seems to exclude two 60 kg/day, high performing, 100% renewable dual pressure, public electrolysis stations, one running off of a large Photovoltaic array the other off of renewable grid power. Both stations will be providing hydrogen for Original Equipment Manufacturer Fuel Cell Vehicle customer fleets in their respective areas. Both stations are built, and operating, and are potentially in an excellent position to provide valuable new data for some time into the future. Can you please explain the thinking behind excluding these 60 kg/day stations and how the 100 kg/day hard limit was established, and if there is any possibility to reconsider this requirement?
Answer 1:

While preference will be given to applications with a refueling capacity of 100 kg/day, applications that involve refueling stations with a capacity less than 100 kg/day may be considered.  These applications should provide adequate justification that the station(s) will have high usage, incorporate advanced technology, and are scalable to at least 100 kg/day refueling capacity.


Question 2: With respect to Topic 1, in order to collect data from hydrogen fueling stations there are certain costs associated with the operation of the station. (1) Some, like the cost of fuel and power at the station, are variable costs based on use of the station; (2) others (rent, insurance, taxes, certain maintenance, and licenses/fees for the business operating the station) are independent of station usage. Without cost coverage, stations may be unable to remain open for the entire period of performance, limiting the ability of respondents to provide the required data. Are any or all of the costs from items (1) and (2) above eligible for cost share by DOE under Topic 1?
Answer 2: For Topic 1, only direct costs specifically associated with the data collection effort are eligible, either as DOE share or recipient cost share.  Indirect costs within Federally approved Indirect Rate Agreements are also reimbursable. Normal operating and maintenance costs for the stations, including fuel, power, and overhead costs, are beyond the scope of this effort and are not eligible, either as DOE share or recipient cost share.
Question 3: Would projects that require testing and validation of equipment (advanced components) in a simulated environment for hydrogen distribution and purification be acceptable candidates for selection? It appears that some “minimal degree of development” is acceptable. Is this “degree” evaluated on a case by case basis?
Answer 3:

Research and development is not the focus of this announcement.  DOE would prefer advanced components that have already been validated in simulated environments and are ready for validation in real-world operating environments.  However, the FOA does allow for a small amount of development work.  Per Page 3 of the FOA, “If a small amount of development is required, it should be minimal and low risk, with emphasis on the engineering required for installing, operating and collecting data from the system at the specific sites chosen.”  Applicants proposing any amount of development work should provide a detailed explanation showing that such development work is minimal and low risk. All applications are evaluated on an individual basis.


Question 4: Is this grant supporting manufacturing of such a component, or it is only about operation of the component? For just electrolyzer validation, what is the likely award ceiling, please?
Answer 4:

Costs associated with procuring, fabricating, or otherwise manufacturing the advanced components to be validated under Topic 2 are eligible.  As shown in Table 1 on Page 6 of the FOA, the maximum DOE funding per award for Topic 2 is $1,000,000 for all technologies.

Question 5: The answer to earlier Question #2 says that “direct costs specifically associated with the data collection effort are eligible.” Could you please expand on that? Would labor costs for data collection and processing be eligible? Would data collection costs already being incurred be eligible?
Answer 5:

For Topic 1, “Direct costs specifically associated with the data collection effort” may include, but are not limited to, the following costs:  personnel time to collect, process, and submit data; instrumentation required to collect data; equipment or personnel time required to retrofit equipment if necessary for collecting the specified data; software required to organize or process data; any software or hardware modifications required to collect data; and project management costs to meet deliverable requirements and to collaborate with DOE and the NREL HSDC regarding analyses and results.  Costs incurred prior to award selection are not eligible for reimbursement. However relevant assets (e.g., data collection hardware or software) that a recipient contributes to the project are eligible as cost share at their fair market value, provided that they directly contribute to the approved work scope for the proposed project.  All costs will be negotiated prior to award.

Question 6: I am going to submit the application package, which includes 1) SF-424 Application for Financial Assistance from EERE-exchange webpage: I found a FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE CERTIFICATIONS AND ASSURANCES FOR USE WITH SF 424 on, is this the right one to submit? 2) SF-LLL Disclosure of Lobbying Activities from EERE-exchange webpage: how do you define this? We are not involved with any political figures or government agency employee/officer, so we don’t need this, right? 3) Resumes: we have more than 20 employees who will participate, but we only will provide resumes for 2 research leaders, is that OK?
Answer 6:

1)      The SF-424 form provided on the EERE-exchange website is the correct form to submit. Block 21 of the SF-424 document states that by signing the application you certify to the statements in the list of certifications. You do not need to turn in a separate Financial Assistance Certifications and Assurance form.

2)      The SF-LLL Disclosure of Lobbying Activities is not a required form if your organization does not participate in any lobbying activities. Your organization must self-determine the applicability of this requirement.

3)      You do not need to provide resumes for all employees working on the project, resumes from key personnel, including significant personnel of major participants and consultants will suffice.

Question 7: Would different maintenance schedules (OEM schedule vs. accelerated schedule) for two exact same station designs at different locations be considered an innovative component?
Answer 7:

Maintenance schedules are not considered refueling components.  The goal of Topic 2 is to validate new hardware technologies.  Operational or maintenance strategies are not within the scope of this FOA.