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: Does the awardee retain ownership of the IP?
Answer 1: For information regarding Intellectual Property, please reference the following sections of the Funding Opportunity Announcement: Section VI.B.3, Section VIII.F and Section VIII.G.
Question 2: Are applicants for this FOA restricted to US based companies?
Answer 2: 2: For information regarding Eligible Applicants, please reference the following section of the Funding Opportunity Announcement: Section III.A.
Question 3: Is there a requirement that the R&D and/or manufacture and assembly of the advanced technology be performed in the US?
Answer 3: 3:  Per Section III.A. of the FOA, "Not more than 20% of the work under the proposed project may take place outside of the United States and its Territories."  Please see Section III.A. for more information.
Question 4: Is the Environmental Checklist a document that is required, and if so, when must it be submitted?
Answer 4: 4: The Environmental Questionnaire is not a required application document.  Should your proposal be selected for award negotiations, the DOE will require the completion of an Environmental Questionnaire (EF1), and may require other relevant NEPA documentation, based on your selected project. These documents must be submitted to the DOE before an award can be made. For more information, please reference the following sections of the Funding Opportunity Announcement: Section IV.D., Section IV.G. and Section VIII.K.
Question 5: As a non-for-profit institution, we would be eligible to waive cost share under Phase I. However, coming up with 20% or more cost share in Phase II will be challenging. Can we spread out the cost share over the whole project, i.e., cost share Phase I and II such that the total cost share on Phase II is 20% or more?
Answer 5: 5: The statutory cost share requirement as listed in the FOA for Phase II is 20% for all recipients.  Recipients may not contribute less than 20% cost share for Phase II, even if they provide some cost share (required or not) in Phase I.  If cost share is required, the cost share must be applied to activities in that specific Phase(s).  For information regarding cost share, please reference the following sections of the Funding Opportunity Announcement: Section I.F, Section III.B, and Appendix C.
Question 6: In the FOA it indicates that certain files should be named "Control#_Institution_FileName.pdf". What is the Control #? Also, the FOA indicates that if one organization is submitting to more than one topic area, each proposals' files should end in "Company-1-Topic#". We are submitting two applications, one to Topic Area 1 and one to Topic Area 5. Does that mean our file names should be "Control#_Institution_FileName-Company-1-Topic#"? And then that same format for every PDF?
Answer 6: 6: A control number will be generated by Exchange when you register and begin your application submission.  Each proposal will have a separate control number.  "Institution" and "Company" are used interchangeably in the file-naming conventions.  Therefore, for an applicant submitting two applications, the files submitted should be named in the following format:  Control#_FileName_Company-1-Topic#. 
Question 7: The solicitation requires use of the GETEM model to determine cost improvements for the proposed work. The GETEM model does not appear to apply to the geochemistry part of the solicitation. There is not a way to quantify cost reduction to developing a particular resource because of the regional nature of the work. There is merely qualitative evaluation of conducting the work in a consistent manner such that multiple entities do not duplicate work (resulting in unnecessary costs) for their own purposes. Is it acceptable to discuss the qualitative value of this type of regional work in lieu of having a section on the GETEM model?
Answer 7:

7: GETEM analysis does apply to all Topic Areas under this FOA, and is a mandatory component of the application. 

In the sidebar on the far left of the "INPUT" screen in GETEM, there are several dropdown lists that contain areas to input information on technology advancements to improve resource exploration, well field development, reservoir definition, etc.  Generally, these dropdown lists are inclusive of all topic areas within this FOA. For example, RESOURCE EXPLORATION >> Exploration - Non-Drilling Costs >> By Activity >> Field Work gives a drop down list which includes: field reconnaissance and sampling, water and gas sample analysis (including geothermometry), rock and soil sample analysis, soil gas flux analysis, and fluid inclusion stratigraphy. 

Success rate of confirmation wells might also be a good way to quantitatively measure impacts of certain geochemical techniques. Under RESERVOIR CHARACTERIZATION >> Confirmation Well - Drilling Costs >> Confirmation Well Success Ratio a percent success can be entered, increasing the percentage would show the decrease in drilling costs that these techniques could create.

Additionally, in situations where the work is regional in nature and not focused on a particular resource, it may be advisable to provide several example GETEM analyses that would be representative of sites within the region of focus.

For reference, user manuals and other GETEM resources are available at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/getem_manuals.html.

DOE created a webinar with more information on GETEM.  The webinar can be located at the websites below.

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/news_detail.html?news_id=17486

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/presentations.html

Question 8: Topic 4 appears to focus on power and cost levels for sensors: "develop new sensors that are at least 50% cheaper and consume 30% less power than a 2011 model of a similar/comparable sensor." Would it be considered responsive to focus on next-generation tools and sensor systems that can operate at 200-300 C? It is difficult to do the mandated cost/power comparison because current tools and systems cannot operate at these high temperatures at any price or power level.
Answer 8: 8: Based upon the information provided in the question, it would likely be considered responsive to Topic 4 to propose incremental improvements upon a 2011 model of a similar/comparable sensor, working towards new data collection techniques, temperature and pressure rated components, and tools that can operate above 200 C.  However, we cannot predetermine the suitability or viability of a proposal in advance of the merit review process.
Question 9: Would it be considered responsive to Topic 4 to focus on enabling technologies or on one or more critical subsystems for the sensor package? In particular, would a proposal focused on providing reliable electrical power through energy generation and/or storage be considered responsive?
Answer 9: 9: Based upon the information provided in the question, it appears, that the inquirer is proposing a temperature and pressure rated component for a sensor package.  A temperature and pressure rated component for a sensor package is allowable under Topic 4.
Question 10: In the FOA, the time period for the total projects is expected to be 3 years. While it implies that Phase I is one year and Phase II is 2 years, is there any rule around the time period for Phase I. Can it be shorter or longer than a year? Same question for Phase II.
Answer 10: 10: Section II.E (page 13) of the FOA states that the anticipated Period of Performance for awards made under this FOA will run up to three years (depending on successful clearing the go/no go or stage gate decision point).  There is no Period of Performance specified for individual Phases; for example, Phase I may run longer than one year, so long as both Phases can be completed within the total Period of Performance.  The purpose of the Table in Section II.B (page 12) is to only show the estimated funding per Fiscal Year.
Question 11: In the solicitation, it says to line up Budget Periods with Phases. Since there are two Phases we are told to put everything into, that would mean there are two budget periods. However, later in the solicitation it says you must provide a separate SF 424R&R for each year of support requested. If you have a 3 year project and 2 phases, how are you supposed to have one for each year?
Answer 11:

11: Each phase will correspond with a budget period, so if your proposal has two phases, it will also have two budget periods.  The project phases should align with the budget periods, and not calendar years.  The SF 424R&R has separate tabs for each phase/budget period included in the project.

Question 12: In your list of Eligible Applicants there is no mention of Indian Tribes. However, “Indian Tribes” is listed under definitions. Are tribes eligible applicants or not?
Answer 12: 12: Yes, Indian Tribes are eligible applicants.  Please see Section III.A. of the FOA for more information.
Question 13: At the end of the description of Topic 5 (page 8) it is stated that you will not accept proposals for the development of shallow temperature survey tools and temperature gradient/slimhole/production well drilling. (1) Does that stipulation apply only to Topic 5 and (2) will applications developing/using slim hole or similar technologies for deploying down-hole sensors (e.g. seismometers, etc., Topic area 4) be considered?
Answer 13: 13: The stipulation excluding the development of shallow temperature survey tools and temperature gradient/slimhole/production well drilling applies only to Topic 5.  Topic 4 allows the development of existing tools; work proposed under Topic 4 should focus on tool development and not drilling of gradient, slimhole, or production wells.  The tools developed under Topic 4 may be deployed in either gradient, slimhole, or production wells. 
Question 14: The FOA states that budget justifications need to be in XLS format. It points to the exchange website for more information, but it redirects to the page with the information on the FOA and there is only a link to the RR budget xls files. Is there are budget justification template/file we can use somewhere?
Answer 14:

14: No, there is not a specific preferred Excel template for the budget justification.  Please simply ensure that you justify the costs proposed in each Object Class Category/Cost Classification category (reference Section IV.C.7 of the FOA).

Please also see the SF-424 R&R Instructions found in the “Required Application Documents” section on the Main FOA page. 

Question 15: In section II, award information, of this FOA, there is a table (IIB) listed the estimated finding for each topic for both Phase I and Phase II. Does that mean Phase I will run up to 1 year, and then phase II will run up to two years? Or is there any restriction of duration for each phase?
Answer 15: 15: Section II.E (page 13) of the FOA states that the anticipated Period of Performance for awards made under this FOA will run up to three years (depending on successfully clearing the go/no go or stage gate decision point).  There is no Period of Performance specified for individual Phases; for example, Phase I may run longer than one year, so long as both Phases can be completed within the total Period of Performance.  The purpose of the Table in Section II.B (page 12) is to only show the estimated funding per Fiscal Year.
Question 16: If proposed, would unconventional technologies (and/or those technologies not specifically listed in the FOA) that achieve the goals of the FOA be responsive to the respective Topic Areas?
Answer 16: 16: The goal of Topic Area 1 allows for the development of "non-traditional/innovative" drilling methods in order "lower the cost and risk of drilling for both undiscovered hydrothermal and EGS...".  The list that follows in not all inclusive as indicated by the preceding "is not limited to" statement.  The same interpretation for Topic Area 3 may be used in that "other methods" may be proposed in order to "block lost circulation zones in open (uncased) and cased holes and to facilitate the creation of multiple fracture zones...".  While Topic Areas 2, 4, 5, and 6 do not include the "is not limited to" or "other" qualifiers, applicants may propose novel methods that are not specifically listed in the FOA to achieve the specific goals of the FOA.
Question 17: What is the period of performance for a project that submits only for Phase I?
Answer 17: 17: The only explicit restriction upon the Period of Performance (PoP) is listed in Section II.E (page 13) of the FOA, which states that the anticipated PoP for awards made under this FOA will run up to three years.  This is for all projects, including Phase I-only and Phase II-only projects.
Question 18: Are the topic areas for high-temp or low-temp applications?
Answer 18: 18: A Topic Area will specify within the description (Section I.C) any  temperature standards imposed upon that Topic Area. This is the case for Topic Areas 3 & 4.  It would be considered responsive to Topic Areas 3 & 4 to propose incremental improvements, working towards the respective, specified operating temperatures.  Topic Area 5 places an operating temperature limitation by excluding the development of "shallow temperature surveys/tools (2 meters)." 
Question 19: Is redesigning the casing to accept a pump an innovative way that differs from current technology eligible for funding under this opportunity?
Answer 19: 19: Casing designed to be leaner is allowed under this FOA in Topic Area 2.
Question 20: In reading the FOA, Topic Area 4 seems to imply that a new sensor device has to be constructed and the analysis must involve seismometers. Would non-seismic tools or improved processing techniques and applications of other data sets (e.g., remotely sensed data) meet the requirements for this Topic Area?
Answer 20: 20: The goal of Topic Area 4 is to develop tools, components, and techniques "such that reservoir inputs and behavior can be accurately measured and correlated to permeability enhancement, etc."  The focus area allows for "other monitoring devices," not just seismometers, if those tools/techniques work towards the goals of Topic Area 4.
Question 21: Is Topic 4 aimed solely at instrumentation and hardware? Will innovative data collection systems and techniques that use existing hardware yet significantly advance the ability to provide superior monitoring , detection, and location capabilities of low-amplitude events through new analysis methods be considered?
Answer 21: 21: One of the focus areas for Topic 4 is innovative data collection systems and/or techniques combined with advanced technology.  This does allow for innovative data collection systems and/or techniques using existing hardware.
Question 22: When registering in FedConnect, should we register as a Vendor or a Grantee? or both?
Answer 22:

22: Per the FOA, "The applicant should register in FedConnect at https://www.fedconnect.net/; use “Register as a Vendor” link.   To create an organization account, your organization’s CCR MPIN is required."  Applicants may also contact the FedConnect Helpdesk for additional questions regarding the FedConnect system at: support@fedconnect.net.

Applicants may also refer to the FedConnect Quick Start Guide, found at:  https://www.fedconnect.net/FedConnect/PublicPages/FedConnect_Ready_Set_Go.pdf  for questions on registering in FedConnect.  

Question 23: The FOA states that Phase II will be funded with FY 2012 and FY 2013 funding appropriations. If we apply for a grant for Phase II only, after providing proof of concept evidence, does this imply that funding will not be immediately available even if the grant is awarded. When will FY2012 funds be available for projects with a Phase II only scope of work?
Answer 23: 23: Phases and Budget Periods are not linked to Fiscal Years.  The table in Section II.B. showing the estimated funding for each Topic Area per Fiscal Year has been modified in Amendment 002 to remove reference to Phases.  Phase II-only awards may be funded in FY11 after the applicant has provided, and DOE has approved the necessary Proof of Concept documentation.
Question 24: Is Topic 4 specifically looking for sensors to detect seismic or microseismic signals, or is it open for measuring other parameters using acoustic techniques?
Answer 24: 24: The goal of Topic Area 4 is to develop tools, components, and techniques "such that reservoir inputs and behavior can be accurately measured and correlated to permeability enhancement, etc."  The focus area allows for "other monitoring devices," not just seismometers, if those tools/techniques work towards the goals of Topic Area 4
Question 25: Our organization is developing a new technology and we would like to know whether it would be considered responsive to this opportunity and if so, to which Topic Area we should apply.
Answer 25: 25: It is up to prospective applicants to review the requirements of the FOA and determine if their proposed project adequately addresses the FOA goals, objectives and Merit Review Criteria.  DOE cannot predetermine the suitability or viability of a proposal in advance of the merit review process.  Applicants may propose novel methods that are not specifically listed in the FOA to achieve the specific goals of the FOA.
Question 26: I am unable to hear the replay of the Webinar. Please let me know if there is a problem with the replaying of it.
Answer 26: 26: The webinar is now posted online with a written transcript so that potential applicants can follow along.  The webinar and transcripts are posted at both of the following locations online:

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/news_detail.html?news_id=17486

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/presentations.html

Question 27: As the Prime recipient, do we need to add the National Lab into our budget? Will the lab get direct funding from DOE, and will therefore not have to subcontract with the Prime? Will the Prime need to come up with cost share for the lab's funding amount?
Answer 27: 27: The Prime recipient must reflect all aspects of the project in their budget, therefore costs to the Lab should be reflected in the SF 424 Application and in all budget documents.  Most likely, the Lab will be directly funded through DOE, and a sub-contract between the Prime and the Lab would not need to take place.  This process is subject to change at any time, however.  The Lab would be eligible for the Cost Share Waiver in Phase I, however, if the Lab will be performing any Phase II work, Cost Share would be required.  Ultimately, the Prime recipient is responsible for all Cost Share requirements. Please reference the following section of the Funding Opportunity Announcement: Section III.C.
Question 28: If the Prime recipient is a FFRDC and a large corporation is a sub-recipient, would the calculation for the 20% Cost Share be as follows: Prime FFRDC 100,000 + sub-recipient 100,000 = Total 200,000. Would the Cost Share be 20% of $200,000 or 20%of $100,000?
Answer 28: 28: The required cost share depends on the amount of the budget that is allocated for each Phase of the project.  A portion of the required cost share for either Phase may be contributed by the sub-recipient, but ultimately, it is the Prime recipient’s (FFRDC) responsibility to ensure that the required cost share is provided to the project.

The Lab (FFRDC) will be eligible for a cost share waiver for Phase I, but will be responsible to provide 20% cost share on any amount of the Phase I budget that is passed through to the sub-recipient (large corporation). 

The FFRDC will be responsible to provide cost share which makes up 20% of the entire Phase II budget (both FFRDC work and sub-recipient work). 

Question 29: Are emerging companies who have not yet begun commercial operations excluded or discouraged from this opportunity? We have not begun commercial revenue producing operations and thus, have no income to report nor need for audited financial reporting. Could you please advise as to alternative proofs of financial viability/capability we could present pending commitment from a Venture Capital or Investment Banking firm?
Answer 29: 29: Emerging companies who have not yet begun commercial operations are eligible to apply under this FOA and are not discouraged from applying. DOE works with many start-up companies as well as established commercial entities, universities and non-profit organizations. All applicants must provide proof of financial viability with application materials.  For Profit and Not For Profit companies that do not have a current audit may provide internally prepared Balance Sheet (B/S), Income Statement (I/S), and Cash Flow Statement (CFS) from the latest quarter and year.  If the applicant does not have a full year of financial history, please prepare your documents from the time frame of actual data that you have and not based on estimates.  
Question 30: Can an applicant submit 2 applications for 1 Topic?
Answer 30: 30: Yes, an applicant may submit more than one application for a topic area, provided that the applications are for two different projects and that the applicant does not exceed the maximum of five applications per organization as the Prime applicant. 
Question 31: Much of the supporting documentation for our proposal is contained in a privately compiled report developed by a leading independent consultancy. Should the detailed results of this study be included in the narrative or is it acceptable to reference the results in the narrative and submit the report as supporting documentation?
Answer 31: 31: (Revised) All narrative content must be included in the narrative portion of the application, with the exception of LCOE Supporting Analysis Documentation (see Section IV.C.13 of the FOA). 

Per the FOA, Section IV.C.3: The project narrative must not exceed 15 pages for Topic areas (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), and (6).  This page count includes cover page, table of contents, charts, graphs, maps, photographs, and other pictorial presentations, when printed using standard 8.5” by 11” paper with 1 inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right), single spaced.  EVALUATORS WILL REVIEW ONLY THE FIRST FIFTEEN PAGES OF THE PROJECT NARRATIVE.

Question 32: What is the total amount of funds available for this FOA?
Answer 32: 32: For information on the Estimated Funding for this FOA, please reference Section II.B.
Question 33: In reading through the FOA, it appears that both Phase 1 and 2 need to be laid out in the proposal. Given that national labs have been granted a cost share waiver for Phase 1 we need to have the Phase 2 cost share identified at the time of submittal or can that be a metric used in evaluating if the project can go forward to the second phase? We are concerned that in the short time available we may not be able to identify industry partners for all of the work we wish to propose.
Answer 33: 33: Please reference Section I.E. of the most current FOA amendment for information regarding eligible applications.  If a national lab does not have an industry partner for Phase II work, the lab may apply to this FOA for Phase I only.  If the lab will be applying for Phase I and Phase II, the Cost Share must be identified in the application materials.
Question 34: Do the national labs need cost share at all for Phase 2?
Answer 34: 34: For Cost Share requirements, please reference Section I.E.
Question 35: If a national lab is not the lead on a proposal, but is a participant with another entity, is the cost share amount for Phases 1 & 2 calculated including the funding going to the national lab (i.e., the total project cost) or only on the non-national lab portion of the project cost?
Answer 35: 35: The Cost Share requirements are based on Total Project Costs.  However, national labs are eligible for a cost share waiver for Phase I only, so any part of the budget for Phase I that is going to a national lab will not be subject to Cost Share.  All entities are required to Cost Share in Phase II, so the Cost Share would be based on total Phase II costs.  Please reference the following sections of the FOA for more information on Cost Share: Section I.F, Section III.B, and Appendix C.
Question 36: If a University is a sub-recipient on an application, does this affect the number of applications the University can submit as a Prime Recipient?
Answer 36: 36: No, the limitation on the number of applications an organization submits, is only applicable for Prime recipients.  Please reference Section I.C. of the most current FOA Amendment for more information.
Question 37: What is the format required for proof of completion of phase I work. Should this be incorporated into the Narrative or is a separate supporting document acceptable?
Answer 37: 37: There is no required format for the Proof of Concept documentation for those applicants proposing to proceed directly to Prototype/Validation (i.e. Phase II).  This documentation should be included within the 15-page Project Narrative.
Question 38: We would like to modify the default scenario in the GETEM model to better reflect the criteria of our proposed project (i.e. specification and number of wells, etc). Is it acceptable to modify the base scenario to determine the LCOE savings or do all applicants need to use the same base scenario?
Answer 38: 38: (Revised) A baseline reference scenario, including exploration costs, is included within GETEM, however this scenario is currently tailored to hydrothermal.  Applicants may make adjustments to the scenario, but are encouraged to use the existing parameters to the maximum extent possible.  The FOA requires applicants to provide "supporting analysis" documentation with the metrics table format.  Per Amendement 0004, applicants may upload LCOE supporting analysis as a separate document (see Section IV.C.13).
Question 39: Does DOE have a set of exploration costs that we can use as a baseline for our proposed technology developments?
Answer 39: 39: (Revised) A baseline reference scenario, including exploration costs, is included within GETEM, however this scenario is currently tailored to hydrothermal.  Applicants may make adjustments to the scenario, but are encouraged to use the existing parameters to the maximum extent possible.  The FOA requires applicants to provide "supporting analysis" documentation with the metrics table format.  Per Amendement 0004, applicants may upload LCOE supporting analysis as a separate document (see Section IV.C.13).
Question 40: Is there an upper limit on proposed project costs (other that the ceiling identified in the FOA)?
Answer 40: 40:  There is no upper limit on proposed total projects costs.  The upper limit is only placed upon Federal funds and is given per award per topic area in the table on page 16 of the FOA, Section II.C.  Cost share above the minimum may be considered under the Program Policy Factor dealing with cost share (page 34, Section V.A.3.).
Question 41: For topic area 5- seismic, it mentions slimhole production wells....What do you mean by that? We want to propose microholes (less than 4") which are smaller than slimholes as the industry categorizes them] for insertion of seismic sensors. It that allowed as given?
Answer 41: 41: Based upon the information provided in this question, it appears that the inquirer is proposing the use of sensors in microholes.  While drilling of any kind should not be the focus of applications submitted under this Topic Area, the novel use of microholes with sensors to achieve the goals of Topic Area 5 may be considered responsive; however, we cannot predetermine the suitability or viability of a proposal in advance of the merit review.  Applications under Topic Area 5 should focus on the development of tools, techniques and data processing in order to better locate geothermal resources that lack surface manifestations.  Topic Area 5 states applicants should show how they will advance the goals of the Topic Area "without drilling to reduce exploration risk and cost per prospect", thus placing the primary focus on the tools, techniques and processing.  In the next statement DOE specifically excludes "development of existing shallow temperature surveys/tools (2 meters) and temperature gradient/slimhole/ production well drilling".
Question 42: Do state agencies need to provide cost share in Phase I?
Answer 42: 42: Yes, Phase I has a minimum cost share requirement of 20%.  For information regarding cost share, please reference the following sections of the Funding Opportunity Announcement: Section I.F, Section III.B, and Appendix C.
Question 43: Are special districts eligible?
Answer 43: 43: While the eligibility language does not explicitly list special districts as eligible entities, DOE's intent is to have the funding opportunity announcement to all types of entities, including other special districts. Please see Section III.A. of the FOA for more information.
Question 44: Are other Federal Agencies (e.g. DoD) eligible either as the Prime or as subrecipients for this FOA? The eligibility requirements lists local and state governments.
Answer 44: 44: While the eligibility language does not explicitly list Federal agencies as eligible entities, DOE's intent is to have the funding opportunity announcement open to all types of entities, including other federal agencies. While other federal agencies are not excluded from eligibility, the agency must establish that it is authorized to carry out the activities under the proposed project and accept funds from another agency. If a federal agency applies as a lead applicant, the agency must submit a signed legal opinion that lists its statutory authority to carry out the proposed project, explains how it would meet the statutory authority under the proposed project, and explains the authority by which the agency can accepts federal funds from another agency (i.e., explain how accepting the award would not be considered supplanting funds). The opinion should include the following acknowledgement, "THIS AGENCY IS AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM THE WORK PROPOSED IN THE APPLICATION SUBMITTED UNDER DOE FUNDING OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT # DE-FOA-0000522 BY THE FOLLOWING STATUTORY AUTHORITY [insert Statute name, citation, and section]____________.” DOE reserves the right to contact the applicant to further clarify whether the applicant has the necessary authority.
Question 45: Are the topic areas in the FOA only relevant to high temperature geothermal resources, or would locating ground water resources for using open-loop GHP systems be considered responsive?
Answer 45: 45: The focus of this FOA is to advance geothermal electrical generation to be competitive with conventional sources of electricity; the focus is not direct-use applications, such as heat pumps.  Applicants must show the impact on the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LOCE) derived from the technology advancement proposed in the application; this will be evaluated in the Merit Review Criteria for the probability of, and potential impact on lowering the LCOE of geothermal energy.
Question 46: I am unclear as to the requirements in, Section I.D.1, Mandatory Content, Technology and Performance Description. We are responding to a particular Topic Area and would like to understand how these requirements should be met. Are there any guidelines to follow? Is this information that can be obtained from the GETEM tool, and if yes how?
Answer 46: 46: The Mandatory Content is required for all Topic Areas.  Further guidance on how to meet the requirements of the Technology and Performance Description will not be provided per Topic Area.  Applicants are required to derive their impact on LCOE by using GETEM.  We have given further guidance on GETEM through the Q&As and there will be a separate webinar exclusively on GETEM.
Question 47: Our proposed solution will lower the required equity rate of return for a geothermal project. The GETEM model uses FCR (Fixed Charge Rate) which incorporates required equity rate of return among other factors. Please define the formula and default weights for FCR or let us know how we can influence the required equity rate of return elsewhere in the model.
Answer 47: 47: The Fixed Charge Rate (FCR) used in GETEM for the reference scenario was taken from the 2011 Annual Energy Outlook report, and should not be modified in GETEM.  The following was taken from the GETEM manual:

b.    Project financial structure and assumptions:

Structure:  IPP with corporate financing General inflation rate:  about 2.5% per year.

Project life:  30 years

Equity:  Fraction and rate of return

Debt: Fraction and interest rate                

General project insurance rate

 

c.    Taxes and incentives considered:

 Federal income tax

State income tax

Local property tax

5 year depreciation

Energy (investment) tax credit: 10% of capital costs

Items (b.) and (c.) are mathematically merged into a Fixed Charge Rate, which is utilized by multiplying it with the summed Capital Costs of the project to find, as the result, the annual payment that has to be made (normally from project annual revenues) to cover all payments to debt, equity (dividends or retained earnings), Federal and State income taxes, and local property taxes and insurance.  This FCR for 2005 is assumed to represent a period of relatively low cost of funds (debt and equity), with about 30 percent of the capital in equity.  It includes the effect of the conventional Federal 10% investment tax credit for geothermal power systems.  It does not include the effect of the Federal Production Tax Credit provided for in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  

If a User would like to influence the required equity rate of return, GETEM includes a discounted cash flow sheet that calculates either the internal rate of return (IRR) for a power generation cost (either defined by the user or using the LCOE calculated by the model) or calculates the generation cost needed to satisfy a user defined IRR; the model assumes the same IRR for both debt and equity.  For both calculations the model allows the User to define the time required for different phases of the project.  These intervals can vary for both the improved and reference scenario.  The User can also define different IRR's for both scenarios and calculate the associated generation cost.  These calculations must be done in the two worksheets 'IRR ECONOMICS' or 'COE ECONOMICS'.  Applications must be clear on any changes to the parameters.

Question 48: Can the FOA documents be provided to us in .doc rather than docx?
Answer 48: 48: The FOA document has now been replaced with a document in the .doc format.
Question 49: Can a person be a PI and co-PI on the same topic?
Answer 49: 49: Yes, a person can be a PI and co-PI on separate applications for the same topic area provided that the applicant does not exceed the maximum of five applications per organization as the Prime applicant and provided that the person's time commitments on both projects combined do not exceed 100%. 
Question 50: How detailed should the evidence be for GETEM calculations? Can we use existing data from papers to give estimates?
Answer 50: 50: (Revised) As much information as possible should be provided with the supporting analysis for GETEM to allow the reviewers to understand and evaluate how the LCOE was derived.  This could include, but is not limited to : the GETEM file; a list of any changes to the reference scenario and justification for those changes; and/or the User input parameters with justification.  This FOA has a Merit Review Criterion that will look at the level of clarity in the definition of the baseline, metrics, and milestones, as well as a Criterion that will assess the probability of, and potential impact on lowering the LCOE.  Applicants are encouraged to provide enough information to fully address these and all Criterion.  Per Amendement 0004 to the FOA, applicants may upload LCOE supporting analysis as a separate document (see Section IV.C.13 of the FOA).
Question 51: Why was geological studies and analyses not one of the topical areas of this FOA?
Answer 51: 51: The topics identified in the FOA were deemed currently necessary to further the exploration and exploitation of geothermal resources.
Question 52: Are the subtopic items in "Topic 2: Advanced Well Completion Technologies" the only technologies to be considered for Topic 2 or should an applicant consider these sub topics as "but not limited to"?
Answer 52:

52: As stated in the webinar the subtopics are not to be solely considered and should be viewed as "not limited to".

Question 53: How can I get DOE GETEM Beta version?
Answer 53: 53: The GETEM model that is referenced is the FOA is the Beta version. Per the FOA, the "GETEM can be accessed at the Geothermal Technologies Program webpage:  http://www1.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/getem.html".
Question 54: Is a commercialization plan required for Phase I only projects? Do journal publications suffice for commercialization aspects of TRL2 projects?
Answer 54: 54: Commercialization Plans are required for all projects, including Phase I-only projects. Journal publications may be used as part of the commercialization documentation, but any documentation should address all aspects of the Merit Review Criteria.
Question 55: The PI of the project would be at a national laboratory and we would subcontract part of the development to a group at a University campus. We therefore would like to request a Cost Share Waiver. Do I need to fill out a special document for the waiver or do I just mention it in the budget/proposal?
Answer 55: 55: There is not a form to complete for the cost share waiver.  If you are eligible for the waiver, please do not include cost share in your budget. You will also need to certify in Exchange during the application process (by clicking a box) that you are eligible for the cost share waiver.
Question 56: The sentence below from the descriptor for the GETUM model indicates that the resource will cool over time. The document assumes a 1% per year - what data may support that? As indicated, the User also defines the thermal drawdown for the resource. For hydrothermal resources, in particular those used with air-cooled binary plants, the expectation is that the resource temperature will decline at rate of 1% per year, or less. Can you cite a source for the 1% cooling rate?
Answer 56: 56: A decline rate is included because nearly all hydrothermal resources in the US have experienced some degree of decline in resource productivity with time; however, a GETEM user may use no decline rate in their scenario.The suggested thermal decline rate of 1 % or less for hydrothermal resources is based both on the final temperatures used for the different resource scenarios considered in EPRI Next Generation Geothermal Power Plant study (EPRI-RP-3657-01, 1995) and the observations of the industry and national laboratory personnel who participated in the original development of the model.  The author's postulated a harmonic decline curve - for this type of decline, the EPRI report suggests the temperature drops by ~0.4 to 0.6% per year.  The observations of the authors of the temperature decline rate in operating binary plants suggested the decline rates were in this range, and in some instances slightly higher, hence the 1% or less recommendation.  It was postulated that the decline rates for flash plants would be similar or higher, which is consistent with the EPRI report which also considers flash plants.
Question 57: If a proposed process results in a reduction in the number of wells that has to be drilled and this may result in a reduction in the rate at which heat is brought to the surface, how can we impose a condition to calculate cost for a single well without specifying it to be an injection or production well. How can we also vary the corresponding heat output?
Answer 57: 57:   The model should work for a single well, though it will produce error/warning messages.  The User is going to have to decide whether or not to ignore those messages.  The User is also going to have to decide whether this well is drilled as a confirmation well or a production well.  The model requires that there be an injection well.  If a single well is to be used, then the User will have to provide a $0 cost for the injection well and all costs associated with that well.   Heat output from a well is a function of the fluid temperature and the well flow rate.
Question 58: In section III C, it is stated that a DOE lab needs a written authorization from the its cognizant contracting officer. Is there a special CCO for EERE contracts at LBNL or would this be the standard CCO for projects at the lab?
Answer 58: 58:   That section is referring to the DOE Contracting Officer for the M&O lab contract.
Question 59: The FOA also mentions that "a maximum of five applications per Principal Investigator or organization as a Prime applicant" can submit a proposal. How does this apply to national labs. Does this mean only 5 applications from the lab or 5 applications per PI?
Answer 59: 59:   This applies to national labs as well and means only five applications from the lab.
Question 60: We are eligible for cost-share waiver in Phase 1 but have materials and subcontractor costs. Can these be eligible for the waiver also as they are under our main contract? these entities would not benefit from commercialization. The commercialization partner would still cost share their effort in Phase 1.
Answer 60:

60:  If a recipient is eligible for the cost share waiver, the recipient's vendor/subcontractor costs would fall under the waiver regardless of what type of entity the vendor/subcontractor is (e.g., for-profit or non-profit).

Conversely, if the recipient is not eligible for the waiver due to its  entity type (e.g., it is a for-profit entity), the recipient's costs, including vendor/subcontractor costs would NOT be eligible for the waiver even if the vendor/subcontractor is a non-profit, institution of higher learning, lab or FFRDC.

In the event that a selected project includes subrecipients that are not the same type of entity as the prime recipient, then the applicability of the cost share waiver to the subrecipient's activities is dependent upon the entity type of the subrecipient.

Question 61: We are entering our budget into the SF424 R&R Excel file that was provided on the Web page, and it appears that there is a formula error on the worksheets labeled “Budget 1 A,” “Budget 2 A” and “Budget 3 A” – amounts entered in the “non-federal ($)” cells for senior/key personnel other than the person listed as #1 are not being added into the total non-federal $ at the bottom of that sheet (item A9), and therefore aren’t being added in to the total non-federal direct costs (item G in each year), or total non-federal direct and indirect costs (item I in each year). The cell the calculation is performed in seems to be locked so we can’t manually override. How should we proceed in order to submit an accurate budget? Thanks in advance for your help!
Answer 61: 61:  You are correct, there is an error in the formula in cell AL97 of tab “Budget 1 A”.  To repair the formula, complete the following:

1.     Click on “Review” in the Excel menu bar

2.     Click on “Unprotect Sheet” (there is no password).

3.     Paste the following into cell AL97: “=SUM(AL19,AL28,AL37,AL46,AL66,AL75,AL84,AL93,AL95)”

 Once you unprotect the worksheet, you will be able to correct any additional formula errors.

Question 62: I am in the process of preparing an application to DE-FOA-0000522. I have a question about the narrative file. The FOA requires the narrative to include merit review criteria discussion, technical description, LCOE, commercialization plan, project partners, etc. Should the discussion of merit review criteria be separated as a stand- alone section, or be incorporated into other sections?
Answer 62: 62:  Please refer to Section IV.C.3. of the FOA for required components, items and sections of the project narrative.   Per the FOA:   The Merit Review Criteria Discussion section must be formatted to address each of the merit review criteria and sub-criteria listed in SECTION V - APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION A.2.  Provide sufficient information so that reviewers will be able to evaluate the application in accordance with these merit review criteria.  DOE WILL EVALUATE AND CONSIDER ONLY THOSE APPLICATIONS THAT ADDRESS SEPARATELY EACH OF THE MERIT REVIEW CRITERIA AND SUB-CRITERIA.
Question 63: In Section II (Award Information), is the expected maximum award size (given in the table) per year or per duration of the project?
Answer 63: 63: The award size shown in Section II.C is the maximum amount of DOE funds that will go to a single award, for each topic area, for the duration of the project.  As an example, for Topic Area 1, the maximum amount of DOE funding that will go to any single award is $5 million. 
Question 64: We are considering submitting a proposal to apply a regional exploration technology to the entire continental USA. Our commercialization plan would be to publish the documentation of this regional exploration as well as the results of applying this regional exploration technology throughout the continental US, making it universally available. Is that an acceptable commercialization plan under this FOA?
Answer 64: 64: Per the FOA, Section IV.C.3, the commercialization plan should, "identify the likely vehicle for moving the proposed technology into the geothermal market (i.e. in house manufacturing/resources, licensing, or selling Intellectual Property).  You must identify a commercial/developer entity interested in furthering development and commercialization after government funding has ended.  You must also provide a written commitment from the applicant that the work will result in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals during the project performance period." DOE cannot predetermine the acceptability of a commercialization plan in advance of the merit review process.
Question 65: The FOA requires applicants to provide "supporting analysis" documentation with the metrics table format. This may include the modified GETEM Excel file, the user input sheet, and/or a summary of changed parameters and the justification for any changes. Please explain where the additional document should be included in the package. There is no mention of additional files in the" Summary of Required Forms/Files table".
Answer 65: 65: (Revised) The additional documentation referred to above, should be uploaded under “Upload and Submit” to the Tab “LCOE Supporting Analysis Documentation”. This optional Tab was added in Amendment 004 of the FOA..  Please see the green highlighted changes in Amendment 004 for more information.
Question 66: Is it acceptable for a lead institution to receive less funding/have less percentage of effort than a subrecipient institution?
Answer 66: 66: Yes, this would be acceptable.
Question 67: I am trying to look at the impact of reducing the cost of makeup water (T273) for a hydrothermal flash system. If I change the power conversion to "Flash" (R380), I get an error message. I think this happens because the "Input Low Flash Pressure" (R451) is blank. If I change it to 14.7 psi the error goes away. is that a reasonable thing to do?
Answer 67: 67: If you are using a single flash system, and the 1st flash pressure (HP) is > 1 atmosphere, then you can ignore the warning.  Putting 14.7 psi for the low flash pressure will make the error/warning go away, and it does not impact the costs or power production.  I suggest ignoring the message and leaving the LP pressure blank.
Question 68: I am trying to estimate the impact of reduced cost of water (T273) if the only source of water loss is in the flash cooling system. If I set "Is water loss for flash cooling system to be made up?" to yes for the reference scenario, then the improved scenario is worse even though nothing is changed for it. Is this a user error or a limitation of the code?
Answer 68: 68: This is another error in the file logic. This option for flash-steam makeup water was added to look at impact of having to makeup water when a flash plant was used with EGS.  If you are not looking at an EGS resource, the model ignores the cost in cell R273 for the reference scenario - ie, there is no cost applied to the makeup in a hydrothermal reference scenario.  However, the model does use the cost for the improved scenario (cell U273) for the hydrothermal scenario.  Hence if you indicate the flash system losses are to be made up for a hydrothermal scenario - the improved scenario cost will be higher because it is correctly calculating the cost for the water, while the reference scenario is incorrectly not including that cost.  If you make the multiplier in cell T273 "0", both the reference and improved scenario will have the same LCOE.  To assess the impact of reducing this water cost for a hydrothermal scenario would require the use of the Improved Scenario costs to define a reference cost, and then running it again with the improvement..  Users should also note that the model assumes that if the evaporative losses in the cooling system are to be madeup, the injection flow and pumping power both increase.  This is reflected if one inputs a cost of $0 for the makeup costs. The water cost is included as an O&M cost - one can see how those costs are calculated on worksheets O&M Cost F1 (flash) and O&M Cost B1 (binary).
Question 69: To whom should the Contracting Officer’s authorization letter for the subject FOA be addressed?
Answer 69: 69: The letters should be addressed to the Contracting Officer for the FOA, Laura Merrick.
Question 70: How can an increment in power generation (i.e. as a result of applying the suggested technology) be introduced in GETEM; under the “Improvement Change” column?
Answer 70: 70: If a User wants to show the incremental increase in the power it is best to change the scenario in the "Power Plant" input section by changing the evaluation from fixed power sales to a fixed number of production wells.  The User should then run the model twice:  the first time with their defined base reference scenario and the second with the technology benefit included in the reference scenario.  There is a logic error in the model when the improved scenario is based on a fixed number of wells so it is best to run the reference scenario with a fixed number of wells as instructed.
Question 71: How can GETEM be used to show improvements to well completion and/or well design?
Answer 71: 71: The User can base well costs on either the Cost Curves (to access the Cost Curves, expand the input section for "Well Drilling Costs" under the "Well Field Development" input section) or the GETEM estimate.  If drilling costs are determined using the cost curves, then the User can modify those costs in the input section under "Well Field Development - Adjustments to Production and Injection Well Drilling Costs".  If the User opts to use the GETEM estimate, the User must define the configuration of the bottom hole for both the production and injection well.  The User can adjust the costs for the GETEM estimate by expanding the 'User Adjustments' input and changing the different indices.  Note that the left column is for the production well and the right for the injection well.  The injection well should not be used to reflect an 'improved' scenario.  Well costs for the GETEM estimate are calculated and displayed on the "Well Field Dvlpmnt A1" and "A2" worksheets, which are hidden (right click on one of the worksheet tabs and click on Unhide).  Well counts for the defined scenario of 20 MW of power sales are shown on the "Summary" work sheet (blue tab).  The impact on the LCOE is shown on the "Binary Output" worksheet (or "Flash Output").
Question 72: We wish to propose to Topic 5, Geophysical Exploration Technologies. We have already performed numerical studies (completed TRL 2), but there is no laboratory step. We would field-test near our home institution for convenience and then test at a geothermal site where prior data exists. Therefore we interpret the Proof of Concept (to TRL 3) as requiring a field test, which would be followed by a relevant environment demonstration (TRL 5+). Please clarify TRLs with regard to geophysical exploration.
Answer 72: 72: Testing of proposed technology improvements in relevant environments is contained within TRL 5, which would correspond to field testing of improved geophysical exploration technologies.  TRL 3 does not require a field test for any topic area included in the FOA.
Question 73: I need help interpreting the TRL vs. phase definitions. According to the Phase I definition, "[o]nly technologies in TRLs 2 and 3 are eligible for Phase I", but according to the Phase II definition, "Phase II activities must develop the technology into TRLs 4 and 5." It seems that TRLs describe what has been achieved, not what is ongoing. Do you mean that Phase I ends with Proof of Concept, achieving TRL 3 so a Phase I would have to start at TRL 1 or 2? And so Phase II would start at TRL 3?
Answer 73: 73: For purposes of this FOA, Phase I is defined as TRLs 2 and 3 while Phase II is defined as TRLs 4 and 5.  The inquirer is correct in that Phase I ends with Proof of Concept, achieving TRL 3, and Phase II would start with TRL 3 having been achieved.  Phase definitions within proposed projects must follow these parameters, especially if a Cost Share Waiver is being requested in Phase I.
Question 74: Our company will be required to submit a detailed proposal budget as a major sub recipient. Due to proprietary concerns, will we be able to submit the detailed budget directly to DOE rather than to the prime recipient? If so, how should this be completed?
Answer 74: 74: Yes, a sub-recipient may submit their budgets directly to DOE, due to proprietary concerns. Please submit your budget files to the FOA 522 mailbox at FOA522@go.doe.gov and reference the application for which you are a sub recipient.  Please include in the email body the Name of the Prime applicant and the Title of the application proposal.
Question 75: Our proposed project does not plan to generate geospatial data. Do we still need to state that we will submit Geospatial Data to NGDS? In that case, who would be the authorized representative in a National Lab and what types of writing confirmation will be accepted.
Answer 75: 75: All applicants must provide all three parts of the Data Plan:  1) A statement that they will submit geospatial data quarterly to NDGS, 2) performance data, and 3) a statement that they will submit quarterly cost data.  If an applicant does not anticipate that they will have any geospatial data, then the applicant must state as such and that if they do generate geospatial data, they will submit it to NGDS.  Recipients that are selected for awards will need to state during each reporting period that they did not generate any geospatial data.
Question 76: Section a.i.5 o the FOA, Proof of Financial Viability/Capability requires a certified Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Cash Flow Statement for the latest quarter and year for firms without public audits. Do you consider June 2010 through June 2011 as the latest year or Jan 2010 through Dec 2010? I am assuming the latest quarter would be April 2011 through June 2011.
Answer 76: 76: Please submit this information for your most recent full fiscal year.  If you do not have a full year of information, please submit the information for your most recent 6 months or quarter. 
Question 77: Topic area 5 specifically excludes slimhole/production hole drilling from funding under this FOA. Can slimhole drilling, to validate the new data analysis technique, be included in the proposal for consideration in the merit review if that drilling is neither funded by DOE nor included as the industry partner cost share?
Answer 77: 77: No, only work that is either funded by DOE or provided as cost share can be considered in the merit review. 
Question 78: Subparticipants will be contributing “in-kind” services - no funding from DOE will be requested. Can in-kind be considered cost sharing? And will participants need to do SF424 and budget justifications?
Answer 78:

78: In-Kind costs for the project can be considered as cost sharing, as long as the costs are allowable under the cost principles applicable to the type of entity incurring the costs.  Please see Appendix C - Cost Share Information for the references to the applicable cost principles.  All costs for the project need to be accounted for in the Prime applicant's budget, regardless of whether a "sub participant' will receive DOE funding.  If the budget for the "sub participant" is equal to or greater than $100,000, a separate SF424A and budget justification would be required for the application. 

Question 79: We are working on preparing the documents requested in this FOA522 funding opportunity. I just noticed a discrepancy in the FOA document on the requirement for having budget file by the subcontractor in Phase I. In the text it says it is required if the subcontract budget is MORE than $100K but in the summary Table, page 23 of the FOA states $100K OR more. My question is that which one is correct since we are setting up the Phase I subcontract at $100K.
Answer 79: 79: You must also provide a separate budget (i.e., budget for each year and a cumulative budget) for each subrecipient, including DOE/NNSA Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC), that is expected to perform work estimated to be GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO $100,000 or 50% of the total work effort (whichever is less). 
Question 79: Topic 5-Geophysical Exploration Technologies is speaking of innovative technologies for locating potential geothermal resources. Coming from a mining exploration point of view, we understand that exploration includes slim hole drilling, coring and applicable geophysics instrumentation. Specifically, mining definition of exploration includes single and cross well tomographic imaging instrumentation. With respect to the scope of the FOA, does geothermal exploration include slim hole drilling and tomographic imaging technology?
Answer 79: 79: Slimhole drilling cannot be proposed under Topic 5; advances to drilling technologies may be proposed under Topic Area 1.  Tomographic imaging is an example of a geophysical surveying tool, advances to which may be proposed under Topic Area 5.
Question 80: Our accounting fiscal basis is cash basis, is that okay to submit our CPA internally prepared Balance sheet, Income statement and cash flow statement on a cash basis then?
Answer 80: 80: Typically, accounting systems that follow GAAP are on an accrual basis. That is the accepted accounting system for grant recipients.  If your accounting system is currently set up on a cash basis, please submit the financial statements as you have them.  We will accept cash basis documents for the purposes of the application materials.
Question 80: If the applicant is a university, but cost share is from a company, is the Proof of Financial Viability/Capability required? It says universities can be exempted in the FOA.
Answer 80: 80: Only the Prime applicant is responsible for submitting the Proof of Financial Viability/Capability information.  Therefore, if the Prime applicant is exempt from this requirement (FFRDCs, State and Local Governments, and Educational Institutions), the information will not be submitted with the application.
Question 81: We are considering buying remote sensing data for the proposed research which is available at a reduced rate to our institution. Can the difference between the commercial rate and the research rate be considered a cost share from the institution selling the data?
Answer 81: 81: No.  Discounts are unallowable per the Cost Principles and therefore, cannot be used as Cost Share.  For more information on Cost Share and for a reference to the applicable Cost Principles for each entity type, please see Appendix C of the FOA.
Question 82: The text in page 25 of the FOA document says: "All the components of your Project Narrative (listed above with the exception of the Cost Impact Tables) must be within the Narrative page limit specified above.” I assume this is the LCOE or metric table and its supporting material. On the other hand it is said that the evaluators will review only the first fifteen pages of the project narrative. Where would the metric table and the support material go then, as an appendix perhaps?
Answer 82: 82: (Revised) Per Amendement 0004 of the FOA, applicants may upload LCOE supporting analysis as a separate document (see Section IV.C.13 of the FOA).
Question 83: How would a GETEM User simulate an improvement to the technology associated with seismic measurements in monitoring wells under Topic Area 4?
Answer 83: 83:  Users may simulate an improvement to the technology associated with seismic measurements in monitoring wells by using the "Resource Exploration Input" -> "Exploration Non-Drilling Costs" -> "Geophysics" -> and either "Vertical Seismic Profiling" (i.e. in well) or "Single Borehole and Cross Well Seismic" methods.  In the version of the model that is in the DOE web site, the tools are defaulted to $0 cost.  The User would have to select to use either method (or both) and define a reference scenario cost that would duplicate the information that would be provide with the their technology.  In the "Improvement Change" column the User would have to define how their technology is going to impact those costs.  GETEM does not include costs for monitoring wells.  Those wells would be the explorations wells already drilled and/or the temperature gradient wells.
Question 84: Under Section IV.5 in the FOA, it reads, "These documents should be certified by an Independent Certified Public Accountant or other appropriate authority." Would an internal controller qualify as an appropriate authority? If not, please clarify who would qualify as an "appropriate authority."
Answer 84: 84:  Yes, an internal controller can qualify as an appropriate authority for certifying financial statements.
Question 85: The proposed work will compare various types of geophysical data. Some of them have been collected previously and already paid for by a collaborating company. We have also encountered expenses in collecting some of these data. Federal funds were not used. Can these costs be applied as an in-kind match share towards the required 20%?
Answer 85: 85: Under certain circumstances, these types of costs are sometimes allowable costs per the Cost Principles.  Therefore, they may be allowed as cost share.  DOE cannot predetermine the allowability of particular costs or budget items prior to award selection.  Please prepare your budgets with the costs that you determine to be allowable using fair market value estimates.  If your application is selected for award, the allowability and amounts will be determined in the award negotiation process.  
Question 86: We intend to use satellite data from two agencies. These data are sold at a certain commercial price. If the DOE project is funded, it is possible to apply with research data proposals to both agencies, and if approved, in one case data will be made available for free, and in the other, at a reduced price. It is not possible to submit these research data proposals in advance, because it is required that funds are first assured for the research work itself. Can the difference between commercial and research price be applied as match share?
Answer 86: 86: Discounts (i.e. the difference between commercial and research price) are normally unallowable costs, and therefore not allowed as cost share.  DOE cannot predetermine the allowability of particular costs or budget items prior to award selection.  Please prepare your budgets with the costs that you determine to be allowable.  If your application is selected for award, the allowability and amounts will be determined in the award negotiation process. 
Question 87: Under Section IV.5 it reads, "...companies that do not have a current audit may provide internally prepared Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Cash Flow Statement.." We are unable to produce a Cash Flow Statement. Is there any way that this requirement can waived? If not, please provide guidance.
Answer 87: 87: The requirement to provide proof of financial viability/capability cannot be waived. Please submit any financial statements/audit documents that you can to assist DOE in determining the likelihood of your organization being able to provide the required recipient cost share for all phases of the project.
Question 88: Where can I access the DOE Webinar, "Geothermal Electricity Technology Evaluation Model (GETEM) Webinar"?
Answer 88: 88: The GETEM Webinar that DOE hosted on June 30, 2011 can be found at the following website:

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/news_detail.html?news_id=17496

 The "Webinar Recording" contains a Question and Answer session at the end, which may be helpful for specific questions related to GETEM and its application.

Question 89: In answer to the Question 60 you state the following: "If a recipient is eligible for the cost share waiver, the recipient's vendor/subcontractor costs would fall under the waiver regardless of what type of entity the vendor/subcontractor is (e.g., for-profit or non-profit)." But at the end you state the following: "In the event that a selected project includes subrecipients that are not the same type of entity as the prime recipient, then the applicability of the cost share waiver to the subrecipient's activities is dependent upon the entity type of the subrecipient." It seems that these two statements contradict each other. Also in page 50 and 51 of the FOA document there are examples of eligible prime recipient and non-eligible sub-recipient. According to your answer, this is not true.
Answer 89: 89:  The important distinction in the answer to Question 60, is the difference between a vendor/"subcontractor" and a subrecipient.  OMB Circular No. A-133 defines the two as follows:

Subrecipient means a non-Federal entity that expends Federal awards received from a pass-through entity to carry out a Federal program, but does not include an individual that is a beneficiary of such a program. A subrecipient may also be a recipient of other Federal awards directly from a Federal awarding agency. Guidance on distinguishing between a subrecipient and a vendor is provided in §___.210.

Vendor/"subcontractor" means a dealer, distributor, merchant, or other seller providing goods or services that are required for the conduct of a Federal program. These goods or services may be for an organization's own use or for the use of beneficiaries of the Federal program. Additional guidance on distinguishing between a subrecipient and a vendor is provided in §___.210.

Vendor/"subcontractor" costs would fall under the cost share waiver if the Prime recipient is eligible for the cost share waiver.

Subrecipient costs are eligible for the cost share waiver, if and only if, the subrecipient entity type is eligible for the cost share waiver.

Please see OMB Circular A-133 §___.210 Subrecipient and vendor/"subcontractor" determinations for more information.  This section can help potential applicants to classify their contracts as vendors/"subcontractors" or subrecipients.

 

Therefore, pages 50 and 51 of the FOA, shows an example of a situation where the Prime recipient is eligible for the waiver, but the subrecipient is not.  In that case, the project would be required to have 20% cost share on the portion of the budget that is going to the subrecipient.

Question 90: Are there any differences between sub-recipient and sub-contractor in a proposed project when the lead organization in both phases is the same?
Answer 90: 90: OMB Circular No. A-133 defines the two as follows:

Subrecipient means a non-Federal entity that expends Federal awards received from a pass-through entity to carry out a Federal program, but does not include an individual that is a beneficiary of such a program. A subrecipient may also be a recipient of other Federal awards directly from a Federal awarding agency. Guidance on distinguishing between a subrecipient and a vendor is provided in §___.210.

Vendor/"subcontractor" means a dealer, distributor, merchant, or other seller providing goods or services that are required for the conduct of a Federal program. These goods or services may be for an organization's own use or for the use of beneficiaries of the Federal program. Additional guidance on distinguishing between a subrecipient and a vendor is provided in §___.210.

Question 91: We are applying to DOE FOA 522 and have multiple subrecipients in our project. EERE Exchange permits upload of only one subrecipient SF 424 form and budget justification. Because of the number of tabs in the SF 424 file, it is impractical to combine multiple subrecipients into one file. Should we submit other subrecipient 424's under "Additional Files," or how should we proceed?
Answer 91: 91: Yes, please submit additional subrecipient budgets under the "Upload New Additional Files" Tab at the bottom of the "Upload and Submit" Tab.
Question 92: Is the Table of Contents required?
Answer 92: 92: No, a table of Contents is not required for an application.
Question 93: Instructions for subrecipient award justification (10) indicate that details required for the justification file are included in “Section IV.D.6 above” but no such section exists. Where are instructions for these required details located?
Answer 93: 93: The details required for the budget justification file can be found in Section IV.C.7 of the FOA.
Question 94: Are subcontractors of the prime recipient who receive over $100,000 from the prime recipient considered to have received a subrecipient award?
Answer 94: 94: Not necessarily.  A vendor would not be a subrecipient. Please see OMB Circular A-133 for definitions of a vendor and a subrecipient (or look above to Question 89).  Please also see OMB Circular A-133 §___.210 Subrecipient and vendor/"subcontractor" determinations for more information.  This section can help potential applicants to classify their costs as vendors/"subcontractors" or subrecipients.
Question 95: The following questions apply to the Proof of Financial Viability/Capability requirement. Please define “certified” in the text. What is “other appropriate authority”. Can our Tax Accountant “certify” that we provide the real numbers? “Certify” in the world of accounting is normally something very serious and will take a long time to do – typically several months.
Answer 95: 95: If you do not have financial statements from the last year that are currently certified by an Independent Certified Public Accountant, then you may have your Tax Accountant certify the documents for the purposes of the application. 
Question 96: I am hoping that you could provide me with guidance for determining the proper GETEM fields related to issues improving well piping longevity and preventing flow rate decreases due to the affects of scaling. I am assuming that this should fall under the Operations and Maintenance headings, but I do not see any particular fields relating to piping lifetime. Are pipe concerns lumped together with pump issues and lifespan? Should these issues just be entered manually into the Operation and Maintenance cost/kW-hr?
Answer 96: 96: Based upon the information provided in the question, it appears, that the inquirer is proposing an improvement to O&M.  The User can either define the annual O&M cost contributions for the well field and plant and the effect of the technology improvement on those contributions, or the User can adjust the maintenance costs associated with the wells, surface piping and power plant.  There are no specific inputs for replacement of specific components beyond the geothermal production pumps; the model instead includes a percentage of the total capital costs in the annual maintenance costs to account for those replacements.
Question 97: Am I eligible to apply to this FOA if I did not submit a pre-application and thus did not receive an invitation?
Answer 97: 97: Yes, you are eligible to apply.  This FOA did not request pre-applications, only full applications by the FOA deadline.
Question 98: On the SF-424, what is the Competition Identification Number in Block 13?
Answer 98: 98: Block 13, "Competition Identification Number" is not applicable for this application.  Please fill out Block 12, "Funding Opportunity Number" and "Title".
Question 99: I read that it is possible to upload additional files during the submission. Is it possible to upload the GETEM file as support material for the LCOE cost analysis used in the narrative?
Answer 99: 99: Amendment 004 to FOA 552 will be posted on 7/14/2011.  This amendment will include a separate upload tab in the "Upload and Submit" section titled "LCOE Supporting Analysis Documentation" where applicants may include supporting analysis including the GETEM file that is not included in the project narrative.
Question 100: When I upload for DE-FOA-0000522, I have the naming of my documents as required. However once uploaded the exchange renames the files.
Answer 100: 100: This problem has now been fixed.  Any applications that were completely submitted on or prior to 7/14, will be fixed internally.  All other applicants, please re-submit your documents, as the naming convention is now fixed.
Question 101: When is that project supposed to start? for our schedule/milestones purposes
Answer 101: 101: The anticipated start date for these awards will be 9/30/2011.
Question 102: Are consultants required to also submit a budget and budget justification (SF 424 R&R) for work to be performed in the proposal? The budget is more than $100,000 for that particular consultant.
Answer 102: 102: If the consultant is classified as a subrecipient, than yes, the budget and budget justification will be required. If the consultant is doing work that would be classified as a vendor/"subcontractor", than a quote for the work will be acceptable.  Please see the above questions 89 and 90 for more information on the distinction between a vendor/"subcontractor" and a subrecipient.
Question 103: Under Topic Area 5, the FOA states "without drilling to reduce...." (paragraph 1, top of page 8), but does this exclude placing tools to shallower depths, such as 200-500ft. Also, you mention "slimhole well drilling". What do you mean by "slimhole"? Do you mean to exclude small bore drilling for tool placement only?
Answer 103: 103: The tools proposed under Topic Area 5 may be developed for use in a down-hole environment.  While drilling of any kind should not be the focus of applications submitted under this Topic Area, the novel use of tool placement to achieve the goals of Topic Area 5 may be considered responsive; however, we cannot predetermine the suitability or viability of a proposal in advance of the merit review.  Applications under Topic Area 5 should focus on the development of tools, techniques and data processing in order to better locate geothermal resources that lack surface manifestations.  Topic Area 5 states applicants should show how they will advance the goals of the Topic Area "without drilling to reduce exploration risk and cost per prospect", thus placing the primary focus on the tools, techniques and processing.  In the next statement DOE specifically excludes "development of existing shallow temperature surveys/tools (2 meters) and temperature gradient/slimhole/ production well drilling".
Question 104: Was the deadline extended for Geothermal FOA DE-FOA-0000522?
Answer 104: 104: Yes, the deadline was extended to July 19, 2011 at 2:00pm EDT.
Question 105: I am trying to upload an application to the FOA: DE-FOA-0000522. However, I didn’t not receive a document control #. I received an email from DOE saying “welcome to DOE exchange” but not a control number. Please advise me on how to receive a control number.
Answer 105: 105: When you log into Exchange and go to your submissions (You must hit "Apply" to the FOA), you will see a Tab called "General", where the "Full Application General Info" can be viewed. The Control Number for your submission is listed on that page. 
Question 106: I am getting proposals uploaded for submission on the EERE website and I just discovered something that changed. Early on, there was a place to upload additional documents, at the very bottom of the upload screen. I have two subcontracts on one of my proposals, and since there was only one place to load subcontract documents (and not multiples) I put one subcontract budget into the usual subrecipient budget field, and then the second subcontract budget had to be placed in the “additional documents” field since there was no other place to put it. Today I logged in and the “additional documents” field is gone! There is something else in its place called LCOE. Can you please tell me where I should upload my second subcontract documents?
Answer 106: 106: Please upload your additional budget files to "Add New Additional Files".  This Tab should now being showing up again under "Upload and Submit".  The Exchange Helpdesk is working to ensure this problem will not occur again.
Question 107: As part of the submission process it is required to copy and paste the abstract into the EERE system. It says there is a max of 4000 characters limit, Is this with or without spaces? It says it needs to match the abstract in the application. The FOA states one page limit and no character limit is mentioned.
Answer 107: 107: As long as your abstract meets the one page limit, per the FOA, it should meet the 4,000 character limit in EERE Exchange.  The 4,000 character limit includes spaces.
Question 108: What is the criteria to calculate lead organization percent effort?
Answer 108: 108: The percentage of effort for a lead organization is based on the percentage of the project budget that is for activities performed by that organization.
Question 109: We do not see the required Prime Recipient Budget Justification XLS file available for download. Where is this file available?
Answer 109: 109: There is not a required .xls file for the Budget Justification.  Please see Section IV.C.7 of the FOA, for information regarding what the .xls file must include.
Question 110: Could you please forward the GETEM model in .xls format? It is not possible for me to save and use it in its present format of .xlsm.
Answer 110: 110: GETEM was developed in Excel 2007, thus the .xlsm, which is the macro-enabled workbook extension.  A .xls version is not available.  We suggest accessing a public computer with Office 2007 or contacting Microsoft for compatibility packs available for download.