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: May multiple companies join together to  submit a single joint application to this FOA?
Answer 1:

Yes, multiple entities may join together in the form of a consortia to submit a joint application.  Please see section III.A of the FOA for more information regarding the eligibility of Incorporated and Unincorporated Consortia.

 

Question 2: I have review the DE-FOA-0002678 and want to confirm whether this new opportunity meets the requirement for the 40207(c), Component processing, portion of the grant. Could you direct me to the person who I can speak with in order to confirm this matter?
Answer 2:

Due to the competitive nature of the announcement and in order to provide fairness to all potential applicants, DOE is unable to advise or provide input to any potential applicants during the FOA process.  Applicants must make their own determination as to whether or not their current circumstances fulfill the requirements of the announcement.

 

Question 3: I'm having trouble accessing the full pdf of the FOA; the file seems to be corrupted. Could you please share it via email?
Answer 3:

Please try either using a different web browser to open/download the document or download the document to your computer and then use the Adobe software on your computer to open the file locally.

 

Question 4: Hello, I was wondering how does our company get on to the Teaming partner list for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law - Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing Funding Opportunity? We have technology that we would like to use to support and collaborate together with Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing.
Answer 4:

Please see Section I.A.iv. (p16) of the FOA: Any organization that would like to be included on this list should submit the following information: Organization Name, Contact Name, Contact Address, Contact Email, Contact Phone, Organization Type, Area of Technical Expertise, Brief Description of Capabilities, and Area of Interest. Interested parties should email the information to DE-FOA-0002678@netl.doe.gov with the subject line “Teaming Partner Information.” Please read the disclaimer on p 16 of the FOA.

 

Question 5: What level of detail is required for the Letter of Intent?
Answer 5:

Section IV. C. (page 56) describes the content required for the Letter of Intent

Question 6: I just saw that the DE-FOA-0002678 is now accepting applications. I am reviewing the required forms/documents and will prepare them for submission. I am wondering what the difference is between this FOA, and the DE-FOA-0002677 and should we apply for both (when 0002677 is open for application)? It looks like they both focus on “Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing”.
Answer 6:

DE-FOA-0002677 is the Notice of Intent which states that the Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0002678 will be released.  You can only apply to  DE-FOA-0002678.

 

Question 7: Funding Opportunity Announcement for AOI 6 indicates that battery cells be used in electric vehicle and/or energy storage. Do electric vehicles include especially electric helicopters (VTOL), motorcycles, off road vehicles, commercial vehicles, recreational vehicles (RV)? Thank you.
Answer 7:

It is the prospective applicant’s responsibility to make the determination if their proposed project meets the requirements identified in the FOA.  DOE definition of electric vehicles includes all battery based modalities.

 

Question 8: The objective of this area of interest is to accelerate commercialization of innovative manufacturing processes for battery cells, materials, or components that have never been utilized at scale for the electric vehicle and electric grid market through large-scale pilot demonstration projects.
Answer 8:

Please refer to the AOI 12 objective statement regarding innovative.

 

Question 10: My EERE question is in regard to my company being able to apply for funding under DE-FOA-0002678 “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing Funding Opportunity Announcement” given I have not yet been able to re-register in SAM and am not sure how long it will take to resolve the technical difficulties with getting re-registered.
Answer 10:
A Letter of Intent (LOI) and/or application may be submitted without having completed the full SAM registration process. Please note that a UEI number that is obtained during the SAM registration process IS required in order to submit a LOI and/or application.

Also, please note that In the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange website submission form the UEI field is mandatory to create and to submit the record. However, the form includes a N/A field to use if the UEI number is not available.
Question 11: In connection with the above Funding Opportunity, please help us with the following: 1. Could you provide a copy of the document “DE-FOA-0002678”. At the EERE website, after downloading it (multiple times by now) the document cannot be opened. It says the file is corrupted. 2. Where can we find a sample Letter of Intent?
Answer 11:

1. Please try either using a different web browser to open/download the document or download the document to your computer and then use the Adobe software on your computer to open the file locally.  2. Sample Letters of Intent will not be provided.  Section IV. C. on page 56 describes the content required for the Letter of Intent.

Question 12: Can you provide more clarity on what is considered to be existing equipment (not eligible to be included as cost share)? Does this mean equipment installed and in operation at the time the grant is awarded or when the project actually starts? What about equipment ordered before the award is granted?
Answer 12:

Existing equipment that is in use, installed, or purchased prior to the start of the period of performance of an awarded project is not eligible to be used as cost share.  

 

Question 13: [18 page] We plan to build a new factory. However, the typical investment cost of an electrolyte plant is quite less than $100M(about $50M?). According to your FOA, the AWARD amount for a new battery material plant should be at least $100M. Is there any way for our company to be eligible for application?
Answer 13:

The minimum award values were prescribed by BIL and the FOA must comply.  Accordingly, we must adhere to the minimum award value prescribed by the law.

  

Question 14: [76 page] [Locations of Work] We have not yet finalized the site of our new factory. Is it allowed for us to change the factory address on the application form later?
Answer 14:

Please provide the current location(s) of work that is (are) under consideration.  If it changes, you can notify DOE.

 

Question 15: Can you please provide a definition of “expand, retool, or retrofit existing facilities.”
Answer 15:

This is the language that was used in the BIL. DOE will not provide a definition that will limit the scope.

 

Question 16: Is the funding opportunity only reserved for lithium-ion batteries or would this opportunity also be open to additional technologies in the energy storage/battery space. Thank you for the clarification.
Answer 16:

Please refer to the amended FOA.  (Amendment 000001)

 

Question 17: Will any non-lithium battery technologies be eligible and encouraged to apply? Battery technologies based on vanadium, zinc, iron and other non-lithium metals present a significant opportunity for US domestic manufacturing and scale-up to serve the grid stationary storage market in support of solar and wind power. For example, would AOI 4 allow for the processing of spent petrochemical waste containing vanadium for the production of vanadium electrolyte for use in a vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) to be manufactured in the US? Similarly, would AOI 12 allow for investment in a US manufacturing facility to demonstrate production of concentrated vanadium electrolyte (to reduce electrolyte costs) and or production of VRFB cell stacks via new automated manufacturing processes? If the above are NOT considered eligible or encouraged, will there be other FOAs that will support domestic US manufacturing and domestic supply chains for non-lithium energy storage technologies?
Answer 17:

Please refer to the amended FOA.  (Amendment 000001)

 

Question 18: I have a question regarding the LOI for the FOA. Can we included multiple AOIs for the LOI? How about for the full proposal? I know there are up to 12 AOIs listed. Is an applicant limited to one AOI per submission? Or can we include multiple AOIs?
Answer 18:

Applicants are not limited to one AOI and applicants can submit more than one LOI to an AOI.  See Section III.F. of the FOA:  “An entity may submit more than one Full Application to this FOA, provided that each application describes a unique, scientifically distinct project. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an eligible Letter of Intent (LOI) for each application the Applicant is intending to submit.

 

Question 19: Are battery technologies with non-lithium-ion chemistries eligible for this DE-FOA-0002678?
Answer 19:

Please refer to the amended FOA.  (Amendment 000001)

 

Question 20: Would lithium based solid state electrolyte based projects qualify under the scope of this NOI (DE-FOA-0002678) as: a) AOI 8 as a separator b) AOI 10 as an electrolyte c) AOI 12 other material d) Out of scope
Answer 20:

Please refer to the amended FOA.  (Amendment 000001)

 

Question 21: In my company, different departments are preparing to submit different applications to different AOIs. Is it possible to submit multiple applications for different AOIs from one institution? PIs are all different and budget will be managed separately.
Answer 21:

Applicants are not limited to one AOI and applicants can submit more than one LOI to an AOI.  See Section III.F. of the FOA:  “An entity may submit more than one Full Application to this FOA, provided that each application describes a unique, scientifically distinct project. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an eligible Letter of Intent (LOI) for each application the Applicant is intending to submit.”

 

Question 22: In the LOI, does project team members also include partners who aren’t subrecipients of funds?
Answer 22:
The letter of Intent (LOI) must include project participants that contribute to the tasks identified in the project statement of project objectives and are also included in the project budget.

Question 23: We are reviewing the Funding Opportunity Announcement (PDF) downloaded from the EERE Exchange website and have logged into the online Letter of Intent (LOI) on the EERE Exchange website. We would like clarification on the following items. The online LOI form includes fields for Topic, Key Participants, and Technical Point of Contact, while the LOI components in the Funding Opportunity Announcement, page 56, do not. The Funding Opportunity Announcement, page 56, includes LOI components that are not listed in the online LOI form on the EERE Exchange website (missing components in the online LOI form: Whether the application has been previously submitted to DOE; Area of Interest to which they are applying). Can you please confirm if the online LOI includes all of the correct components (and we may disregard the missing components)? Also, can you please confirm if the Abstract maximum is 200 words (listed in the Funding Opportunity Announcement) or 4,000 characters (listed in the online LOI Form)?
Answer 23:

Please refer to the amended FOA.  (Amendment 000001)

Question 24: Questions about Domestic Entities Categorization - If the applicant company is incorporated in a US State and also has a physical place of business in the United States, but the Parent Company with majority ownership is overseas – would the applicant still count as a domestic entity? - If a fund is established and incorporated in the US, but foreign companies invest into this US-based fund and holds majority ownership, would this be considered a foreign fund/entity or a domestic fund/entity?
Answer 24:

A domestic entity is any prime recipient or subrecipient receiving funding under this FOA that is incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a State or territory of the United States, has a physical place of business in the United States, and has majority domestic ownership or control (for publicly traded companies, this would include stockholders). Any prime or subrecipient that does not meet all of these criteria is a foreign entity in terms of the FOA and must submit a waiver in accordance with the directions provided in Appendix C of the FOA.

 

Question 25: Can the value of tax credits provided by state and local governments count towards the cost share as an in-kind contribution?
Answer 25:

Please review Section III.B of the FOA for requirements regarding cost share.  While DOE generally refrains from making determinations at this stage, note that “cost share contributions must be specified in the project budget, verifiable from the prime recipient’s records, and necessary and reasonable” for the project.  A tax credit does not meet this requirement.

 

Question 26: Can you provide any guidance on the anticipated TRL for pilot-scale manufacturing technologies to be developed in AOI 12? For example, the anticipated TRL (or range of TRL) at the beginning and end of project? Thank you for your support.
Answer 26:

Appendix E of the FOA describes the TRLs.  For AOI 12 it is anticipated that the beginning TRL range would be 6 to 7 and the end TRL range would be 8 to 9.

 

Question 27: On page 47 of the FOA it states “If a foreign entity applies for funding as a prime recipient, it must designate in the Full Application a subsidiary or affiliate that qualifies as a domestic entity to be the prime recipient. The Full Application must state the nature of the corporate relationship between the foreign entity and domestic subsidiary or affiliate.” In the case of a domestically incorporated subsidiary with a physical place of business in the US but which is wholly owned by a foreign entity (this is a very common situation), would this subsidiary be considered a foreign or domestic entity? The quoted sentence implies that it would be considered a domestic entity but the definition of domestic entity on p. 46 implies that it would be considered a foreign entity because of the foreign ownership.
Answer 27:

A domestic entity is any prime recipient or subrecipient receiving funding under this FOA that is incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a State or territory of the United States, has a physical place of business in the United States, and has majority domestic ownership or control (for publicly traded companies, this would include stockholders). Any prime or subrecipient that does not meet all of these criteria is a foreign entity in terms of the FOA and must submit a waiver in accordance with the directions provided in Appendix C of the FOA.

 

Question 28: Is DE-FOA-0002678 an FOA that is jointly about both the Battery Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program AND the Battery Materials Processing Grant Program, or only one of the two? Given the FOA’s title is a combination of both program names, we wanted to be sure.
Answer 28:

Please read the Areas of Interest in Section I.B. to see what technology areas are covered.

 

Question 29: We are going to apply for this FOA in AOI12. Regarding LOI, when we will hear back about the decision whether ‘Encouraged’ or ‘Discouraged’ after we submit the LOI on 5/27/22?
Answer 29:

DOE will not send out any reply to the LOIs.  (Replies of ‘Encouraged’ or ‘Discouraged’ are used with Concept Papers).

 

Question 30: We are a Canadian company and are in the process of setting up a US Company to apply for this FOA as a prime applicant, with an operating American mining company as the sub-partner. If we cannot get this done before the LOI due date, can we apply and, in our application, note that we are in the process of creating a US Corporation, and if awarded the funding, we will have this in place? Would you recommend the above, or applying as a foreign entity and submitting a waiver? In either option, we are fully committed to working in the USA, employing Americans to help engineer and manufacture our technology, and supporting local communities.
Answer 30:

The DOE does not provide guidance or direction regarding the creation or the organization of applicant companies. Please refer to Section IV.D.xiv of the FOA regarding Foreign Entity Participation requirements.  Please also review Amendment 000001 regarding LOIs.

Question 31: Regarding DE-FOA-0002678 (BIL Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing), we are developing an unconventional source for LCE and refining / converting it to lithium metal for anodes. Further, we are targeting to develop this at commercial scale. The most appropriate AOI we see is AOI 4, but that’s for demonstration projects. Can you provide any guidance how to approach this? Perhaps submit a proposal for AOI 4, and only use grant funds to develop to the point of demonstration? Or is there a different AOI we should consider using?
Answer 31:

DOE does not provide guidance or direction regarding which AOI to apply to and how best to position an application. Also, please refer to the amended FOA.  (Amendment 000001)  

 

Question 32: To meet national competitiveness–for grid storage, would a non-lithium anode battery, specifically, a zinc anode battery technology be considered under AOI 12?
Answer 32:

A battery chemistry is not specified in AOI 12.

 

Question 33: It appears that there are three topic areas that could apply for battery materials processing. Will DOE accept the same proposal under the three topic areas or is there a limitation to only one proposal per applicant for the entire FOA?
Answer 33:

Please refer to section III.F of the FOA regarding the limitation on number of full applications eligible for review.

Question 34: If we are in the process of establishing a 50/50 joint venture operation, but the joint venture will not be legally formed prior to the filing date, can one of the parent companies file the application under an existing registration/UEI and switch over to the joint venture once formed during the awards negotiations phase?
Answer 34:

The DOE does not provide guidance or direction regarding the creation or the organization of applicant companies. In accordance with section III.G of the FOA, the DOE will not make eligibility determinations prior to submission of the application. 

 

Question 35: How can we register to be on the team partner list?
Answer 35:

Please see Section I.A.iv. (p16) of the FOA: Any organization that would like to be included on this list should submit the following information: Organization Name, Contact Name, Contact Address, Contact Email, Contact Phone, Organization Type, Area of Technical Expertise, Brief Description of Capabilities, and Area of Interest. Interested parties should email the information to DE-FOA-0002678@netl.doe.gov with the subject line “Teaming Partner Information.” Please read the disclaimer on p 16 of the FOA.

 

Question 36: Is it possible to submit a project that overlaps grant categories? For example, a project scoped to address both the supply chain elements covered under Section 40207(b) and one or more of the supply chain elements covered by Section 40207(c)?
Answer 36:

Each Application submitted must adhere to a specific AOI’s scope and requirements.    

 

Question 37: Can demonstration project proposals' requirement of $50M threshold be amended for less?
Answer 37:

The minimum award values were prescribed by BIL and the FOA must comply. Accordingly, we must adhere to the minimum award value prescribed by the law.

Question 38: Can topic area 12 start the project at pilot and scale to demonstration during the project period?
Answer 38:

The Projects were prescribed by the BIL and the FOA must comply.  Accordingly, projects must be at the demonstration stage.

Question 39: As the published definitions on the web (e.g. at technology readiness assessment report (energy.gov)) are from 2008. Can you confirm that this guidance regarding the stage of development has not been updated? If it has been updated, please post the link everyone should be using
Answer 39:

Appendix E of the FOA provides definitions of the TRLs to be used with this FOA.

Question 40: How will the following items be ranked, scored and weighted (first, in terms of priority, and secondly in terms of % of points toward award): Energy efficiency measures in the proposed cathode manufacturing process Energy demand requirements of cathode manufacturing process (even if by renewable energy) GHG reduction in construction/operation of commercial cathode manufacturing factory Water reduction Ability to produce cathodes for different compositions such as NMC, NCA and/or LFP Participation by underrepresented partners and suppliers and labor unions
Answer 40:

Subcriteria will be evaluated according to the Technical Review Criteria for the prescribed AOIs as described in Section V.A.& V.B. of the FOA.

Question 41: As mining operations are out of scope for this project, is it possible to have an offtake and LOS from a mining company as a teaming partner? Or would it be preferred they are not included?
Answer 41:

Per FOA Section I.A.C. (Applications Specifically Not of Interest), applications that include mining operations (mining and extraction) or mining equipment, excavation, labor, siting, etc. within the project scope.  It would be acceptable if a project has an offtake agreement with a mining company and the mining company is not being funded by the project.

Question 42: To whom it may concern, we are a foreign (European) company aiming to submit an LoI for the DE-FOA-0002678. We are presently setting up a US subsidiary but expect that there will not be enough time to receive a UEI before the May 27 deadline for Letters of Intent. Our question is if our LoI and application would still be eligible, i.e. with a pending application for UEI?
Answer 42:

The DOE does not provide guidance or direction regarding the creation or the organization of applicant companies. Please refer to Section IV.D.xiv of the FOA regarding Foreign Entity Participation requirements.  Also, please refer to the amended FOA (Amendment 000001) for updated information on the Letter of Intent.

Question 43: Does Buy America or Buy American apply to the battery or battery material?
Answer 43:

From Section IV. J. vi. - To the greatest extent practicable, all equipment and products purchased with funds made available under this FOA should be American-made. This requirement does not apply to used or leased equipment.  From The Buy America Executive Order: A Buy America preference only applies to articles, materials, and supplies that are consumed in, incorporated into, or affixed to an infrastructure project. As such, it does not apply to tools, equipment, and supplies, such as temporary scaffolding, brought to the construction site and removed at or before the completion of the infrastructure project. Nor does a Buy America

preference apply to equipment and furnishings, such as movable chairs, desks, and portable computer equipment, that are used at or within the finished infrastructure project, but are not an integral part of or permanently affixed to the structure.

Question 44: We respectfully request that both LOI and Full Application due dates be postponed by 3-4 weeks.
Answer 44:

DOE currently has no plans to change the due dates.  If this changes in the future, it will be communicated via an amendment to the FOA.

Question 45: I had a quick question about the domestic entity qualification. The definition of a domestic entity is one that has ""majority domestic ownership or control"". How should this language be interpreted? Is domestic ownership qualified by financial ownership or leadership structure? Additionally, if a domestic organization that was incorporated in the US was purchased by a foreign entity, how should the company manage its designation post acquisition? Does that qualify as a domestic entity or a foreign entity?
Answer 45:

A domestic entity is any prime recipient or subrecipient receiving funding under this FOA that is incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a State or territory of the United States, has a physical place of business in the United States, and has majority domestic ownership or control (for publicly traded companies, this would include stockholders). Any prime or subrecipient that does not meet all of these criteria is a foreign entity in terms of the FOA and must submit a waiver in accordance with the directions provided in Appendix C of the FOA.

Question 46: Is there a specific TRL level necessary to apply for this funding opportunity? If so, what level is it?
Answer 46:

Please refer to the FOA.  If a specific TRL is required, it will be noted.

Question 47: If applicants choose not to submit an LOI for this funding opportunity, will the Apply button for the Full Application become available in the EERE-Exchange portal after the LOI due date?
Answer 47:

Yes. From the Applicant Manual in Exchange: "Please note that submission of EERE Letters of Intent are not required to continue on in the FOA process, but you are encouraged to submit before the posted deadline if you intend to complete a Concept Paper and/or Full Application. Once the Letter of Intent is complete, you will be immediately directed to the next stage of the FOA process."  The letter of Intent (LOI) must include project participants that contribute to the tasks identified in the project statement of project objectives and are also included in the project budget.

Question 48: "My apologies I forgot to ask about the following instruction on page 57 of the funding opportunity announcement. ""Whether the application has been previously submitted to DOE."" In the EERE-Exchange portal, there is a ""Submission Status"" section that is pre-populated with ""New."" For our clarification, since the LOI is pre-populated with ""New,"" will this complete the above-listed LOI instruction (page 57) and also meet the ""New Applications Only"" requirement listed on page 46?"
Answer 48:

Yes.  Indicating that the submission status is new when submitting an LOI meets the requirement as it would be followed up by submitting a new application.

Question 49: Where is the Technical Volume Template for the "Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing” (DE-FOA-0002678) program? I’ve been hunting for a link to it in the FOA, and the Template is also, strangely, not listed under "Required Application Documents.”
Answer 49:

There is no Template for the Technical Volume.  The requirements are listed within the FOA - Section IV.D. ii.

Question 50: Is this FOA only for conventional lithium ion battery? I wonder if commercial scale sulfur cathode production for Li/Sulfur battery fits into this FOA, such as AOI #7.
Answer 50:

DOE will not send out any reply to the LOIs.  (Replies of ‘Encouraged’ or ‘Discouraged’ are used with Concept Papers).

 

Question 51: Is this FOA only for conventional lithium ion battery? I wonder if commercial scale sulfur cathode production for Li/Sulfur battery fits into this FOA, such as AOI #7.
Answer 51:

Please refer to the Amended FOA (000001).

 

Question 52: For materials production, we are unsure about a quantitative definition of "Retooling, Retrofitting, and Expansion (RRE)" relative to "New Facility". For example, would a 20% cost of an otherwise "New Facility" deferred by retrofitting an existing facility be considered a valid RRE for the purposes of this FOA? Or should it be much more than 20% to qualify?
Answer 52:

A new facility would be defined as a facility that was not there before.  Retooling, retrofitting, expanding would ocurr to a facility that is currently existing.

Question 53: Does the FOA generally contemplate funding for non lithium ion processes such as lithium sulfur based cells/batteries/components? Most of the AOIs appear to be focused on components of lithium ion cells/batteries only. These include AOIs 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8. Is that correct? That said, we believe our lithium metal anodes and sulfurized carbon cathodes – used for our lithium sulfur cells/batteries, could also be dropped into lithium ion cells/batteries to make them more effective. Would these production processes which could help improve the performance of lithium ion cells/batteries be potentially qualified for funding under these AOIs? AOI 10: Commercial-scale Domestic Battery Component Manufacturing Open Topic – this AOI appears to focus on lithium-based battery components broadly (not just lithium ion). Is that correct? Would this AOI apply to lithium sulfur cell/battery components? AOI 12: Domestic Battery Cell and Component Manufacturing Demonstration Topic – this AOI appears to contemplate immediate next generation or new cell and component manufacturing, such as lithium sulfur cells/batteries and components. Is that correct?
Answer 53:

Please refer to the amended FOA further details regarding cell chemistry.  (Amendment 000001)

 

Question 54: I am writing with questions regarding DE-FOA-0002678. We are working with a client that does not have an EERE, SAM.gov, or other required registration, so we are working through some of the preliminary registration requirements. First, our client is seeking to apply on behalf of two related entities that wish to submit separate LOIs and that would be the ultimate recipients of the funds if granted. Can our client submit EERE, SAM.gov, and other registration on behalf of itself and submit LOIs for the related entities, or must each of the two related entities file their own required registrations? Second, can the LOI be signed by/include employees that are not located in the United States
Answer 54:

The questions seem to be centered on two different things:  one is registering in the various required systems and one is being the official applying entity.  DOE takes no position on one entity assisting another with system registrations.  Per the Exchange Manual: "At any point in the submission process, you may share your submission with other Exchange users using the Share Submission feature. Sharing a submission with another user will give that user access to edit, view submission decisions, and view reviewer comments for all stages of a FOA."  However, if Company A is to hold the role of prime recipient, then Company A must be registered in Exchange with its own UEI and submit the LOI/Full Application.   This cannot be done by one entity/UEI and later switched to another.  Per Section III.F. of the FOA:  “An entity may submit more than one Full Application to this FOA, provided that each application describes a unique, scientifically distinct project. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an eligible Letter of Intent (LOI) for each application the Applicant is intending to submit.”  Regarding signing the LOI, a form in Exchange is filled out. Please refer to the amended FOA further details.  (Amendment 000001)

 

Question 55: Is there a specific template for the letter of intent, or is it free style?
Answer 55:

A form in Exchange is filled out. Please refer to the amended FOA further details. (Amendment 000001)
Question 56: ) In page 56 of the DOE funding announcement (as attached), it states that the Letter of Intent should include the Project team, including: - The Principal Investigator - Team Members - Senior/Key Personnel As this is a manufacturing investment and not a R&D project, who should we list as Principal Investigator? Our CEO Vincent? Who would be the Team members? Our senior management like Chief Strategy Officer? Who would be the senior/key personnel? Our VP of Manufacturing?
Answer 56:

Please refer to the amended FOA further details and clarifications.  (Amendment 000001)

Question 57: We understand funds cannot buy new or finance existing equipment (we assume third party), buy new or finance existing land, or buy new existing buildings, however we wish to gain further clarity on what is allowable. From the following list, what would NOT be allowable use of grant funds: • Third party purchased equipment • Pilot (bench) equipment we design, manufacture, operate which may include large portions of our core lithium-ion battery recycling system • Demonstration scale equipment we design, manufacture, operate which may include large portions of our core lithium-first extraction system • Innovation, design, engineering for scalable lithium-first extraction systems above • Designing and construction of buildings that store batteries and where our system for recycling and processing is located (Design, engineer and build fire-safe outdoor battery storage and transfer containers which includes rehabilitating fire-safe brownfield lands for additional storage and/ or crushing operations in more than 1 location. • Design, engineer and build fireproof transport containers • Rehabilitating owned buildings or industrial facilities for this new purpose under our project - as a repurposing of those assets. • Labor and related job and economic development, outreach, recruitment, retention, and training costs, inclusive of all diversity, underserved community, and other outreach activity requirements under the grant program. • All ongoing business operating expenses for our battery storage, recycling, and feedstock and customer and commodity sales and distribution operations (any aspect of that system which could include crushing and separating and potentially storage at several locations in the business operations within one state currently). • Permitting and entitlement of operations • Insurance and safety • Lab costs: labor, testing and validation, lab fees and equipment costs when part of operations • Feedstock Purchases • Development and ongoing costs associated with both upstream and downstream supply chain for Marketing, market consultants, carbon lifecycle assessment and monitoring other technical and scientific consultants. • Engineering of system and ongoing operation al engineering as required • O&M of all system and part operations • Energy costs of our operations • Third Party Scientific Feasibility of Technology • Transportation of feedstock in our operational supply chain and that equipment necessary to transport and store if that is an aspect of our operating model.
Answer 57:

DOE will not provide direction or guidance on cost share outside of an application.  Appendix C provides some general guidance, also please see Section I.C.  of the FOA "Applications that propose cost share contributions in the form of donation of land, existing buildings, or existing equipment."

Question 58: We understand the limitation on subordination of grant assets (funds committed) is that other funds or parties CAN NOT legally encumber those funds. Please confirm and clarify the following: • What form of written assurances are required at the stage of application submittal for debt financing or third-party cash equity toward cost-sharing?
Answer 58:

Please review Section III.B of the FOA for requirements regarding cost share.  While DOE generally refrains from making determinations at this stage, note that “cost share contributions must be specified in the project budget, verifiable from the prime recipient’s records, and necessary and reasonable” for the project.

Question 59: Can cash invested prior to the grant submission by a grant-identified cost sharing source of private equity for future project costs be counted toward the cost sharing?
Answer 59:

Please review Section III.B of the FOA for requirements regarding cost share.  While DOE generally refrains from making determinations at this stage, note that “cost share contributions must be specified in the project budget, verifiable from the prime recipient’s records, and necessary and reasonable” for the project.

Question 60: Can recipients add new physical technology or strategic (feedstock or tech) partners to the grant project after award is negotiated?
Answer 60:

New partners may be added to the project after the award is negotiated if the new partner would have been eligible under the FOA when the application was originally submitted and with the Approval of the Department of Energy.  

Question 61: The LIB market is dynamic and fluid: can recipients add new innovations to grant-awarded solutions currently after the grant has been awarded?
Answer 61:

Statements of Project Objectives (SOPOs) should be written broadly enough to allow for some flexibility and innovative approaches through the life of the project.  Once the project is underway, changes can be discussed with DOE and the SOPO could potentially be amended with DOE approval.

Question 62: What are the grant amendment restrictions, processes, and penalties (if any) to this program after an award?
Answer 62:
Each Grant will be subject to Terms and Conditions that must be agreed to prior to the start of the project. These will be addressed during award negotiations. See the following link for a sample of the Special terms and Conditions for Use in most Grants and Cooperative Agreements: https://www.energy.gov/management/financial-assistance-forms-and-information-applicants-and-recipients

Question 63: Can the project transfer ownership or add new ownership during the term of the grant? If so, what are the terms and requirements of such change?
Answer 63:

For the purposes of this question, DOE is assuming "ownership" refers to the prime recipient of the grant.  Ownership of the project cannot transferred without the consent and approval of the DOE.

Question 64: Can the entity awarded funds become a public company during the term of the grant? If so, are there terms or limitations?
Answer 64:

There are no restrictions on this.   

Question 65: What explicit allowable costs and activities as defined as research and development versus commercial operation?
Answer 65: Allowable costs are defined in DOE Financial Assistance Rules 2 CFR Part 200 as amended by 2 CFR Part 910.
Question 66: What are the specific geographical and business ownership exclusions to importing feedstock (batteries): a. -if a recycling facility is one state and we transport/buy feedstock from another state b. -if a transport/buy from outside the US including Canada or Mexico
Answer 66:
According to Section I.B. p 18, priority consideration will be given to eligible entities that will not use battery material supplied by or originating from a foreign entity of concern as defined in 42 U.S.C. 18741 (a)(5). Commitments will be included in the grant terms if selected for award. The use of battery material supplied by or originating from a foreign entity of concern will not preclude an application from consideration; however, applicants are encouraged to speak to how the project team will minimize the use of battery material supplied by or originating from a foreign entity of concern.

Question 67: What are the specific restrictions regarding the recaptured critical materials derived from a process for selling those materials to downstream customers: lithium, black mass, other downstream materials that are recaptured, refine, and produce off a system? Specifically: a. -Can recovered material sold by the recipient be sold as a commodity to US-based company who may also sell materials or new products they make from the critical materials they buy the recipient in the US and overseas broadly to multiple international marketplaces? Are there any countries or specific structures of multi-national ownership that would not be allowed? b. -Please confirm recipients cannot sell recovered commercial materials directly outside the US, including Canada and Mexico.
Answer 67: According to Section I.B. p 18, priority consideration will be given to eligible entities that will not use battery material supplied by or originating from a foreign entity of concern as defined in 42 U.S.C. 18741 (a)(5). Commitments will be included in the grant terms if selected for award. The use of battery material supplied by or originating from a foreign entity of concern will not preclude an application from consideration; however, applicants are encouraged to speak to how the project team will minimize the use of battery material supplied by or originating from a foreign entity of concern. Also, per the FOA Section I.C., Applications that propose exporting recovered or critical materials to a foreign entity of concern as defined in 42 U.S.C. 18741 (a)(5) are applications that are specifically NOT of interest and will be deemed to be nonresponsive and will not be reviewed.
Question 68: Consistent with Executive Order 14008, this FOA is designed to ensure that 40% of the benefits of the overall investments provided through the FOA will be delivered to DACs in accordance with the Justice40 Initiative.” How is this measured, and what is the timeframe a recipient has for achieving this/complying with FOA regulations?
Answer 68:

Please see Sections IV. D. xvii. & V.A & B.

Question 69: Regarding “partnerships” with Tribal Nations and collaboration with universities and research institutes (lower costs, innovation). What are the options to achieve these expectations/goals? Research contracts? Employment opportunities? Placing facilities in Tribal lands? (Inviting them to be actual partners?)
Answer 69: DOE will not provide guidance or direction on how best to create a teaming arrangement.
Question 70: What form of commitment must be provided for feedstock supplier commitments? And for offtake? Solid take or pay arrangements? Soft contracts? A simple indication of intent in letterhead by a reputable party?
Answer 70:

There is no prescribed format regarding Letters of Commitment.

Question 71: Participation by underrepresented partners and suppliers and labor unions is highly encouraged: What is truly considered “participation”? Board presence, shareholding at a certain level, employment in key positions, simple contractual arrangements?
Answer 71:

It is up to the applicant to best define how "participation" is quantified in their proposed project.

Question 72: I have a question regarding the eligibility of synthetic graphite production. Is synthetic graphite production eligible for a grant? Would it fall under 40207(b)? 4207(b)(3)(a) #2 specifically says the objective is to construct facilities that uses synthetic graphite. So I’m wondering if the production of synthetic graphite itself is eligible? This makes it sound like only the downstream processing of the synthetic graphite is eligible?
Answer 72:

Synthetic graphite production is included.

 

Question 73: Page 19 of the FOA, under the header of Requirements: “Applications must include offtake agreements or letters of commitment from one or more battery-grade cathode precursor manufacturers to buy products produced at the proposed manufacturing facility. Both domestic and foreign battery partners may be included. The type, amount, and duration of the commitment shall be included.” Our view: No battery producer will sign such an agreement before they can test our material in their batteries. We respectfully request the removal of this requirement. Or is there another way we can demonstrate that we will sell our product? Perhaps provide marketing data for demand?
Answer 73:

DOE will not provide direction or guidance on how best to satisfy the requirements listed in the AOI.

Question 74: Page 20 of the FOA under the header of Teaming Arrangement: “Applicants must include participation by at least one downstream customer for feedstock qualification. In the event applicants are producing intermediate products that will need additional processing to reach battery-grade materials specifications or products, teaming with a downstream processing partner is required.” Our view: We are committed to remaining independent and have no plans to team up with anyone. There’s such a high demand for our product that there’s no need to team up with another firm. We respectfully request the removal of this requirement.
Answer 74:

DOE will not provide direction or guidance on how best to satisfy the requirements listed in the AOI.  There is no need to form an exclusive teaming arrangement with a specific customer, but the applicant must show their product will meet customer requirements.

Question 76: Does AOI 4 intend to mean a recycling solution, which can be both lithium and black mass producing and proving this from multiple battery sources and types. Does this mean the definition of unconventional is not strictly EV and non/typical sourcing (not just one car maker): i. “4: Demonstrations of Domestic Separation and Production of Battery-grade Materials from Unconventional Domestic Sources”
Answer 76:

AOI 4 is directed to the domestic feedstock sources that will be used and is not meant to include recycling.

Question 76: Does AOI 4 intend to mean a recycling solution, which can be both lithium and black mass producing and proving this from multiple battery sources and types. Does this mean the definition of unconventional is not strictly EV and non/typical sourcing (not just one car maker): i. “4: Demonstrations of Domestic Separation and Production of Battery-grade Materials from Unconventional Domestic Sources”
Answer 76:

AOI 4 is directed to the domestic feedstock sources that will be used and is not meant to include recycling.

Question 77: Does AOI 5 mean the equivalent to four, but without a focus of unconventional battery source (possibly single type). Please distinguish the difference between the two AOIs. i. “5: Demonstrations of Innovative Separation Processing of Battery Materials Open Topic Battery Component Manufacturing and Recycling Grants pursuant to Section 40207(c)(3)(A)”
Answer 77:

AOI 4 is directed to the domestic feedstock sources that will be used and AOI 5 is directed to innovative separation processes.

Question 78: In following the process in preparation of a full application submittal, we are experience some continued delays in securing our UEI number from the SAM.gov website/portal. It is my understanding that the SAM.gov website/portal is going thru some updates and as a result are experiencing some challenges with increased site activity. While this portal issue is being addressed and ultimately gets resolved would it be acceptable to submit a Letter of Intent without the UEI and then update the UEI in our full application once it becomes available?
Answer 78:

EERE Exchange requires a UEI to be included to submit an LOI.  Please see Amendment 000001 for further updated details on the LOI.   A UEI must be secured to submit a Full Application.   However, the form includes a N/A field to use if the UEI number is not available.

 

Question 79: In Appendix E, Definition of TRL.. What is meant by relevant environment? In relation to TRL 5&6?
Answer 79:

Please note that none of the AOIs require an applicant to include TRLs for their proposed projects.  DOE provides these definitions as a convenience to applicants to develop their applications.

Question 80: 1. Section III.A.iv indicates that a foreign entity must designate in its Full Application a subsidiary or affiliate that qualifies as a domestic entity (described in the prior subsection iii). Must that domestic entity subsidiary or affiliate be legally established at the time the application is submitted or is it acceptable to have the domestic entity in the process of formation/establishment? 2. Similarly, must the domestic entity’s physical place of business in the United States be fully realized at the time the application is submitted? 3. Section III.A.iii says an entity must be domestically owned or controlled. Is “control” defined by DOE? Will an applicant qualify if it foreign majority owned but domestically controlled?
Answer 80:

A domestic entity is any prime recipient or subrecipient receiving funding under this FOA that is incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a State or territory of the United States, has a physical place of business in the United States, and has majority domestic ownership or control (for publicly traded companies, this would include stockholders). Any prime or subrecipient that does not meet all of these criteria is a foreign entity in terms of the FOA and must submit a waiver in accordance with the directions provided in Appendix C of the FOA.  The full application team must be legally established when the full application is submitted.

Question 81: Is there a possibility that we have a DOE contact window for us to discuss about our research collaborations? We will provide more corporate profile and R&D activities in the next 1-2 days.
Answer 81:

Due to the competitive nature of the announcement and in order to provide fairness to all potential applicants, DOE is unable to advise or provide input to any potential applicants during the FOA process.  

Question 82: "We will be applying for this opportunity (DE-FOA-0002678: BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE LAW (BIL) ) and I would like to know which exact documents we are required to submit with the letter of intent, or if the following criteria is all that needs to be submitted by the Letter of intent Deadline: 5/27/2022 5:00pm ET? • Project Title; • Lead Organization; • Organization Type (Business < 500 Employees; Business > 1000 Employees; Business 500-1000 Employees; FFRDC; Government- Owned, Government Operated; Non-Profit; University); • Whether the application has been previously submitted to DOE; • % of effort contributed by the Lead Organization; • The Project Team, including: o The Principal Investigator (PI) for the prime recipient; o Team Members (i.e., subrecipients); and o Senior/Key Personnel (i.e., individuals who contribute in a substantive, measurable way to the execution of the proposed project); • Area of Interest to which they are applying; and • Abstract – The abstract provided should be not more than 200 words in length, and should provide a truncated explanation of the proposed project."
Answer 82:

The Letter of Intent consists of an online  form that is completed and submitted in EERE Exchange.  No documents are uploaded.

Question 83: As a preliminary matter, congratulations to the MESC/EERE teams for issuing a very detailed and clear FOA. It is commendable that this document is so comprehensive given the short timeframe in which it was developed and the limited guidance from Congress on the program’s parameters. I have a couple of questions, if it is possible to obtain some further clarification: 1. I would like to clarify the interaction between Section III.A.iii (defining a “domestic entity” as one that is (a) incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a particular State or territory of the United States, (b) with majority domestic ownership or control, and (c) have a physical place of business in the United States) and Section Section III.A.iv, stating, “If a foreign entity applies for funding as a prime recipient, it must designate in the Full Application a subsidiary or affiliate that qualifies as a domestic entity to be the prime recipient.” (emphasis added). Can you please confirm that: a. Absent a waiver, the foreign entity’s designated subsidiary under Section III.A.iv must meet all of the domestic entity criteria under Section III.A.iii, in particular the requirement to have a majority domestic ownership or control? b. As a general matter (understanding that MESC/EERE will not make actual eligibility decisions until a full application is received) a U.S. entity that is wholly-owned by a foreign entity must submit a waiver request under Section III.A.iv / Appendix C? 2. Noting that the Uniform Guidance is silent on grant assignments or novations, could you please confirm that if a grant recipient wishes to assign the grant agreement to an affiliate, such assignment will require MESC/EERE consent and would be approved solely at MESC/EERE’s discretion based on the facts presented by the recipient?
Answer 83:

1.a.  Yes.  The Foreign Entity subsidiary must meet the Domestic Entity qualifications outlined in Section III.A.iii.  1.b. Yes.  2. The DOE will review the request for novation and provide a determination.  The determination is not at the sole discretion of any single DOE organization or individual.

Question 84: I have two questions regarding AOI 9: 1. Currently, the team members' (subrecipients') involvement is under discussion. During LOI submission, should we insert ""TBD"" for the team members section, or list their names and possibly change them during full proposal submission if needed? Are we allowed to add more team members or downstream customers during full proposal submission? 2. FOA requires that ""applications must include letter of commitment from one or more battery manufactures to buy products produced at the manufacturing facility"". We believe these battery manufacturers do not have to be team members under this project. Are we correct?
Answer 84:

1. For purposes of the LOI, TBD can be used to describe the team members. The team members will need to be defined for the full application.   2. The down stream battery customers do not need to be a team member under the project (subrecipient).  

 

Question 85: I have two questions regarding AOI 3: 1. FOA requires that "applications must include participation by at least one downstream customer". If the prime applicant can be their own downstream customer, is it allowed by DOE to not list other downstream customers? 2. If the answer is no for question #1, can the prime applicant have a downstream partner that is two steps away from the raw material to validate materials prepared by the prime and make batteries?
Answer 85:

A downstream customer is required to be identified in the application.  If the customer is within the company, the relationship must be described in the application as well as the downstream customer for the final product provided by the company. In this case, a customer for the final battery product manufactured by the company must also be identified.

Question 86: Can you provide any guidance on the anticipated TRL for technologies to be developed in AOI 10. For example, the anticipated TRL, or range of TRL at the beginning and end of the project. Thank you for your assistance.
Answer 86:

The application requires creation of a commercial-scale production facility for production of battery components.  Please refer to the AOI for specific requirements.  As such, the technology should not be under development other than design efforts required to achieve customer requirements.  A TRL of 8 or greater is therefore required.

Question 87: 1. Will the government provide feedback to Letter of Intent submitters between the LOI submission date of May 27th and the application due date of July 1st? 2. Will proposals to develop or manufacture materials for charging infrastructure and other battery support systems be considered in scope for the FOA? 3. Are materials required for solid-state lithium batteries in scope for the FOA?
Answer 87:

1. DOE will not be providing feedback to the LOIs.  2. Please read the AOIs to determine if your proposed project is within the scope of the FOA.  3. Please read the AOIs to determine if your proposed project is within the scope of the FOA.                        Due to the competitive nature of the announcement and in order to provide fairness to all potential applicants, DOE is unable to advise or provide input to any potential applicants during the FOA process.  

Question 88: I am hoping to clarify a few things regarding the FOA. 1. What do unincorporated consortium members that are not prime recipients need to provide for the purposes of the application, if anything? 2. Supposing our company is awarded the grant as the prime recipient in an unincorporated consortium, will funds be distributed solely to us, or each teaming partner in accordance with the proposed plan? 3. With respect to the language in 40207(c) distinguishing between demonstration projects and commercial-scale projects, is the guidance for that distinction present only in the merit criteria and AOI descriptions? Or is there a precise definition to be found elsewhere?
Answer 88:

1. Unincorporated consortia must pick a prime recipient.  2. Funds flow first to the Prime Recipient and then to the subrecipients.  Amounts are established during award negotiations. The Prime Recipient is responsible for establishing agreements with the subrecipients. 3. Please refer to the AOIs for requirements.

 

Question 89: The Defense Production Act considers business concerns in Canada as a "Domestic Source". For statements in the FOA like "Applicants the use the domestic upstream supply chain are highly encouraged", does the term "domestic" refer to only the USA or the USA and Canada?
Answer 89:

The purpose of the BIL is to enhance the domestic processing capacity of
minerals necessary for battery materials and advanced batteries (40207b) and to ensure that United States has a viable domestic manufacturing
and recycling capability to support and sustain a North American battery supply chain (40207b&c).  For purposes of this FOA - "Domestic" refers to the United States.

 

Question 90: AOI 1 and AOI 7 seem to force a separation of facilities manufacturing cathode precursor materials from cathode powder production. For facilities that co-locate/sequentially produce both precursor and cathode materials, can both be included in a single application under AOI 1 or AOI 7?
Answer 90:

Each Application submitted must adhere to a specific AOI’s scope and requirements.    

Question 91: Could you provide greater clarity on "majority control"?
Answer 91:

Majority control refers to a person or entity having more than 50% ownership/control.

Question 92: "In regards to Buildings being excluded from cost sharing, is this referring to the main building structure only? Or also infrastucture? and where is that line drawn exactly? For example is all HVAC considered part of the building? Office electrical? Machinery support systems built in to the building? Other environmental control systems and/or spaces such as dry rooms and labs? Basically what’s the determining criteria for what’s considered part of the building?"
Answer 92:

The existing Building is considered to be the building and all fixtures that are included within the building at the start of the project’s proposed period of performance.  See also  2 CFR 200.439

 

Question 93: The FOA reads: "In addition to the Federal government’s initiative to achieve greater participation from underserved communities and underrepresented groups, 40% of the overall benefits under this FOA should flow to DACs to support DOE’s commitment to the Justice40 Initiative" Do the funds flowing to DAC's require match funds as well? For example: If the respondent is awarded a $100 M grant form this FOA, $40M of this would flow to DAC's. Does this $40M need to be matched by $40M of a third party investment, which would be expended for DAC's?
Answer 93:

These requirements apply to the entire project funding.  Please refer to section IV.D.xvii of the FOA regarding the definition of benefits and the requirements for tracking the benefits.  Justice 40 anticipates that 40% of of the overall benefits arising from the project should flow to underserved communities and underrepresented groups.

 

Question 94: Does the special EPAct statute noted in the IP Provisions apply to this solicitation?
Answer 94:

Whether EPAct applies is dependent on the type of award  and the type of recipient.  Please refer to Section VI.B.x. of the FOA for a link to the various applicable IP Provisions.

Question 95: Pursuant to BIL Section 40207(c)(3)(A) there are several Areas of Interest (AOI) that are limited to lithium battery technology that are of strong interest to advanced lead battery technology which would greatly advance the clean energy technology as prescribed in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). I would like a clarification as to if technology other than lithium would be considered for the following AOIs: AOI 6: Commercial-Scale Domestic Battery Cell Manufacturing AOI 11: Commercial-scale Domestic Battery Recycling and End-of Life Infrastructure AOI 12: Domestic Battery Cell and Component Manufacturing Demonstration Advanced Battery Concepts would like to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) for each of these areas for DOE review if they will be considered. Please advise if such LOIs are acceptable.
Answer 95:

The FOA notes battery chemistry objectives for AOIs 6 and 11.  A battery chemistry is not specified in AOI 12.  Applicants may submit multiple LOIs as long as they describe separate and distinct projects.

Question 96: Are consortium members automatically considered subrecipients? Or are they only subrecipients if they receive a subaward?
Answer 96:

Please see 2 CFR § 200.1 for the definition of a subrecipient.  An unincorporated consortia must designate one member to serve as the prime; the remaining members would be subrecipients.

 

Question 97: I have a question about the fund distribution among the recipient and the subrecipients. Is there a limitation of the percentage of funding that can be allocated to subrecipients? In other words, Should the percentage of funding for the lead organization stay above a certain value?
Answer 97:

There are no restrictions on how the funding is distributed between the prime and the subrecipients.

Question 98: I am not or has ever been involved with any lobbying activities. Do I still need to fill in the "Disclosure Lobbying Activities" form? or does it suffice to make the mere statement on a company letterhead? (aside: if I do need to fill the form, please advise if the form item 10 already assumes that the applicant is "Lobbying Registrant" or I should fill in the field as "NA"?
Answer 98:

Per the FOA Section IV. D. xiii.: "Prime recipients and subrecipients are required to complete and submit SF-LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities” (https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-individual-family.html) to ensure that non-federal funds have not been paid and will not be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence any of the following in connection with the application:
• An officer or employee of any federal agency;
• A Member of Congress;
• An officer or employee of Congress; or
• An employee of a Member of Congress."

 

Question 99: My project encompasses ONLY theoretical modeling and software simulation. Do I need to file any forms for "Environmental Information Volume" and "Environmental Questionnaire "?
Answer 99:

 

Please ensure you read the AOI requirements closely to determine if your project meets the stated objectives.  Per the FOA Sections IV. D. xix. & xx. "You must complete the Environmental Information Volume." & "You must complete the Environmental Questionnaire."

 

Question 100: Are there official definitions for "commercial", "pilot demonstration" and "demonstration" contained in 0002678?
Answer 100:

See 2 CFR 910.130(e) for a definition of Demonstration. Please note  that "pilot" is one of the two categories of demonstration available. For the purposes of this FOA,  a Commercial scale facility would be at a TRL level of 8 or higher.  For Demonstration scale it is anticipated that the beginning of the project TRL range would be 6 to 7 and the project end TRL range would be 8 to 9.

 

Question 101: What state/local funds can be used as a cost-share contribution? Can the value of tax incentives be included? Can "enterprise zone" financial assistance be used? Can debt be used as cost-share? If so, is there a distinction between public vs. private debt allowed?
Answer 101:

Please review Section III.B of the FOA for requirements regarding cost share.  While DOE generally refrains from making determinations at this stage, note that “cost share contributions must be specified in the project budget, verifiable from the prime recipient’s records, and necessary and reasonable” for the project.  A tax credit does not meet this requirement.  However, state and local funding, not derived from federal sources can be used as cost share, generally, upon the approval of the Contracting Officer.

 

Question 102: For AOI #6, in the event that an Applicant is an automobile manufacturer utilizing a proposed project’s battery cells in electric vehicles that the same Applicant produces (i.e. the Applicant is its own downstream customer for battery cell offtake), and in the event that the market demand for these electric vehicles can be documented by the Applicant, does this satisfy the requirement to include participation by at least one downstream customer?
Answer 102:

A downstream customer is required to be identified in the application.  If the customer is within the company, the relationship must be described in the application as well as the downstream customer for the final product provided by the company. In this case, a customer for the final battery product manufactured by the company must also be identified.

Question 103: In order to accelerate the commercialization timeline, we may make an acquisition. What part, if any, can be included as part of our cost-share? – FOA-2678 AOI12
Answer 103:

Please review Section III.B of the FOA for requirements regarding cost share. The DOE does not generally provide a determination regarding cost share prior to review of the full application.

Question 104: The amendment of DE-FOE-0002678 in Areas of Interest 3,4,5, and 10 represents a willingness to partially open the solicitation to non lithium-ion battery technologies. There are currently companies building non Li-ion batteries ready to enter commercial scale battery cell and pack manufacturing. Would DOE consider widening AOI 6 to include other advanced battery technologies?
Answer 104:

DOE is not considering any broadening of AOI 6, please see AOI 10.

Question 105: AOI 10 description says “Applicants must include participation by at least one downstream customer.” What does “participation” specifically require? (e.g,. Is it expected that the downstream customer is a co-applicant, submitting a letter indicating offtake commitments, etc.)
Answer 105:

The downstream customer does not need to be a co-applicant. Participation means that the downstream customer will be purchasing the applicant’s product.

Question 106: Does an applicant need to commit to using Project Labor Agreements at the application stage, or must it have them in place at the time of application?
Answer 106:

Project labor agreements are not required at the application stage, but may be included as part of the Quality Jobs and Community Benefits (Equity Plan).  Please refer to FOA Sections IV.D.xvii, V.A., & V.B. for more information.

Question 107: Could you clarify what the evaluation criteria “soundness of proposed cost share” means? In other words, what makes cost share “sound”?
Answer 107:

The criteria is a measure of the validity and appropriateness of the cost share for the proposed project.

Question 108: What level of confidentiality protections do application submissions have? The Technical Volume asks applicants to provide “any statements regarding confidentiality,” but it is unclear what level of confidentiality the entire application package is given.
Answer 108:

See FOA section VIII.D regarding treatment of application information.

Question 109: What is the process to petition for allowability of pre-award costs? What is the date of the earliest potential allowability of costs, if pre-award costs are approved? The FOA says “Pre-award costs cannot be incurred prior to the Selection Official signing the Selection Statement and Analysis” – could you confirm that this would be October 2022, as the cover page of the FOA indicates?"
Answer 109: Please refer to FOA Section IV.J.ii. Please refer to the FOA cover page for the expected date for EERE notifications.
Question 110: Would costs to operate a production facility be considered “in scope” for a grant? What about costs for final validation and trial runs before a facility is deemed fully operational?
Answer 110:

Costs to validate to the DOE that the facility is operational is within the scope of the grant.

Question 112: If the substance of the application deemed it more appropriate, would DOE consider awarding a grant under a different AOI than was originally applied to?
Answer 112:

All applications will be reviewed in accordance with the technical review criteria for the area of interest under which the application was submitted.

Question 113: For the term “domestic entity” referenced in the FOA, how is “majority domestic ownership and control” defined? While the FOA contemplates the possibility that a foreign entity can designate a subsidiary or affiliate that qualifies as a domestic entity as the prime recipient for the grant, the definition of “domestic entity” requires “majority domestic ownership and control.” a. Does a direct U.S. subsidiary of a foreign corporation count as a “domestic entity” for purposes of being designated the prime recipient (provided it is organized in and has a physical place of business in the U.S.)? b. What if the immediate owners of a U.S. applicant/prime recipient are U.S.-based subsidiaries of foreign corporations? Will DOE look to the ultimate parents or the immediate parents to determine whether there is “majority domestic ownership or control?”
Answer 113:

Domestic entities must be incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a particular State or territory of the United States with majority (≥51%) domestic ownership or control and have a physical place of business in the United States.  If any of these criteria are not achieved, the entity is considered a foreign entity for the purposes of this FOA.  If a the U.S. Subsidiary is 100% foreign owned, it is considered a foreign entity. The waiver must address all foreign ownership of the company (immediate and ultimate parents) and comply with the requirements set for in Appendix C.

 

Question 114: May a grant that is provided to a domestic entity prime recipient later be transferred to a different, affiliated domestic entity so long as there are no material changes to the project or personnel associated with it (for instance, a transfer to a domestic entity in the process of being formed but not yet complete by the time of the application deadline)? If so, what is the mechanism for this transfer or assignment?
Answer 114:

The DOE will review the request and provide a determination.   The mechanism is likely a novation and it is not guaranteed.

Question 115: "Section C. Applications Specifically Not of Interest"" notes that ""mining and extraction"" are out of scope for this FOA. Our technology is separation of lithium from brines, which are naturally occurring salt water deposits that can be ambient or hot temperature. Extraction of brine from the ground is typically less than 5% of project capital and operating costs. 95% or more of the project cost is for the separation and refining of lithium, which is our focus. After the brine is pumped from the ground, the separation process involves the following: initial industrial process to separate the lithium from the brine, further downstream processing of separated lithium to into lithium carbonate or hydroxide salt (lithium-based battery cathode precursor material), reinjecting delithiated brine back into the aquifer. Are the separation and refining of battery-grade lithium-ion based battery materials from brine resources outlined above covered by the FOA? Secondly, are these activities disqualified if associated with brine pumping?
Answer 115:

The refinement of extracted material , including   brine is considered to be within scope.  The extraction of the material from natural deposits is not within the scope of the potential project.  

Question 116: “Demonstration” and “Commercial” are key terms in the FOA and neither are defined. What are the FOA definitions of "Demonstration" and "Commercial" projects? If no definition, is there a TRL or commercial value range associated with each level?
Answer 116:

Generally, a Commercial scale facility would be at a TRL level of 8 or higher.  For Demonstration scale it is anticipated that the beginning TRL range would be 6 to 7 and the end TRL range would be 8 to 9.

Question 117: If a project seeks to manufacture ion-exchange beads used for lithium separation from brine across multiple demonstration-level lithium extraction projects in various locations (not co-located with bead manufacturing), do both components (manufacturing plant and lithium extraction projects) qualify for AOI 5?
Answer 117:

DOE will not evaluate the proposed the technology outside of a Full Application.

Question 118: 1. Will foreign third-party cost share provider(s) be able to contribute a cash or in-kind cost-share contribution? 2. In the FOA, the Letter of commitment from third-party cost-share provider is required at the post selection process. That means, do we not need to submit the letter of commitment from third-party cost-share provider at the submission of the full application by 7/1? 3. If No 2 is correct, does it suffice that we write our letter of commitment that we will contribute all cost share requirement from us (X0%) and from a third-party cost share provider (X0%), then we submit a letter of commitment from the third-party cost-share provider at the post-selection process when we award?
Answer 118:
1. Refer to FOA section III.A. Also, an entity who provides cost share is considered a subrecipient.
2. Letters of Commitment must be submitted by the application due date. As part of the post-selection process, additional or clarifying information about the letters might be requested.
3. Please see section IV.D.iv. for the requirements.

Question 119: I reviewed the FAQs and the FOA; based on the FOA and FAQs 10 and 78, the EERE Exchange requires a UEI to be included in order to access the EERE Exchange and filling out the LOI form in Exchange. Will the agency consider a waiver of this requirement if the applicant can provide evidence of its application for a UEI and SAM registration so it can submit a LOI on or before the May 27, 2022 deadline? If a waiver is consider and approved, (i) will the agency publish the EERE LOI form contemplated to be filled out in Exchange; and (ii) accept an LOI via email?
Answer 119:

If a UEI is not available at the time the application is submitted in EERE Excahnge, the applicant may check the N/A box for that field in EERE Exchange and proceed with their submission.

Question 120: I reviewed the FAQs and the FOA; based on the FOA and FAQs 10 and 78, the EERE Exchange requires a UEI to be included in order to access the EERE Exchange and filling out the LOI form in Exchange. Will the agency consider a waiver of this requirement if the applicant can provide evidence of its application for a UEI and SAM registration so it can submit a LOI on or before the May 27, 2022 deadline? If a waiver is consider and approved, (i) will the agency publish the EERE LOI form contemplated to be filled out in Exchange; and (ii) accept an LOI via email?
Answer 120:

If a UEI is not available at the time the application is submitted in EERE Excahnge, the applicant may check the N/A box for that field in EERE Exchange and proceed with their submission.

Question 121: Given the timing, can the Team Member list be adjusted between the LOI and final application? Can any adjustments be made during the negotiation process if necessary?
Answer 121:

Adjustments can be made to the team member list between the LOI and application.  Regarding adjusting the Team Member list after selection, due to the fact that some of the evaluation criteria are based on the assembled team, DOE may stop negotiations, depending on the nature and rationale for the change.

Question 122: Teaming: In regard to Teaming Arrangements for AOI2, our client can fulfill all manufacturing within house. Recognizing the need for “participation” by at least one downstream customer, if they choose not to team, would this make them ineligible under the Full Application phase?
Answer 122:

A downstream customer is required to be identified in the application.  If the customer is within the company, the relationship must be described in the application as well as the downstream customer for the final product provided by the company. In this case, a customer for the final battery product manufactured by the company must also be identified.

Question 123: Letter of Commitment: Do you have a sample for the letter of commitment or a list of expectations for the letters of commitment?
Answer 123:

 Letters of Commitment must be submitted by the application due date.   Please see section IV.D.iv. for the content requirements.

Question 124: Our client has an existing/proven technology in overseas markets, but will build/manufacture new capabilities at their US-based site, would this fall into 1) demonstrated projects or 2) new Commercial-Scale projects?
Answer 124:

DOE will not evaluate any proposed technology outside of a Full Application.  Nor will DOE advise a potential applicant on which AOI is best for a proposed technology.

Question 125: This FOA on page 18 describes “projects to retool, retrofit, or expand 1 or more existing battery material processing facilities located in the United States and determined qualified by the Secretary”. However later in the FOA the Area of Interest descriptions state “the objective of this area of interest is to… expand, retool, or retrofit existing facilities to create U.S. battery-grade manufacturing capacity”. Do existing facilities need to already be “battery material processing facilities” or can they be other types of facilities? What process will the Secretary use to determine qualification?
Answer 125:

The existing facilities can be other types of facilities, as long as they are capable of being retooled, retrofitted, or expanded for battery material processing.  Please see Amendment 000002.

 

Question 126: Can one proposal address more than one AOI?
Answer 126:

Exchange will restrict each application to a single AOI. Please refer to Amended FOA 000002.

Question 127: In Page 41 under "C. Applications Specifically Not of Interest", it lists "Applications that propose purchase or donation of existing building(s) or equipment in the scope of the award (as part of the budget).". I guess that it does not mean the budget for equipment is restricted to zero. Could you help explain this part?
Answer 127:

Please refer to the amended FOA (Amendment 000002).

Question 128: I had a question about how to apply for multiple AOIs. I understand an individual LOI is strongly encouraged for each AOI. However, I was unsure if we would be able to apply for multiple AOIs in one application, or if each AOI required it's own application.
Answer 128:

Exchange will restrict each application to a single AOI. Please see Amendment 000002.

Question 129: AOI 3 lists out materials such as electrolyte salts and electrolytes; and indicates that AOI 3 applies to all battery-grade precursors not covered under AOI 1 (Cathode Battery Materials) & AOI 2 (Battery Grade Graphite). Please confirm that an integrated electrolyte plant which includes the manufacture of precursor salt production would be considered under AOI3.
Answer 129:

A facility  that processes and integrates multiple precursors is acceptable.  Please see Amendment 000002.

Question 130: 1) AOI 10 Company Eligibility: Please clarify if battery component manufacturers ONLY or are (entire) battery manufacturers eligible? 2) AOI 10 Project Minimum Total Value: $50 million project value (split $25M minimum company, $25M maximum DOE)? or $100M project value (split $50M minimum company, $50M maximum DOE)? 3) AOI 10 Required (maximum) Project Duration/Timeframe: Please clarify 1 year? 2 years? 5 years? (all three timeframes are referenced in documentation)
Answer 130:

1) In AOI 10, battery cell manufacturers would be eligible.  2) Please refer to Section II.  The minumum FEDERAL share amount for NEW commercial scale awards is $100,000,000.  The minimum FEDERAL share amount for retooling, retrofitting, expanding is $50,000,000.  3)  The applicant is to choose a time frame for the project duration (less than 5 years) and communicate it in the application.

Question 131: We connected on Fedconnect.net but could not find the Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0002678) on it.  How can we submit Letter of Intent and Full Proposal if this FOA is not yet listed on Fedconnect?
Answer 131:

The FOA is available at https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/Default.aspx#FoaIdc53b6390-dfb8-480a-9265-3ffdec6c97b3.  Instructions for registering and submitting a Letter of Intent are found in the FOA document.  Submittal is through the EERE EXCHANGE website and you must be registered in EXCHANGE before you can submit an LOI or a Full Application.

 

Question 132: We are considering applying for AOI 5. Our demonstration project would involve Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) from geothermal brines. Per FOA Section I.A.C. (Applications Specifically Not of Interest), would the geothermal well and equipment be considered "mining operations......or equipment....."
Answer 132:

The refinement of extracted material , including   brine is considered to be within scope.  The extraction of the material from natural deposits is not within the scope of the potential project.  

Question 133: 1. Does the application need to state the exact location to where we will build a factory, or may it list two or three options? a. The EIV referred to on page 75. Is that the same document https://www.netl.doe.gov/sites/default/files/2018-02/451_1-1-6.pdf 2. Do we need to have everything in place on all forms or may some issues be a CP entering into negotiations?
Answer 133:

1. The EIV and EQ require specific locations for the work to be accomplished, including the factory.  1a. The document referred to on FOA Section IV. D. xix. is the same at  https://www.netl.doe.gov/sites/default/files/2018-02/451_1-1-6.pdf     2.  The application must reflect what you will be fulfilling if the grant is awarded.  If there is a deviation from what is in the application, it will need to be reviewed by DOE and negotiations may cease depending on the change/deviation.

Question 134: We have a letter of intent (“LoI”) drafted for FOA 0002678. Are we required to ‘submit’ the application to achieve the LoI deadline of 27 May 2022? I ask as we are yet to finalize the Full Application Submission (due 1 July 2022).
Answer 134:

Please see the requirements for the LOI in Section IV. C. (being certain to look at the most recent amendment to the FOA.)  There is no letter that is uploaded, but the information is input into Exchange.  

Question 135: The subject FOA states that “The cost share must be at least 50% of the total allowable costs for demonstration and for commercial projects …”; notwithstanding this FOA requirement, 2 CFR 910.130 – Cost Sharing (EPACT), subparagraph (c) also states that “… unless the Secretary has determined it is necessary and appropriate to reduce the cost sharing requirements, …”. Will an application with less than 50% cost share be deemed responsive or non-responsive? Will social-economic factors of the applicant, such as small/small and disadvantaged business, women-owned and labor-surplus area businesses, be taken into consideration in any cost share reduction determination? Lastly, if cost share reduction is possible, when can an applicant submit a cost share reduction request (e.g., with the application, during negotiation)?
Answer 135:

DOE is not considering reducing the cost share at this time.

Question 136: "Will A&E, construction (general contractors), and trades be considered ""subawards"" for budget purposes? Does EERE expect full budgets from support contractors for AOI3? The majority of the costs under topic AOI3 are related to construction. Due to the nature of the project and timing, we cannot obtain full and detailed budgets for construction of building at this time.
Answer 136:

DOE will not make a determination absent a Full Application.  Please see the CFR for definitions of contractor vs subrecipient. (2 CFR § 200.22 Contract; 2 CFR § 200.23 Contractor; 2 CFR § 200.92 Subaward; 2 CFR § 200.93 Subrecipient; 2 CFR § 200.330 Subrecipient and Contractor Determinations)

Question 137: What is defined as ""participation"" for a Downstream customer? Is the expectation that the Downstream customers be treated as sub-awardees with a priced scope of work? Or may this be a more informal relationship supported with a letter of commitment? Participation of Downstream customers is mentioned under Teaming Arrangements in the AOI3 description however the definition of participation is not given.
Answer 137:

DOE will not provide direction or guidance on how best to satisfy the requirements listed in the AOI.  There is no need to form an exclusive teaming arrangement with a specific customer, but the applicant must show their product will meet customer requirements.  The down stream battery customers do not need to be a team member under the project (subrecipient).  

Question 138: Is the WBS to be submitted separately (as an MS Project or Excel file)? Or will a landscape formatted page with a WBS imported into MS Word be acceptable? The FOA identifies the requirement for a WBS, but does not provide a format or identify it as a separate submittal. The FOA implies a WBS is required, but embeds that requirement in a sub-element of the technical volume.
Answer 138:

Submitting the WBS as part of the Technical Volume is all that is required. A high level WBS is sufficient.

Question 139: An Earned Value Management Plan is a part of the evaluation criteria, but an EVMP is not listed as an element of the proposal ? Please clarify if an EVMP is required and if so provide instructions for its content and location in the proposal.
Answer 139:

Please refer to section IV. D.ii. of the FOA.  The Technical Volume must address the applicable Criteria and the requirements of the AOI being applied to.

Question 140: The requirements for the Market Transformation Plan do not match the criteria being evaluated. For example, Criterion 2 mentions a break even analysis and IP, but the content of that section of the technical volume makes no mention of providing such information Please clarify Criterion 2 as it relates to the content requested in the Technical Volume
Answer 140:

Please refer to section IV. D.ii. of the FOA.  The Technical Volume must address the applicable Criteria and the requirements of the AOI being applied to.

Question 141: May both the expansion of an existing facility and the build of a new facility be proposed on the same proposal? It is unclear if both an expansion and new build may be proposed under the same AOI under a single proposal. Please clarify if a proposal must be for one or the other from an individual company or if two proposals must be submitted, or if one, combined proposal is allowed.
Answer 141:

DOE will not make a determination absent a Full Application. Applicants are free to submit multiple applications (one for each project). Investment in multiple facilities/buildings is allowable.  Each application must meet the requirements of the FOA (e.g., dollar thresholds - $100M in Fed Share for a new commercial facility).

Question 142: The table implies that current and pending is required for the PI/Key Personnel, but xvii on pg 105 states the C&P is due after selection of award, but before negotiations. Please clarify if Current and Pending information is required to be submitted with the proposal.
Answer 142:

Current and Pending support are due at the application stage and then are updated if selected for award.  Please see FOA sections IV. D. xviii. & VI. B. xvii.

Question 143: Would the DOE consider allowing a draft equity plan to be included with the proposal and finalized and delivered after award? Additionally, we assume the Equity Plan applies to the construction of the facility itself, not the performance of the facility once online? To fully develop an actionable equity plan that will be included in the future award in such a short proposal timeframe, is something that may not be possible. Particularly for a small business applying to an AOI that relates to construction of facilities. To identify qualified and capable contractors, obtain competitive quotes and ensure the mix of contractors supports the equity plan within a 6 week proposal timeframe may not be possible.
Answer 143:

All application documents must reflect an honest picture of what the status is at the time of application.  Things may change in 2-5 months while applications are being assessed.  If selected, it is the applicant's responsibility to alert DOE to the changes that have occured.  If the changes are significant and material enough, the negotiations will cease.

Question 144: Is there a timeframe in which the grant money must be used? Do award funds expire? If a new facility is not expected to be begin being built until 2025, will that qualify? In other words, does the construction of a new facility (and thus use of grant funds) need to commence upon award?
Answer 144:

At this time, there is no statutory deadline for grant money to be used.  However, this can change. DOE is expecting that the awards that are granted from this FOA will have a maximum length of award/project of 5 years.

Question 145: Can the proposal be built upon an anticipated location, but that location changed once a final determination is made? Due to the short proposal timeline, the exact location for the construction of a new facility has not yet be determined.
Answer 145:

The EIV and EQ require specific locations for the work to be accomplished, including the factory.

Question 146: What is meant by ""data dissemination"" as part of a Market Transformation plan? It's unclear what data dissemination means in this context of the Market Transformation Plan. Is this data to be made public?
Answer 146:

Per Section IV. D. ii, the applicant is to address the legal/regulatory considerations that INCLUDES four factors, one of which is "data dissemination."  Data dissemination consists of distributing or transmitting statistical data to users.  What data will be made public will be addressed in the plan.

Question 147: On page 35, under the Teaming Arrangements for AOI 8, it states that “applicants must include participation by at least one downstream customer.” Do these customers have to be listed as sub-recipients on the grant proposal, or will customer commitment letters from key battery manufacturers / customers be sufficient?
Answer 147:

DOE will not provide direction or guidance on how best to satisfy the requirements listed in the AOI.  There is no need to form an exclusive teaming arrangement with a specific customer, but the applicant must show their product will meet customer requirements.  The down stream battery customers do not need to be a team member under the project (subrecipient).  

Question 148: For purposes of AOI-1, entitled "Commercial-scale Production Plants for Domestic Separation of Critical Cathode Battery Materials from Domestic Feedstocks" - how is DOE defining "Domestic Feedstock" as a requirement?
Answer 148:

Domestic refers to being within the United States borders.

Question 149: In EERE Environmental Questionnaire DOE F 540, 4th field, “Other Recipients (Subrecipients, Contractors, etc.)”, in the event that the Applicant will be the lead organization and take responsibility for 100% of the effort (i.e. no other participants or subrecipients) , should this field be marked “Not Applicable”?
Answer 149:

If there are no other paricipants, N/A would be appropriate on DOE F 540.

Question 150: "(1) For this FOA on EERE Exchange site, when I try to get a Control Number by starting to ""Apply"", it takes me straight to the LOI web form. I would imagine that the site would issue me a Control Number AFTER I submit the LOI. That is contrary to the description in the FOA, where it says that the Control Number is a prerequisite for LOI and Full application and must be displayed on each. Is there another way of generating the Control Number prior to preparing the LOI? (2) Should the LOI be submitted via the web form, or in a PDF format adhering to the suggestions in the FOA ?"
Answer 150:

(1)  Per Section IV.A., a Control Number is issued when the Applicant begins the Application Process.  The Application process begins when the LOI is submitted.  At that point, a control number is assigned to the LOI that the applicant is to use on the FULL APPLICATION documents.    (2)  The LOI is submitted via the form in EXCHANGE.  Please see Section IV.A. of the FOA.  No documents are uploaded for the LOI.

Question 151: I am writing today to ask about the full application process for FOA-0002678 when a LOI is not being submitted. Due to the timetable of applying for and receiving an UEI, CVMR has two entities without a UEI but wishing to provide a full application for FOA-0002678. CVMR (USA) will be providing a LOI utilizing the UEI for CVMR (USA) and CVMR has begun the process for being provided a UEI for other entities mentioned. Could we be provided with instructions on how to provide a full application, as provided through Amendment 000001 to FOA-0002678 when a LOI is not being submitted and a control number is not issued? Please feel free to call (806) 683-1188 if a phone conversation is more appropriate for answering this question.
Answer 151:

DOE STRONGLY reccommeds submitting an LOI for each application. If a UEI is not available at the time the application is submitted in EERE Exchange, the applicant may check the N/A box for that field in EERE Exchange and proceed with their submission.   DOE will not contact recipients during the application stage.

Question 152: A customer for the final battery product manufactured by the company must also be identified"" - to clarify regarding the customer, should this customer be an immediate customer ( for example, battery product maker who is producing anode materials), or should this customer be a battery maker?
Answer 152:

DOE will not provide direction or guidance on how best to satisfy the requirements listed in the AOI.  There is no need to form an exclusive teaming arrangement with a specific customer, but the applicant must show their product will meet customer requirements.  The down stream battery customers do not need to be a team member under the project (subrecipient).  The customer can be immediately down stream or a little further.  

Question 153: Our entity is in the process of complete our registration requirements under SAM.GOV, GRANTS.GOV, FedConnect and EERE. However, we are really keen on submit a Letter of Intent under DE-FOA-0002678, the deadline for which is on May 27, 2022. Because all submissions have to happen within the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange website, we are unsure how to proceed. Is there a way to submit the LOI through a different system or get a temporary UEI so that we can submit our LOI timely while we continue to proceed towards registration?
Answer 153:

A Letter of Intent (LOI) and/or application may be submitted without having completed the full SAM registration process and submittal must be done through the EERE Exchange website.  If a UEI is not available at the time the application is submitted in EERE Exchange, the applicant may check the N/A box for that field in EERE Exchange and proceed with their submission.   

Question 154: I am wondering if any feedback will be given based on the LOI’s submitted for this FOA, or if the LOI’s are really for filing/tracking purposes.
Answer 154:

DOE will not send out any reply to the LOIs.  (Replies of ‘Encouraged’ or ‘Discouraged’ are used with Concept Papers).

Question 155: Thank you for the clarification! Regarding the teaming arrangements for AOI 9, what does "participation by at least one downstream customer" mean? Does the downstream customer have to be a subrecipient or a letter of commitment from the downstream partner to buy products produced at the manufacturing facility is sufficient?
Answer 155:

Thank you for the clarification!

 

Regarding the teaming arrangements for AOI 9, what does "participation by at least one downstream customer" mean? Does the downstream customer have to be a subrecipient or a letter of commitment from the downstream partner to buy products produced at the manufacturing facility is sufficient?

Question 156: The FOA says "Applicants are required to provide written assurance of their proposed cost share contributions in their Full Applications." What is considered eligible as a form of written assurance? Would a statement simply stating, "XX company is committed to providing cost share in the amount of XX" suffice, or is further documentation required at the time of application submission?
Answer 156:

DOE will not instruct a potential applicant on what assurance to provide regarding cost share.  Please see FOA Section III. B. and Appendix A.

Question 157: • Should the Project Team on the Letter of Intent include the company leadership team working on the new facility project, or should it include the team working on the funding opportunity application? • Does the potential location for the project need to be disclosed in the letter of intent? • Does an off taker need to be disclosed in the letter of intent? • Will the letters of intent (and the applications) be publicly posted or searchable?
Answer 157:

1.  The team would comprise those who will be participating in the project.  2.  The potential location for the project need not be disclosed in the LOI.  3. An "Off Taker" need not be disclosed.  4. The LOIs will not be searchable, but are subject to FOIA requests.  See FOA section VIII.D regarding treatment of application information.

Question 158: I see that there is a link to the short form for applicants who are interested in the Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program. However, when I go to the DOE EERE funding opportunity website I do not see a funding announcement for it. Has a funding opportunity been created for this program, was the short form released ahead of the funding opportunity, or is the Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Recycling Grant Program funding opportunity rolled into the DE-FOA-0002678: BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE LAW (BIL) BATTERY MATERIALS PROCESSING AND BATTERY MANUFACTURING?
Answer 158:

Those interested in competitive grant opportunities are encouraged to monitor DOE grant opportunities at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html as well as EERE Exchange:  https://eere-exchange.energy.gov. The DOE cannot respond to questions other than those pertaining to DE-FOA-0002678.

Question 159: We have technology that is applicable to this FOA (2678) but we do not any facilities and cannot reasonably bid for the large advertised award values. Two questions: 1. Can we apply for a smaller grant under this FOA? 2. Is the teaming partner list available at this time?
Answer 159:

1. The grants have a minimum value dictated by statute. Sec Section II of the FOA.  2.  The team list was started.  Please go to Exchange:  https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/Default.aspx#FoaIdc53b6390-dfb8-480a-9265-3ffdec6c97b3  

Question 160: We are currently evaluating the team members at this point, and don't have all potential subrecipients. How should we handle this in the LOI?
Answer 160:

If the applicant does not have all of the subrecipients determined for the LOI, it is acceptable to note "TBD" for each subrecipient.

Question 161: The graphic on page 11 of the FOA includes Pack Manufacturing covered under Sec. 40207(c), Battery Manufacturing and Recycling Grants. However, there does not appear to be an applicable AOI for battery pack manufacturing. Is battery pack manufacturing out of scope for this FOA?
Answer 161:

Please refer to AOI  10.  

Question 162: I am doing some research on the new battery supply chain related IIJA Funding Opportunity Announcements, for example No. DE-FOA-0002678 and DE-FOA-0002679 and I am not sure who is eligible to apply for these opportunities? Is the funding for states or government agencies, for private companies, etc? Can you point me to any documents summarizing the opportunity and who is eligible to apply? Or is there someone there I can speak to about these opportunities? I am gathering this information for possible local media stories about battery supply chain efforts at DOE, so perhaps you have a media person I could talk to as well?
Answer 162:

Please refer to Section III.A. for eligibility information.   All summary information regarding the opportunity is contained in DE-FOA-0002768.  Regarding DOE's efforts on the supply chain, please contact ee.media@.doe.gov.

Question 163: I work with local governments and private companies who are interested in the funding opportunities listed below. While the respective deadlines are listed as “TBD” I am writing to learn if there is more specific information about the estimated time frame for release of NOFAs for the announcements below such as Summer 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023 or specific months. EERE Funding Opportunity Announcements DE-FOA-0002679 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law - Electric Drive Vehicle Battery Recycling and Second-Life Applications Notice of Intent to Publish FOA (NOI) Vehicle Technologies (VTO) TBD TBD DE-FOA-0002677 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Notice of Intent DE-FOA-0002677 to Issue Funding Opportunity Announcement Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing Notice of Intent to Publish FOA (NOI) Vehicle Technologies (VTO) TBD TBD
Answer 163:

You are referencing the Notices of Intent.  Please visit Financial Opportunities: FOA Edit Details (energy.gov) and Financial Opportunities: Funding Opportunity Exchange (energy.gov) for the complete FOA details.

Question 164: This is regarding clarity for battery pack systems eligibility in funding per Amendment 000002 – May 24, 2002. Page 12 of the Amendment clearly calls out Pack Manufacturing under Sec. 40207(c) in the high-capacity battery supply chain 5 main steps. However, the Areas of Interest (AOI) pages 17-18 of the Amendment does not specifically list out areas for the Battery Pack projects. Further, page 30 of the Amendment describes AOI’s within “advanced battery manufacturing”. I kindly ask for funding eligibility clarity regarding investment projects for advanced battery pack assembly/manufacturing. If eligible, what AOI would battery packs be captured under? Thank you
Answer 164:

Battery Packs are included within AOI 10.

Question 165: "My name is XXXXXXXX, and I am an attorney at XXXXXXX LLP in Washington DC. We have a handful of clients who are planning to submit an LOI for DE-FOA-0002678, “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing”. As I am sure DOE is aware, a number of potential applicants have had difficulty obtaining a UEI number from SAM.gov, and the registration process is severely backlogged (see attached screenshot). When I called the Federal Service Desk (FSD) last week, the agent informed me that SAM.gov had received over 8,000 incident requests within the first week of the migration from Dun & Bradstreet. On another call with FSD, the agent indicated that FSD was still responding to incidents from April and could not offer a timeline for resolution. All of our clients began working on their LOIs promptly upon issuance of the FOA and are eager to submit them, despite their difficulties with SAM.gov. As such, I was hoping someone at DOE could assist me with a couple of questions: • I noticed DOE recently released amendment 000002. The amendment specifically acknowledges that a UEI number may not be available for the LOI, and DOE instructs applicants to mark it “N/A”. What is DOE’s intention if this backlog remains when the application is due? • Alternatively, is DOE planning to offer an extension of the deadline for submission of applications pending resolution of the UEI issue? Thank you for your assistance. I am sure you are receiving a lot of requests for information at this time, and I appreciate any assistance you can offer."
Answer 165:

The DOE will amend the FOA in the event there is a change in status for application requirements.

Question 166: For applications that have several possible locations or no identified locations at the point of submission, what should be included in the Environmental Questionnaire and Environmental Information Volume? For the Environmental Information Volume, are applicants to put together a Word document that follows the same formatting, as there is no text box in the form itself.
Answer 166:

See section IV.D.xix and xx regarding requirements for the Environmental Information Volume and Environmental Questionnaire. The Environmental Information Volume serves as a guide for the required informaion.   The documents must be submitted in accordance with section IV.D.i without deviation. The documents must include information known at the time of application submission.

Question 167: In the application requirements for DE-FOA-0002678, if an FFRDC is to be on the project team, it is shown that an Authorization is required. In past DOE proposals I've done, there's also been an FFRDC Work Plan that is required, but that is not listed in the instructions. Can you confirm that an FFRDC Work Plan is NOT needed for this funding opportunity?
Answer 167:

See section II.B.i of the FOA regarding the approach to funding FFRDCs under the FOA. See section III.E of the FOA regarding all requirements for FFRDCs included as subrecipients.

Question 168: We are planning to apply for the DE-FOA-0002678 and were in the process of getting our Letter of Intent. However I was not given the option to upload our Concept paper and do not see such an option either when trying to edit the application.
Answer 168:

The FOA does not include a requirement for submission of a Concept Paper.  Please refer to the FOA for all submission requirements.

Question 169: I have a client submitting an application that received the below from SAM.gov. What do you suggest we do if we are unable to secure a SAM number before the application is due? (referencing screen shot from SAM.gov re delay)
Answer 169:

The DOE will amend the FOA in the event there is a change in status for application requirements.

Question 170: Is there a distribution list that alerts people when this FOA has been updated or amended?  I would like to be included in the list if there is one.  Thank you!
Answer 170:

See the FOA registration requirements regarding the process to receive automatic updates when amendments are posted.

Question 171: Can we use raw materials as matching funds?  The raw materials will be used for production of battery materials.
Answer 171:

See section III.B regarding cost sharing requirements. DOE cannot make determinations regarding the allowability of project costs before receipt and review of a full application.

Question 172: FOA – Page 91 – Project Management – Item 1f – states: “the sufficiency of the Earned Value Management Plan …. Q: With the size of this project, is an Earned Value Management Plan required for this application project? Q: To what extent is an Earned Value Management Plan to be addressed with our application information, as this is the one and only time it is stated in the FOA.
Answer 172:

An Earned Value Management Plan is required to be submitted for review and consideration under the technical merit review element noted.

Question 173: I am reaching out to ask for clarification regarding the “% of Project Effort” section of the LOI as the solicitation fails to go into specific detail regarding what is to be expected. Thank you in advance for your clarification.
Answer 173:

This item refers to the percentage of the total project budget associated with each team member.

Question 174: The FOA states that text must be black. Please confirm that color is acceptable to use in graphics, photos, and illustrations as the use of color is important when conveying information graphically.
Answer 174:

Color is acceptable for graphics, photos, and illustrations.

Question 175: Resumes are often formatted in artful ways, with a variety of designs, layouts, typefaces, etc. The FOA states that the resumes must be submitted as a single file in PDF format, but within that PDF, should the resumes all be formatted to match the Full Application requirements (12-point Calibri, etc.)?
Answer 175:

See section IV.D.iii of the FOA for all resume content and limitations.

Question 176: We have submitted a letter of intent (LOI) for DE-FOA-0002678 AOI 12.  I could not find in the FOA when and if we receive feed back from DOE in the form either encouragement or discouragement to submit a full application.  Please clarify if the DOE will provide feedback to the LOI and the time frame.  As you know the full application is due 7-01-22 so time is of the essence.  If encouraged, we would like to have the most time  available for the full application, but we would not which to waste your time if the project is discouraged.
Answer 176:

The DOE will not provide a response to the Letter of Intent. Per the FOA, the Letter of Intent will be used for merit review process planning.

Question 177: I am writing in regards to DE-FOA-0002678. We are looking to submit a letter of intent for the FOA to show our interest in a full application. As we are a foreign entity, we had not previously received a UEI code. We are in the process of doing so, but I am not sure that it will be received before the deadline on May 27th for the Letter of Intent. It looks as though we need this UEI code to register an account on the EERE exchange, which is where the letter of intent is to be submitted. Is there anywhere else we can submit our letter of intent before the deadline if we are unable to receive a UEI code before then, as that would prevent us from registering on the Exchange?
Answer 177:

See amendment 2 to the FOA regarding the Letter of Intent (LOI) and associated UEI instructions.

Question 178: I work for a labor organization representing manufacturing workers in the US. We have Locals that work in the traditional lead acid battery industry and recycling that have an interest in entering advanced battery manufacturing and battery recycling. We are unfamiliar with the application process and would like to speak with someone about the process we are in the process of bringing our represented businesses up to speed on this FOA. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Answer 178:

The FOA includes all information necessary to both understand the requirement and submit a full application. It is paramount for all applicants to carefully read the FOA  and follow all instructions.

Question 179: Is there a video of explation regarding this measure?  Do you have any online presentations planned for it, or perhaps you have already completed this and it is available online.  If so, would you please forward it?
Answer 179:

The DOE has not created a video or explanation of the FOA.  The FOA includes all information necessary to both understand the requirement and submit a full application.

Question 180: I am reaching out to obtain guidance regarding the following questions in connection with DE-FOA-0002678 (BIL Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing): • Will the information submitted via the LOI form be publicly available? • Will it be publicly accessible how many applicants submitted LOIs for each area of focus?
Answer 180:

Please see section VIII.D of the FOA regarding treatment of application information. The DOE will not release the number of  LOIs or applications for each area of interest.  

Question 181: SOPO Template states: , the SOPO should NOT include $$$ amounts, dates, timeframes, time durations, brand names, individual names, or specific work sites, and should not allocate tasks to subcontractors, vendors, or partners (the award is with the prime recipient). Q. Please clarify the required information requested in the SOPO. Timeframes and time durations are default information for milestones and project schedules as requested in the SOPO.
Answer 181:

Please refer to the SOPO template.  Timeframes and time durations are not required for completion of the SOPO.  

Question 182: In retooling our facility, we will contract with external firms for various aspects. Is there a financial cutoff for what is considered a sub award that requires a full sub recipient budget? In other FOA’s I’ve seen a specific amount (above $200k, etc). Please advise. Thank you!
Answer 182:

Please refer to 2 CFR 200.330 regarding the subrecipient and contractor determinations.  Please see section IV.D.x of the FOA for specific funding thresholds requirements for subrecipient budget justifications.

Question 183: I have a question regarding the LOI for the FOA. If we submit the LOI on behalf of the parent holding company, is it possible to change to the two named subsidiaries in the full application phase?
Answer 183:

Yes.  The DOE will not screen application participants based upon the Letter of Intent. Per the FOA, the Letter of Intent will be used for merit review process planning.

Question 184: In the FOA, it says "to ensure that non-federal funds have not been paid," in reference to SF LLL. Is this a typo and it should instead read "to ensure that federal funds have not been paid"?
Answer 184:

The item identified is not a typo. As per 31 U.S. Code 1352, lobbying with Federal funds is unallowable.  The SF -LLL is for applicants to disclose lobbying activities taken with non-Federal funds.

Question 185: In the Objective paragraph of Area of Interest 1, what is meant by “precursor”? Does this include metal salts like cobalt sulfate, nickel sulfate, and lithium carbonate? Or does it exclusively mean cathode precursor like NMC hydroxide?
Answer 185:

Cobalt sulfate, nickel sulfate, and lithium carbonate are considered precursors.

Question 186: My organization is working on a proposal that involves an offtake customer that will not allow us to list them in the project proposal, but will provide a letter of support with their name attached to it. Can we list them as Offtake Customer X in the proposal and then link their actual organizational name to that alias in their letter of support?
Answer 186:

Letters of Commitment or Offtake Agreements must meet the requirements set forth in IV.D.iv and must reflect accurate and correct information.  See Technical Review Criteria 1 regarding the use of Letters of Commitment and offtake agreements in the merit review process.

Question 187: I’m emailing representing a U.S. cathode company intending to apply to build a cathode material demo plant under AOI 12. As part of our proposed plan, we intend to work with upstream and downstream partners for the sourcing of our precursors and to line up strategic customers in the EV space. Based on section IV. D. xiv. or section III. A. iv., there are some restrictions on how foreign entities can get involved in this funding opportunity. To clarify my understanding, if we identify a company like Hyundai as a strong strategic partner and want to work with a domestic subsidiary like Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama as a customer for our cathode material, would that satisfy the requirements of them as a domestic entity recipient?
Answer 187:

Per the FOA, a domestic entity is any prime recipient or subrecipient  (see  2 CFR § 200.330 regarding Subrecipient or contractor determinations) that is participating in the proposed project (receiving Federal Funds or providing cost share)  that is incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a State or territory of the United States, has a physical place of business in the United States, and has majority domestic ownership or control (for publicly traded companies, this would include stockholders). Any Recipient or Subrecipient that does not meet all of these criteria is a foreign entity in terms of the FOA and must submit a waiver in accordance with the directions provided in Appendix C of the FOA. The DOE will not provide determinations regarding Domestic or foreign entity participation in the project absent a full application.

Question 188: Please confirm that where a Government-provided template uses a typeface or point size different than the 12-point Calibri specified in Section IV.A, it is acceptable to use the template's font/size. For example: -- The Statement of Project Objectives (SOPO) Template uses 12-point Times New Roman. -- The Budget Justification Worksheet uses 10-point Arial. -- The Locations of Work Template uses 11-point Arial. -- The Summary Slide Template uses 10-point Arial for text and 7-point Arial for the Project Cost Table.
Answer 188:

It is acceptable to use the typeface/point-size in any Government-provided template.  The SOPO template provided in Exchange has been changed to Calibri 12-point.  However, the DOE will accept a SOPO in either Times New Roman or Calibri, as long as a 12-point font is used.

Question 189: Can you provide further detail or clarification on the Environmental Questionnaire (EQ) and Environmental Volume (EV) - specifically, 1) Does EERE's environmental review of a proposed project occur during application review or post award?; 2) In the EQ under "explanation", what level of detail is sought by EERE?; 3) If certain environmental reviews conducted by the applicant are ongoing or occur post submission, and a reviewer follows up for additional information, can the applicant use that opportunity to complete the explanation?; 4) If an applicant has not yet completed a formal or documented analysis on the environmental impact of the retooled or new facility, what level of detail is expected by EERE in the EQ and EV?; 5) Is the EV to be replicated in a Word document in the format provided in the "Preparation of Environmental Volume" and conforming to the formatting requirements on page 55 of the FOA? and 6) If an applicant has multiple locations in its proposal, is a separate EQ and EV required for each location?
Answer 189:

See section IV.D.xix and xx of the FOA regarding requirements for the Environmental Information Volume and Environmental Questionnaire.  EERE’s review will occur both during the application process and post-award (See section IV.F. regarding post selection information requests).  All documents must be submitted in accordance with section IV.D.i without deviation and must include all information known at the time of application submission.  The FOA does allow for “Reply to Reviewer” comments (please see FOA section IV.E.) which could include environmental topics.  Applicants must submit one EQ and one EV with ALL project locations noted in both documents.

Question 190: "1. If the sub-recipient is a project Contractor of the applicant/awardee, can they contribute some or all of their valid costs to cost sharing? 2. Are there any restrictions to an owner of the applicant/awardee also being a sub recipient contractor? 3. If the sub recipient engineer (entity) of the project has responsibility for technical development and for technical feasibility verifications, and is the engineer of record for the project and also an applicant/project owner, is this acceptable?"
Answer 190: 1. A subrecipient can provide/help provide cost share towards the grant. However, the Prime Recipient is solely responsible for the cost share. Accordingly, if the subrecipient does not provide the cost share it said it would, the Prime Recipient must make up the cost share. 2. If an owner of an awardee is also a subrecipient, the owner would be subject to the same restrictions as any other subrecipient. 3. The prime recipient is solely responsible for everything that happens -or - does not happen during the award.
Question 191: For AOI 3, is production of non-storage materials such as electrolyte material an appropriate topic, or only production of the precursors to the electrolyte materials?
Answer 191: Yes, finished products like electrolytes may be integrated or co-located with the precursor material production.
Question 192: "A customer for the final battery product manufactured by the company must also be identified" - to clarify regarding the customer, should this customer be an immediate customer ( for example, battery product maker who is producing anode materials), or should this customer be a battery maker?
Answer 192: DOE will not provide direction or guidance on how best to satisfy the requirements listed in the AOI. There is no need to form an exclusive teaming arrangement with a specific customer, but the applicant must show their product will meet customer requirements. The down stream battery customers do not need to be a team member under the project (subrecipient). The customer can be immediately down stream or a little further.
Question 193: Does an organization need to have an active UEI in order to submit and LOI or is that only required for full application? We have an inactive UEI but would like to register a different entity to create an entirely new UEI, which would take longer than the time we have to submit LOI.
Answer 193: Please see Section IV.C. of the FOA Amendment 000002 for an option if the UEI is not yet available.
Question 194: I am writing to confirm that my letter of intent is submitted and accepted for a full submission. We had some technical issues with the submission site so the letter of intent was submitted 5-6 minutes late. Your response is very much appreciated so we can be sure we are eligible to submit a full proposal.
Answer 194: The DOE will not provide a response to the Letter of Intent. Per the FOA, the Letter of Intent will be used for merit review process planning. Applicants do not have to submit an LOI in order to submit a full application.
Question 195: Can the Applicant submit supplemental attachments to its Full Application (e.g. Project Schedule, WBS, Task List, etc.), in addition to the specific components identified in Section IV.D.i - Full Application Requirements? Or, should the documents that the Applicant submits be limited to only the specific components identified in the table within Section IV.D.i?
Answer 195: FOA Section IV.D. outlines each section of the FOA application. Please see IV.D.ii. for the technical volume instructions. A high level WBS is sufficient. The Exchange system is not configured to accept additional documentation beyond that prescribed in the FOA.
Question 196: Are applicants permitted to address Technical Review Criterion 3, Cost Share, within the Technical Volume? -- If yes, which section of the Technical Volume should address this? -- If no, how will the Government evaluate Criterion 3 -- by reviewing the Budget Justification Workbook?
Answer 196: Please see FOA section IV.D.ii. for the technical volume instructions. The technical volume must address the Merit Review Criteria listed under Criteria 1-4 as discussed in Sections V.A. and V.B. of the FOA.
Question 197: Does completing the Budget Justification Workbook fulfill the applicant's requirement to "provide written assurance of their proposed cost share contributions in their Full Application" as required by Section III.B.v? -- If not, where should this be addressed?
Answer 197: Written assurance of the proposed cost share contributions may be done via a Letter of Commitment.
Question 198: Please clarify what contact information is to be provided as part of the resumes (required in Section IV.D.iii), given that per Section V.III.P, "applicants must screen resumes to ensure that they do not contain PII such as personal addresses, personal landline/cell phone numbers, and personal emails."
Answer 198: No PERSONAL contact information is required in a resume. Business Contact Information is permitted.
Question 199: Please confirm that headers and footers may use 10-point Calibri (instead of 12-point) for administrative information such as page numbers, company name, and FOA number.
Answer 199: Header and footer font sizes are not differentiated from the body text size. Only references/ footnotes/ endnotes are permitted to be 10 point Calibri.
Question 200: Section IV.J.ix states, "Applicants shall provide written assurance acknowledging the DBA requirements for the award or project and confirming that all of the laborers and mechanics performing construction, alteration, or repair work on projects in excess of $2000 funded directly by or assisted in whole or in part by and through funding under the award are paid or will be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on projects of a character similar in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with Subchapter IV of Chapter 31 of Title 40, United States Code (Davis-Bacon Act)." Where in the application are we to provide this written assurance?
Answer 200: There is no prescribed place in the FOA. This could be submitted as a Letter of Commitment.
Question 201: Will the Government clarify what is meant by the "Institute" in the content for a Foreign Entity Participation Waiver Request, which requires "proposed type of involvement with the Institute"?
Answer 201: For purposes of the waiver process, “Institute” is meant to refer to the overall project. Please state how the entity would be involved in the project (e.g., prime, subrecipient or other involvement).
Question 202: Please confirm that while a Table of Contents may be included within the 50 pages of the Technical Volume, it is not required.
Answer 202: A Table of Contents is not required. If a Table of Contents is included, it will count towards the total page count of the technical volume.
Question 203: Section IV.D.ix identifies requirements for the Summary Slide that are not included in the Summary Slide Template: a technology summary and any key graphics (illustrations, charts, and/or tables). -- Are applicants permitted to modify the Summary Slide Template to include these items from Section IV.D.ix? -- Given space constraints, what does the Government intend for the slide to contain in terms of key graphics -- just a list of key graphics provided in the Full Application?
Answer 203: The wording in the Summary Slide is essentially the same as what is in the FOA. Regarding the graphic, the actual graphic would be used, providing there is room on the slide.
Question 204: For Government-provided templates that do not include a space for the Control Number in the header, are applicants required to modify the header to include the Control Number?
Answer 204: Applicants are not required to modify the government provided documents to include a header.
Question 205: AOI-1, "Commercial-scale Production Plants for Domestic Separation of Critical Cathode Battery Materials from Domestic Feedstocks" provides on page 20 of the FOA under "Requirements", "Applications that use the domestic upstream supply chain, and supply domestic downstream customers are highly encouraged." Can you confirm that applicants are permitted to include feedstock from foreign sources that are not foreign entities of concern, and that domestic feedstock is not a requirement for a competitive application?
Answer 205: Applicants are permitted to include feedstock from foreign sources that are not Foreign Entities of Concern as defined in 42 U.S.C. 18741 (a)(5).
Question 206: On page 70 of the FOA, under section xii. Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, it states “Prime recipients and subrecipients are required to complete and submit SF-LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities” (https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-individual-family.html) to ensure that non-federal funds have not been paid and will not be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence any of the following in connection with the application: an officer or employee of any federal agency, A Member of Congress; An officer or employee of Congress; or An employee of a Member of Congress.” Where is DOE authorized to prohibit an applicant from using non-federal funds for activities like asking a member of Congress to write a letter of support for an application? The governing law is https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=(title:31%20section:1352%20edition:prelim)%20OR%20(granuleid:USC-prelim-title31-section1352)&f=treesort&edition=prelim&num=0&jumpTo=true, which only prohibits the use of federal funds for lobbying activities. In addition, this language was changed from prior DOE solicitation. For example, https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/FileContent.aspx?FileID=86be9c5e-bb0e-474b-8c73-03f19a9d32d3 does not contain a prohibition against the use of non-federal funds for lobbying and simply states “Prime Recipients and Subrecipients are required to complete and submit SF-LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities” if any non-Federal funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence any of the following in connection with your application: : an officer or employee of any federal agency, A Member of Congress; An officer or employee of Congress; or An employee of a Member of Congress.”
Answer 206: The FOA instruction requiring completion and submission of the SF-LLL is for disclosure purposes, i.e., to inform DOE as to whether non-Federal funds have been or will be “. . . paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence any of the following in connection with the application: an officer or employee of any federal agency, A Member of Congress; An officer or employee of Congress; or An employee of a Member of Congress.” The SF-LLL is the standard disclosure reporting form for lobbying paid for with non-Federal funds, and it is consistent with the requirements of 31 USC §1352. It is required to be used by persons who request or receive a Federal cooperative agreement under the subject DE-FOA-0002678. DOE uses information reported on this form for general management of its financial assistance awards.
Question 207: I am reaching out to ask for clarification regarding the “% of Project Effort” section of the LOI as the solicitation fails to go into specific detail regarding what is to be expected. Thank you in advance for your clarification.
Answer 207: This item refers to the percentage of the total project budget associated with each team member.
Question 208: I work with local governments and private companies who are interested in the funding opportunities listed below. While the respective deadlines are listed as “TBD” I am writing to learn if there is more specific information about the estimated time frame for release of NOFAs for the announcements below such as Summer 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023 or specific months.
Answer 208: DE-FOA-0002678 was released on May 2 is available at https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/Default.aspx#FoaIdc53b6390-dfb8-480a-9265-3ffdec6c97b3. Submittal is through the EERE EXCHANGE website and you must be registered in EXCHANGE before you can submit a Full Applicaiton. Please monitor https://eere-exchange.energy.gov for the status of EERE Funding Opportunity Announcements.
Question 209: On Page 45, the FOA shows a table of a 5 years project having 5 budget periods of 12 months each. On Page 12, the FOA states : each project must have at least one project-wide Go/No-Go decision point for each budget period (12 to 18-month period) of the project, which seems to indicate that a budget period can be as long as 18 months. Question 1: Are there minimum and maximum limits for number of months in a budget period? Question 2: For instance, say we are proposing a 5 years project, with a total of 4 budget periods. Would it be acceptable to have periods 1-2 of 18 months each and periods 3-4 of 12 months each?
Answer 209: The chart in section II.ii. Is merely an example of a 5 year project with 12 month budget periods. The table directly above it in II.i. states that it is anticipated that projects will run from 2-5 years. Question 1) Each Budget Period will be for a duration of 12 months. Question 2) If the proposed project is 5 years, there will be 5 budget periods.
Question 210: We have a client that just become aware of this solicitation…is there anyway that the application submission deadline could be extended or that they could be granted a waiver to submit a late proposal? I got confused on the dates…is it too late to submit a letter of intent, or can they get a waiver to submit a late letter? If it’s not possible, does failure to submit a letter of intent disqualify them from submitting an application?
Answer 210: DOE is not considering extending the application deadline at this time. A Letter of Intent is not required to submit an application. Per the FOA, the Letter of Intent will be used for merit review process planning. At this point, the ability to submit a Letter of Intent in Exchange is closed. The next step for a potential applicant is to start the application in EERE Exchange.
Question 211: The FOA provides, "Priority consideration will be given to eligible entities that will not use battery material supplied by or originating from a foreign entity of concern as defined in 42 U.S.C. 18741 (a)(5)." Neither the FOA nor 42 U.S.C. 18741 (a)(5) makes mention of a "foreign country of concern." Can EERE confirm that an applicant can use materials in its product or proposed project from an entity that is not a "foreign entity of concern" but is located in China. Is it recommended or is there a requirement that an applicant provide a pathway to transition from its China supplier to another country or domestic source?
Answer 211: DOE will not confirm application-specific scenarios nor provide legal advice regarding the use of the proposed supplier.
Question 212: • We, unfortunately, missed the application for LOI – it seems that the document amended that the submission of the LOI is no longer a "must" (but “should have”). If we apply for now, would our application still be considered equally to other applicants, or do you recommend waiting for the next opportunity? • Regarding the eligibility, it seems that the grant is only given to a "facility in the US" according to the document p30. However, on page 108, it seems that DOE may be able to waiver this condition in some cases. What would be an example of a waiver? Do you think our case below will be eligible for a potential waiver?
Answer 212: A Letter of Intent is not required to submit an application. Per the FOA, the Letter of Intent will be used for merit review process planning. At this point, the ability to submit a Letter of Intent in Exchange is closed. The next step for a potential applicant is to start the application in EERE Exchange. Applications are reviewed as per the technical review criteria in V. A. & B. (2.) DOE cannot comment or provide guidance on applications or waivers.
Question 213: I am writing to get clarification on the Letter of Intent, specifically for Area of Interest #4. Our Company registered with the appropriate websites, received a UEI number, and tried to submit the LOI last week but was unable to. Is a letter of intent required (the FOA states that the LOI is “strongly encouraged”) for Area of Interest #4? Should a LOI not be required, would the next step be to complete the full application?
Answer 213: A Letter of Intent is not required to submit an application. Per the FOA, the Letter of Intent will be used for merit review process planning. At this point, the ability to submit a Letter of Intent in Exchange is closed. The next step for a potential applicant is to start the application in EERE Exchange.
Question 214: We are planning to utilize all of the precursor materials produced under AOI 3 into a vertically integrated advanced battery. Thus, we will not be able to provide a letter of commitment from a separate downstream customer. Will a letter provided by the company stating that the precursor material will be vertically integrated meet the commitment letter requirement?
Answer 214: A downstream customer is required to be identified in the application. If the customer is within the company, the relationship must be described in the application as well as the downstream customer for the final product provided by the company. In this case, a customer for the final battery product manufactured by the company must also be identified.
Question 215: I went in and put the info required for the LOI into the full application as that is the only place I could see it – could you confirm if this is correct or direct me where to submit a late LOI?
Answer 215: A Letter of Intent is not required to submit an application. Per the FOA, the Letter of Intent will be used for merit review process planning. At this point, the ability to submit a Letter of Intent in Exchange is closed. The next step for a potential applicant is to start the application in EERE Exchange.
Question 216: (Regarding where to submit a late LOI) Site says I need to use a form for LOI, no where to upload. Can you point me to the form?
Answer 216: A Letter of Intent is not required to submit an application. Per the FOA, the Letter of Intent will be used for merit review process planning. At this point, the ability to submit a Letter of Intent in Exchange is closed. The next step for a potential applicant is to start the application in EERE Exchange.
Question 217: Per FOA page 87, “Recipients and subrecipients are required to complete and submit SF-LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities” (https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-individual-family.html) to ensure that non-federal funds have not been paid and will not be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence any of the following in connection with the application.” This implies that *non-federal* funds cannot be paid for lobbying, or in other words, that lobbying is prohibited for this funding opportunity, whether or not federal funds are to be used. Is this the intent of the requirement?
Answer 217: The FOA instruction requiring completion and submission of the SF-LLL is for disclosure purposes, i.e., to inform DOE as to whether non-Federal funds have been or will be “. . . paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence any of the following in connection with the application: an officer or employee of any federal agency, A Member of Congress; An officer or employee of Congress; or An employee of a Member of Congress.” The SF-LLL is the standard disclosure reporting form for lobbying paid for with non-Federal funds, and it is consistent with the requirements of 31 USC §1352. It is required to be used by persons who request or receive a Federal cooperative agreement under the subject DE-FOA-0002678. DOE uses information reported on this form for general management of its financial assistance awards.
Question 218: Can the full grant be submitted without the submission of a LOI?
Answer 218: A Letter of Intent is not required to submit an application. Per the FOA, the Letter of Intent will be used for merit review process planning. At this point, the ability to submit a Letter of Intent in Exchange is closed. The next step for a potential applicant is to start the application in EERE Exchange.
Question 219: Once an LOI is submitted, do we have to wait for approval from EERE before moving onto the full application?
Answer 219: DOE will NOT provide responses to the LOIs and an LOI is not required to submit an application. Per the FOA, the Letter of Intent will be used for merit review process planning. At this point, the ability to submit a Letter of Intent in Exchange is closed. The next step for a potential applicant is to start the application in EERE Exchange.
Question 220: As stated in FAQ 139, the Earned Value Management Plan is not referenced in the FOA other than page 91. We respectfully request the Earned Value Management Plan be deleted as a requirement of this application.
Answer 220: An Earned Value Management Plan is required to be submitted for review and consideration under the technical merit review element noted.
Question 221: I have a question about the Equity Plan. The Project Overview in the Technical Volume, calls for including "Equity Plan: Quality Jobs and Community Benefits: The applicant should summarize the overall anticipated benefits that will accrue to the local community and DACs (including, but not limited to, the support of minority business enterprises)." As I read the FOA, this means that in the Project Overview, applicants should summarize the Equity Plan and then separately submit the actual Equity Plan as a separate document. Correct?
Answer 221: Yes that is correct. Per Section IV.D.ii. The Project Overview (approximately 10% of the Technical Volume) should contain Background, Project Goal, DOE Impact, & Equity Plan summary information. Please see Section IV.D.xvii of the FOA for the Equity Plan Requirements.
Question 222: We would like to retool our existing facility and build out in an existing building that we would lease (outside of DOE funding). Can those be considered one project since it’s not new building construction, we would be utilizing an existing (vacant) facility to expand manufacturing?
Answer 222: DOE will not confirm application-specific scenarios absent a full application.
Question 223: is it allowable to change which AOI you’re applying for, between what was submitted in the LOI and what will be submitted in the grant proposal?  We’re realizing it may make more sense to apply for commercial scale instead of demonstration scale, which would imply changing our AOI.
Answer 223: You can change the AOI you are applying to by starting a new application under a different AOI in EERE Exchange.
Question 224: In the Data Management Plan section of DE-FOA-0002678 on p. 69, it refers to two template Data Management Plan options – Option 1 and Option 2. Where can I find these templates?
Answer 224: The two options for the Data Management Plan are in the same section (IV.D.xi) and are listed as "Option 1" and "Option 2".
Question 225: In section IV.D.xiii, SF-LLL: Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, second paragraph, it states: “to ensure that non-federal funds have not been paid”. This statement implies that the DOE prohibits private funds from being paid for lobbying activities. In the even that private funds (i.e. non-federal funds) are paid for lobbying activities per this section, would this disqualify the Applicant? Also, does asking congressional footprint champions for letters of support for the grant application count as a lobbying activity paid for by non-federal funds?
Answer 225: The FOA instruction requiring completion and submission of the SF-LLL is for disclosure purposes, i.e., to inform DOE as to whether non-Federal funds have been or will be “. . . paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence any of the following in connection with the application: an officer or employee of any federal agency, A Member of Congress; An officer or employee of Congress; or An employee of a Member of Congress.” The SF-LLL is the standard disclosure reporting form for lobbying paid for with non-Federal funds, and it is consistent with the requirements of 31 USC §1352. It is required to be used by persons who request or receive a Federal cooperative agreement under the subject DE-FOA-0002678. DOE uses information reported on this form for general management of its financial assistance awards.
Question 226: I’m requesting an answer to the following question (ref FOA DE-FOA-0002678): regarding AOI 3 (Commercial-scale domestic separation…), can you clarify what is meant by “Applications must NOT use minerals as lithium, nickel (class I), cobalt, manganese, or graphite as the primary product since these items are addressed in other areas of interest”? If an applicant intends to convert [deleted text], intended as the anode material for next generation lithium ion batteries (such as solid state, lithium sulfur, and lithium air batteries) that is not covered in AOIs 1 & 2, is that acceptable under this AOI 3?
Answer 226: DOE will not confirm application-specific scenarios.
Question 227: What is the submission deadline for a foreign work waiver?
Answer 227: The Foreign Work Waiver is due at the same time as the Full Application.
Question 228: The FOA instructions say that there are 10 pages allowed for the SOPO under DE-FOA-0002678. In past DOE proposals, we've been allowed 15-20 pages for the SOPO for projects much smaller in scope than the very large projects that will be submitted under this program ($50M-$100M in federal share plus match). Is there any way that the SOPO page limit can be raised?
Answer 228:

DOE does not plan on increasing the number of pages of the SOPO.

Question 229: DOE’s Answer to Question 206 states that “The FOA instruction requiring completion and submission of the SF-LLL is for disclosure purposes..” and that “The SF-LLL is the standard disclosure reporting form for lobbying paid for with non-Federal funds..” which implies that there isn’t a prohibition against using non-Federal funds for lobbying purposes as is currently stated in the FOA’s Section xii. Disclosure of Lobbying Activities.   Will DOE issue an amendment to reflect that using Federal funds for lobbying activities is prohibited but that using non-Federal funds is permitted if it is disclosed on the SF-LLL form?
Answer 229:

DOE is not currently planning to amend the FOA.

Question 230: Topic 1: Flexible Manufacturing and Integrated Supply Chain Application In Amendment 2, AOI 6 indicates the objective is “to construct new facilities or expand, retool, or retrofit existing facilities to create U.S. lithium-ion battery cell production” with the “Anticipated Maximum Award Size for Any One Individual Award” set at $300,000,000. AOI 10 indicates following Amendment 1 sets an objective “to construct new facilities or expand, retool, or retrofit existing facilities to create U.S. lithium-based battery or other advanced battery technology component production capacity” and also specifies “lithium-based battery or other advanced battery technology components” understood to include of component supply and cell manufacturing with an Anticipated Maximum indicated at $100,000,000. Further, the response to FOA FAQ Question 95 indicates: “The FOA notes battery chemistry objectives for AOIs 6 [Commercial-Scale Lithium Ion Cell Manufacturing] and 11. A battery chemistry is not specified in AOI 12 [Demonstration Scale Cell and Component Manufacturing]. Applicants may submit multiple LOIs as long as they describe separate and distinct projects.” Best business, engineering and supply chain practices – as well as the stated objectives of the FOA – point to flexible, adaptable commercial-scale cell manufacturing facilities integrated with “onshoring” of essential component manufacturing. An integrated project of this nature could align with the scope and Anticipated Maximums of AOI 6 but not align with the chemistry definitions of AOI 6. Conversely, this same project could align with the chemistry definitions in AOI 10 (revised) but not align with the Anticipated Maximums of AOI 10. The Anticipated Maximums of AOI 10 limits the scope of potential projects that would otherwise meet the intent of AOI 10 and the broader FOA. Will the DOE reconsider the discrepancy in Anticipated Maximums of AOI 10 relative to AOI 6 given that their stated objectives are otherwise aligned?
Answer 230:

DOE is not currently planning to amend the FOA.

Question 231: Topic 2: Reconsideration of Off-Shore Project Plans and Investments in Application Time Window The July 1 submission requirement creates a significant advantage for existing and approved capital projects underway or “shovel ready” in the U.S. able to complete a full application. Such projects have likely met the economic hurdles to secure private sector investment on their own. Projects previously deemed unviable -- but now could reconsidered to be built here -- are significantly disadvantaged. The potential for grants could impact investment decisions, yet adequate time has not been provided to translate the design, engineering and partners to meet the application requirements. Can companies in good faith submit a credible application when the domestic redesign, engineering, partner and especially site selection would need to occur after July 1? Is a provisional or partial application possible while this work is underway and can be provided after the submission deadline? The FOA FAQ Question 143 addresses a similar scenario but focused on the Equity Plan requirement. The answer indicates: “This may change in 2 – 5 months while applications are being assessed.” What can reasonably be provided after the July 1 submission and during this assessment window? The answer also implies there would be some feedback during this process noting, “If changes are significant and material enough, the negotiations will cease.” Under what conditions would “negotiations” commence and/or in what form will this or any additional feedback be provided? In addition, can any additional guidance be provided on what would be considered “significant and material enough?”
Answer 231:

Applications that are submitted must be a true and accurate representation of what the scope of work will be.  If it is found at the time of selection that there is a material discrepancy, DOE reserves the right to cease negotiations.  If there is a change between the time of application and possible selection, it is incumbent upon the Successful Applicant / Selectee to show that the change is not material.  

Question 232: Per page 42 of the FOA DE-FOA-0002678, “Awards made under this announcement will fall under the purview of Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 200 as amended by 2 CFR Part 910.” This broad regulation covers many items. The FOA does not specifically address if the procurement provisions of 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.318-200.326 apply to this FOA, in particular | included below: Section 200.319 Competition. (b) In order to ensure objective contractor performance and eliminate unfair competitive advantage, contractors that develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, or invitations for bids or requests for proposals must be excluded from competing for such procurements. Some of the situations considered to be restrictive of competition include but are not limited to: (1) Placing unreasonable requirements on firms in order for them to qualify to do business; (2) Requiring unnecessary experience and excessive bonding; (3) Noncompetitive pricing practices between firms or between affiliated companies; (4) Noncompetitive contracts to consultants that are on retainer contracts; (5) Organizational conflicts of interest; (6) Specifying only a “brand name” product instead of allowing “an equal” product to be offered and describing the performance or other relevant requirements of the procurement; and (7) Any arbitrary action in the procurement process. Can it be confirmed with DOE that consultants supporting the grant application will not be excluded from supporting future funded work? If we help a client develop the full application submission, we would ideally like to continue the relationship and help realize the construction of a commercial-scale production plant in the critical battery materials sector. As a 10,000 person organization offering several services, we don’t want proposal support to prevent us from competing for future design, engineering, construction and operations support. Please clarify. As a further example, per page 47 of the FOA DE-FOA-0002678, the National Energy Technology Laboratory and the Idaho National Laboratory are listed as ineligible due to their involvement developing the requirements of FOA DE-FOA-0002678. If a consultant X helps client Y develop a winning application (and associated project plans and work breakdown structures), will consultant X be automatically precluded from efforts funded by funds received by Y from the winning application?
Answer 232:

The DOE cannot make broad determinations regarding the eligibility of project participants absent review and consideration of a full application.  However, proposed project team members that participate in the development of an application are not typically precluded from project participation.

Question 233: For the Environmental Information Volume (EIV), the table in Section IV.D.i notes “n/a” for the page limit for this document. Does this mean that this document does not have a limit to its page count? Also, if additional appendices are available for the information provided in the EIV, can these appendices be included as attachments within the EIV pdf document and submitted with our application?
Answer 233:

THE EIV does not have a page limit.  However, please keep in mind that the maximum file size that can be uploaded to the EERE Exchange website is 10MB.

Question 234: Can non-federal funds be used for lobbying activities? The FAQ answers to FAQs 184, 206, and 217 suggest that using non-federal funds to lobby is not prohibited and is for ""disclosure purposes." However, the FOA's language seems to suggest a prohibition of lobbying with non-federal funds. Specifically, the FOA at pp. 77, 80 state: Recipients and subrecipients are required to complete and submit SF-LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities” https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-individual-family.html) to ensure that non-federal funds have not been paid and will not be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence any of the following in connection with the application: • An officer or employee of any federal agency; • A Member of Congress; • An officer or employee of Congress; or • An employee of a Member of Congress.
Answer 234:

Non federal funds can be used for lobbying.  However, if it is used in any of the ways described, it must be disclosed on the SF-LLL.

Question 235: 1. Will there be a follow on FOA in this same area for battery manufacturers in July or later this year? 2. Will there be an extension of the sixty day time window for submission or is the final submission date July 1, 2022? 3. Can an individual company with demonstrated technical capability request an extension for this $100 million plus submission deadline? 4. Must a specific site be selected for a submission? 5. If the answer to the question above is yes, then what permits are required for the site, and can permitting be conducted while the submission review and negotiation process continues? 6. If a Congressional office provides coordination support for facility siting, permitting, or other activities in their state to support state economic development but no separate lobbyist not already on a company payroll is retained by the company, is this coordination activity reportable as lobbying under the rules as understood by your office for the lobbying disclosure form? 7. Can additional information, such as an updated technical volume, offtake agreement, or equity plan, be submitted after an initial submission? 8. Are both three year and five year budgets required? 9. Are awarded funds disbursed all at once under a FOA award, and then drawn down, or are funds sent incrementally on a monthly or periodic basis, or a milestone basis, in accordance with a funding schedule administered by AMO? 10. How many awardees are expected? 11. Is a direct grant negotiation possible with AMO or another office at DOE, such as EERE, or must all DOE battery production grants under the BIL be awarded through this or a subsequent AMO FOA? 12. Given cost share requirements are 50%, can cost share be met after an award is negotiated but prior to disbursement? 13. Can cost share be a loan, including a federal loan, or a federally guaranteed loan? 14. Can cost share comprise a company balance sheet or previously awarded venture and private equity funds? 15. Is the award and cost share envisioned to comprise the entire amount for a given facility plan, or simply the equity portion? 16. Is there an example available of a previously successful submission for a commercial scale production or demonstration award?
Answer 235:

The application submission requirements, due dates, planned number of awards, etc. are included within the FOA. Applications must be accurate at the time of submission. FOA amendments are not planned at this time, however applicants should consider registering for automatic notifications in the event of an amendment.  The DOE cannot provide determinations regarding the content of an application absent review and consideration of the full application.

Question 236: We are in the process of preparing an application for the DOE Funding opportunity, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing, and was wondering if we could get a clarification on the question we have. In this case, XYZ, Inc, would be the primary applicant/awardee with ABC being the subrecipient. However, ABC, which is a start-up with R&D as a primary function, is also a major investor in XYZ. Would there be any conflict of interest here? If so, is there a mechanism to disclose this association and still remain eligible? I would appreciate any remarks and suggestions on this matter, and would be happy to provide more information if needed
Answer 236:

DOE does not provide advice on applications or subrecipient selections during the application process.

Question 237: I am emailing to confirm that if a battery manufacturer has missed the LOI deadline of 5/27/2022 to apply for funding that they are unable to apply? Is there any way to still apply/ be eligible? I also would like to know if there is funding available for the next year or future years?
Answer 237:

Per the FOA, the Letter of Intent will be used for solely merit review process planning and is therefore not a prerequisite for submission of a full application. Please refer to section II.A.i regarding funding for this FOA.  The DOE cannot provide information regarding future appropriations.

Question 238: We are anticipating receiving a commitment from a customer/supplier this summer, but likely not by 7/1. We should have the commitment which looks very promising by the end of the comment period 9/1. Will this be adequate to submit a proposal as long as we receive the commitment by 9/1?
Answer 238:

Please refer to the due date for full applications provided on the FOA cover page.

Question 239: We have been working with SAM.gov and there is a huge backlog to obtain an UEI number. We still want to submit an LOI, how should we proceed?
Answer 239:

The deadline for the Letter of Intent has passed. Per the FOA, the Letter of Intent will be used for solely merit review process planning and is therefore not a prerequisite for submission of a full application.  

Question 240: My company is interested in providing a support letter, on behalf of a third party company (“Third Party”), to the DoE for the Funding Opportunity, DE-FOA-0002678. Before submitting this letter of support, we wanted to confirm that the letter does not create any liability, obligation, or reporting requirement on behalf of my company. In addition, if the DoE does issue the grant to Third Party and my company acts as a 100% requirements supplier to Third Party, my company would also not have any liability, obligation, or reporting requirement to the government.
Answer 240:

The DOE is not requesting Letters of Support.  Letters of commitment must meet the requirements set forth in section IV.D.i in the FOA.  The DOE cannot make legal determinations regarding project commitments made by perspective project applicants.

Question 241: If a company has more than one current manufacturing facility, can a project/application to retool multiple facilities fall under the same project/funding request? Example – Retool costs for each of three existing facilities is $50M. Can a single application be submitted for a total project cost of $150M that is then evenly divided by the company across those three facilities, or does each and every facility need to submit its own application for a retool grant?
Answer 241:

DOE will not confirm application-specific scenarios absent a full application.

Question 242: Good morning. Will program income occurring during the project be allowed as a cost share? The FOA at 50 states “Revenues or royalties from the prospective operation of an activity beyond the project period” may not be used as a source to meet cost share obligations. Further, 2 CFR 200.307 discusses program income, and 2 CFR 200.307(e)(3) states, “with prior approval of the Federal awarding agency, program income may be used to meet the cost sharing or matching requirement of the Federal award. The amount of the Federal award remains the same.” Otherwise 2 CFR 200.307(e)(1) generally applies in that: “Deduction. Ordinarily program income must be deducted from total allowable costs to determine the net allowable costs. Program income must be used for current costs unless the Federal awarding agency authorizes otherwise. Program income that the non-Federal entity did not anticipate at the time of the Federal award must be used to reduce the Federal award and non-Federal entity contributions rather than to increase the funds committed to the project.”
Answer 242: Program Income is not allowable as cost share under the award. Costs associated with operation of the facility to produce products for sale to customers are not allowable.
Question 243: I looked for a way to upload a LOI but now understand there is a form. I asked for the form but have not received it. Can you please forward the form and describe how do I go about uploading it.
Answer 243:

Per the FOA, the Letter of Intent will be used for solely merit review process planning and is therefore not a prerequisite for submission of a full application.  The deadline to submit the Letter of Intent has now passed.  Applicants should now focus only on their full application.

Question 244: We are a FFRDC partnering up with a small business, There are some additional questions: Please advise who and where shall the FFRDC letter be addressed to? What is the program contact name? Judi Collins? What is the complete DOE EERE office?
Answer 244:
Jodi Collins
Contract Specialist
U.S. Department of Energy

Question 245: In line with FAQ #166, can DOE post a version of the EIV file that is not secured so applicants can readily convert it to Word and complete it without retyping the entire document? That would save an enormous amount of time for everyone submitting proposals and avoid errors in transcription.
Answer 245:

A word version of this form is available at the NETL website: https://netl.doe.gov/business/business-forms/financial-assistance  

Question 246: Following up again…does not filing a letter of intent disqualify them from participating in this RFP? Thank you.
Answer 246:

Not filing a Letter of Intent does NOT disqualify an applicant from submitting a full application.  Section  IV.C.a of the FOA states that Letters of Intent are strongly encouraged. Additionally, please refer to section  IV.C.b of the FOA regarding full application compliance requirements.

Question 247: I work for a stewardship logging company in Montana. I am looking to get some advice on a lofty project that I can’t get out of mind. I am hoping you might be able to help, or at least point me further in the right direction.
Answer 247:

Potential applicants interested in competitive grant opportunities are encouraged to monitor DOE grant opportunities at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html as well as EERE Exchange:  https://eere-exchange.energy.gov. The DOE cannot respond to questions other than those pertaining to  DE-FOA-0002678.

Question 248: Specifically, our question is whether phosphate is considered a critical mineral by the USGS in LFP production? LFP cathodes have three primary components (lithium, iron and phosphorous). Over 90% of LFP is produced in China, and all the phosphate in LFP is produced using highly polluting, unsustainable production methods. If the production of LFP is to be considered a critical manufacturing process in the US, all three LFP components should be evaluated for the same unacceptable risks to supply chain security and to the environment and human health that currently exist for nickel and cobalt production used for battery cathodes.
Answer 248:

Please refer to the National News Release, “U.S. Geological Survey Releases 2022 List of Critical Materials” (U.S. Geological Survey Releases 2022 List of Critical Minerals | U.S. Geological Survey (usgs.gov) ) for the list of USGS Critical Materials.  Please note that phosphate is not included on the list.

Question 249: 1. Data Management Plan (DMP) This requirement seems to be geared towards funding for research projects and not capital projects like ours. Is it reasonable to provide the below response to the DMP request? If deemed necessary, the primary recipient will submit project status updates to the DOE at regular intervals as the project matures through the different stages from Feasibility through Final Investment Decision and eventual Commissioning and Start-up. 2. Authorization from cognizant Contracting Officer for FFRDC The FOA indicates that this may not be required. WE do not plan to partner with an FFRDC for this project. Can we submit the below response for this requirement? The capital project under this funding application will not utilize a FFRDC. 3. Foreign entity waivers and foreign work waivers The applicant has potential cost-sharing partners for two projects in which LOIs were submitted – AOI 2 and AOI 3. No joint ventures have been formed from the partnerships at this time. The applicant intends to be the primary applicant for both project submissions and is hoping (if funding is secured) to bring the JVs in under the umbrella of the funding. Does the applicant need to bring the potential partners into the funding application (prior to establishing an official relationship with the partner, i.e. a JV) as subrecipient or can the primary recipient do this at a later stage? 4. Current and Pending Support (CPS) It appears this requirement is geared towards research projects that are funded through existing means. The applicant’s project is not currently funded by any external parties and will be self-funded. It is possible for the applicant to decide to fund the project through 3rd parties (i.e. Banks) at some point in time? Is the below response to this requirement appropriate? The Applicant as the Lead Organization/primary recipient is not receiving any funding or support for the capital project pursued under this application. 5. Waiver of the Buy American requirement for infrastructure projects It looks like this is only required if the project has to acquire materials outside of the U.S. Do we need to provide any sort of statement that speaks to the fact that we are not aware of project constraints that would require us purchase materials produced outside of the United States but commit to submitting a waiver in the future if needed?
Answer 249:

(1.) Re the DMP - please refer to IV.D.xi for instructions regarding the DMP, which is a required application document.  The DOE will not make determinations  regarding the contents of the DMP absent a full application. (2.) Project participation by an FFRDC is not required. If a proposed project will not use a FFRDC there is no need to submit anything.  Section IV.D.xii is to be used only if applicable.  (3.)  All participants providing cost share are considered to be  subrecipients and MUST be disclosed at the time of application. (4.) The requirements under section IV.D.xviii apply to Recipients and subrecipients regardless of the funding source or type of activity. (5.) Please refer to section IV.D.xvi regarding waivers for the Buy American Requirement for Infrastructure Projects.  The DOE cannot make any determinations regarding these requirements absent review and consideration of a full application.

Question 250: In EERE Exchange, when entering Full Application Details for DE-FOA-2678, the system requests a Business Point of Contact. Is it also necessary to include a 2 page resume for the Business Point of Contact in the Resume section of the Full Application?
Answer 250:

Per Section IV.D. iii. Applicants are required to submit two-page resumes for the Principal Investigator and all Senior/Key Personnel. For the purposes of this FOA, the Business POC is also considered to be key personnel.

Question 251: As far as cash matching goes, can DOE loans and or loan guarantees be used in conjunction with the Grant applicable to the subject line FOA. I mean can existing loans and or loan guarantees be used as cash match in conjunction with pursuant grant?
Answer 251:

See section III.B of the FOA regarding cost sharing.  Please note that cost share must come from non-federal sources unless otherwise allowed by law. (See 2 CFR 200.306 and 2 CFR 910.130 for the applicable cost sharing requirements.)

Question 252: Upon reviewing the #DE-FOA-0002678, I'm wondering if pre-award grant writing services will be covered as a reimbursable expense under the program?
Answer 252:

See section IV.J.ii regarding pre-award costs.  The DOE will not make determinations regarding pre-award costs absent a full application.  Please note that the costs must be "necessary for efficient and timely performance of the scope of work".

Question 253: Is it permissible to embed a weblink in the PDF of an application document (e.g. a weblink to a company video embedded in the Equity Plan pdf)?
Answer 253:

It is not permissible to embed a web link into the PDF of the application.  If there is such a link, the reviewers are instructed to not click on it because it circumvents the maximum page requirement.

Question 254: I am reaching out to request a clarification on the weights of the evaluation criteria listed in Section V (pg 91 onwards) of Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number: DE-FOA-0002678 FOA Type: Amendment 000002. The FOA mentions that all sub-criteria are weighted equally. Does this refer to the numbered criteria or the labeled criteria? For example, on page 91, criterion 1 has a weight of 30% spread across 3 labeled categories (technical merit, project management and impact) and 10 numbered criteria (1a-1j). Does the phrase “(All sub-criteria within this criterion are equally weighted.)” mean: (a) Each numbered item is equally weighted, so each of 10 numbered sub-criteria ‘1a’ to ‘1j’ will have a weight of 3% OR (b) Each labeled criteria is equally weighted so on page 91, 10% for technical merit (1a-e), 10% for proj. mgmt. (1f-h) and 10% for impact (1i-j) ? Could you clarify?
Answer 254:

All sub criteria are weighted equally is referring to the individually numbered sub criteria (1a, 1b, 1c, etc) and not to the broader categories.  

Question 255: For AOI 10 I have two questions. First, we are looking to put a new manufacturing line in an existing building. Can you confirm the minimum federal share is $50 million? Second, we will need to expand the building to install this manufacturing line. Can we allocate federal cost share to expanding the existing building?
Answer 255:

Please refer to the FOA section entitled, "Introduction: Battery Component Manufacturing and Recycling Grants pursuant to Section 40207 (c)(3)(A) Areas of Interest 6-12" regarding thresholds for Federal funding limitations.  See section I.C of the FOA regarding applications specifically not of interest.  The DOE will not make determinations regarding the allowability of project costs or cost share absent a full application.

Question 256: Hello – allow me to rephrase my question, since I’m still confused by this statement from AOI 3: “Applications must NOT use minerals as lithium, nickel (class I), cobalt, manganese, or graphite as the primary product since these items are addressed in other areas of interest.” Is it correct to assume that “minerals” means materials mined from the ground or brines, and that refined lithium metal would not be considered one of these minerals?
Answer 256:

As stated in AOI3 of the FOA - applications must NOT use minerals as lithium, nickel (class I), cobalt, manganese, or graphite as the primary product since these items are addressed in other areas of interest. AOI 3 applies to all lithium-ion based battery or other alternative advanced battery grade precursors that are not covered in AOIs 1 & 2.

Question 257: Page 75 of the FOA describing the Justice40 Initiative appears to be missing a clause in item 4, sub-item (8), starting with “In addition.” Would you please clarify what was meant to be said in that sentence?
Answer 257:

Please referred to the amendment FOA (Amendment 000003), which clarified this section.

Question 258: Are mining tailings and ineligible project cost. We assume not since not explicitly delineated as an ineligible project cost but just want to confirm.
Answer 258:

DOE does not provide specific advice on applications.

Question 259: More questions about the required Equity Plan requirement:   (1)  what portion, if any, of any federal grant monies received under this FOA can be used to fund the proposed equity plan in terms of percentage or dollar amounts; (2) if pursuing a $100 million grant under this FOA, how much would be considered acceptable or appropriate as part of a proposed plan under this FOA (some of the direction is confusing particularly with regard to the Justice 40 memo; (3) since this is a new requirement for grant applications under the current administration, are there Sample Equity Plans available to help us in the crafting of our proposal?; and (4) what is the DOE legal definition of “underserved” communities?
Answer 259:

(1) &(2)  DOE does not provide advice on applications. (3) DOE does not provide sample Equity Plans. (4) According to Executive Order 13985, the term “underserved communities” refers to populations sharing a particular characteristic, as well as geographic communities, that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life, as exemplified by the list in the preceding definition of “equity.”   https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-advancing-racial-equity-and-support-for-underserved-communities-through-the-federal-government/

Question 260: We are producing a battery component outside of the cell. Specifically, a thermal barrier blanket that prevents thermal runaway improving safety. Can you confirm that components outside of the cell/battery are eligible? Also, our value chain is the Automotive producer not battery producer, so can you confirm a commitment from the OE is acceptable?
Answer 260:

A thermal blanket is part of the battery pack in the described scenario. The letter of commitment must be from customers of the products produced at the manufacturing facility. As long as the identified entity is a customer, the letter would be considered compliant.

Question 261: XYZ would like to submit a thermal barrier proposal which prevents BEV thermal runaway Does out of cell components qualify for AOI 10? We are upstream, supplying to ABC, who supplies to STU and MNO. Do OE vehicle manufacturer commitments work? The FOA AOI 10 states “battery manufacturers.” We will need to expand an existing manufacturing site in EFG. Can we count the building expansion as cost share?
Answer 261:

DOE will not provide direction or guidance on cost share without review of a full application.  Appendix C provides some general guidance, also please see Sections I.C. & III.B. of the FOA .

Question 262: With respect to the requirements for applicants to have letters of commitment (one page maximum per letter, FOA at 67), the FOA does not define or provide the legal or contractual significance of LOCs. Does the agency intend for these LOCs to be legally binding, or instead, to show the agency that there is a potential customer that is serious about negotiating a contract with the applicant? The one page maximum requirement would not be enough space to flesh out appropriate terms and conditions of a contractual relationship.
Answer 262:

The minimum content requirements for the Letter(s) of Commitment is provided in each area of interest.  The LOC is not intended to be legally binding.  Please review the "Technical Review Criteria" included within the FOA regarding the criteria  for application reviews.

Question 263: Regarding page formatting in the Technical Volume, in order to better fit the Project Schedule and WBS into this Volume, can we turn these specific pages to landscape orientation in order to better fit these charts? Or is it required that every page be formatted in portrait orientation?
Answer 263:

The format requirements for the entire application are included within section IV.A of the FOA.  Use of landscape pages are not precluded within these requirements.

Question 264: In the budget justification, could you please help resolve a technical issue as below: 1. Since we need more rows to describe our equipment list, we inserted more rows in supporting tabs, such as tab “d. Equipment” – yellow highlighted rows below 2. We could not copy or insert formulas in column E – blue highlighted cells – this column is protected by password. Therefore the total budget will not add up. We really appreciate your help to fix this technical issue in the excel file. Thanks for your help in advance. (followed by screenshot)
Answer 264:

In cases where there are not enough rows to list all equipment, please identify a grouping (i.e. Group A, B,...) for use in the budget justification equipment table.  Please provide a detailed listing of each group to in the rows and columns to the right of the equipment table that describes the equipment and cost of each group.

Question 265: Will you allow proceeds from the DOE Title 17 loan guarantee program to be used as cost sharing under this solicitation?
Answer 265:

See  section III.B of the FOA regarding cost sharing requirements.  Please note that recipient share of allowable costs equals the total allowable cost of the project) and must come from non-federal sources unless otherwise allowed by law. (See 2 CFR 200.306 and 2 CFR 910.130 for the applicable cost sharing requirements.)

Question 266: With respect to the SOPO’s milestones, should the SOPO also contain milestones from the Equity Plan Volume or only technical milestones?
Answer 266:

See the SOPO template provided with the FOA.  Please note that the SOPO template requires technical milestones.

Question 267: We understand that sub-recipients with an award budget greater than $250k are required to submit a separate budget sheet. Can you confirm that sub-recipients included in the cost share category (budget schedule j; line 11 - f. Contractual) do not need to file their own budget sheet, even if the cost share allocated is above $250k?
Answer 267:

See  section III.B of the FOA regarding cost sharing requirements.  Please note that recipient share of allowable costs equals the total allowable cost of the project) and must come from non-federal sources unless otherwise allowed by law. (See 2 CFR 200.306 and 2 CFR 910.130 for the applicable cost sharing requirements.)

Question 268: Does the DOE Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program allow proceeds from a DOE Title XVII loan guarantee to be used to fund some or all of the cost sharing under this solicitation?
Answer 268:

See  section III.B of the FOA regarding cost sharing requirements.  Please note that recipient share of allowable costs equals the total allowable cost of the project) and must come from non-federal sources unless otherwise allowed by law. (See 2 CFR 200.306 and 2 CFR 910.130 for the applicable cost sharing requirements.)