The slides will not be provided. A summary of the webinar is outlined below. The information provided in the webinar only summarizes the FOA and does not supplement or take precedence over the FOA text posted on EERE Exchange. Please consult the FOA for further information.
The Incubator Program:
The goal of the SunShot Initiative is to reduce the cost of solar energy (hardware, installation, and associated soft costs) by 75% to $1/W for utility scale installations by the end of the decade. This is equivalent to a levelized cost of energy of approximately $0.05-$0.06/kWh at utility scale making solar energy competitive with traditional energy sources without the aid of subsidies.
To facilitate the accomplishment of this goal, the Incubator program looks to invest in companies which have an idea or prototype whose introduction to the market could lead to a significant decrease in the costs associated with solar energy. This round of Incubator funding has a broad scope and covers both hardware and non-hardware costs of systems that convert sunlight into electricity. Areas of programmatic interest include, but are not limited to:
Photovoltaics Concentrating Solar Power
Balance of Systems Plug-and-Play Wiring and Installation Techniques
Power Electronics Energy Storage
Tools to address Non-Hardware Costs
The SunShot Incubator Program is an aggressive pay for performance program focused on helping solar startups rapidly refine and commercialize promising, proven technologies and ideas.
The program seeks to accelerate the commercialization of solar energy products and solutions that dramatically lower the cost of solar power.
Focus on Deliverables
The Incubator uses a deliverable-based funding structure
Payment is only made when a deliverable is verified by a third party
Deliverables must be verifiable though a mechanism that the Applicant proposes and represents significant progress
Construct deliverables carefully. See the FOA for details about deliverables (pg.54)
Reports are NOT acceptable deliverables
In the Statement of Work, which is part of the Full Application and further negotiated after selection, the awardee and DOE will agree on a series of deliverables which will be delivered over the course of the award. A specific payment is associated with each deliverable (portion of the awarded money from DOE) that will be made once the deliverable is verified by DOE or a third party. Deliverables must be verifiable through a mechanism that the applicant proposes and represent significant progress towards achieving the project objective. Deliverables are meant to be aggressive but should not be unattainable; therefore deliverables should be constructed very carefully. Reports are NOT acceptable deliverables.
Key Deadlines for this Funding Announcement:
Concept Papers Submission: 5 PM ET, March 5, 2013
Technical support e-mail: EERE-ExchangeSupport@ee.doe.gov
Expected Date of Concept Paper Notification: 5 PM ET, April 2, 2013
Submission Deadline for Full Applications: 5 PM ET, April 30, 2013
Please triple check your entries in EERE Exchange
Submissions could be deemed non-compliant due to an incorrect entry
Make sure you hit the submit button
Any changes made after you hit submit will unsubmit your application and you will need to hit the submit button again
Follow formatting criteria and page lengths stated in the FOA. Extra material will be REDACTED OR REMOVED and will NOT be provided to reviewers. Sections that exceed page length maximums will be redacted even if overall application is within page limits
The DOE does not release proprietary/Confidential information
The header and footer of every page that contains confidential, proprietary, or privileged information must be marked as follows: “Contains Confidential, Proprietary, or Privileged Information Exempt from Public Disclosure.”
Every line and paragraph containing proprietary, privileged, or trade secret information must be clearly marked using double brackets i.e. [[text]]
DO NOT use highlighting, it is very difficult to read many applications marked using highlighting.
You will be contacted in the event of a FOIA request and be allowed to redact proprietary material. See pg. 86
Tier 0 $500,000 12 months ≥ 20% Cost Share
Accelerate transition from a proof-of-concept of all critical components to an early stage functional prototype
Tier 1 $1,000,000 12 months ≥ 20% Cost Share
Accelerate transition of early stage functional prototype to manufacturing and commercially relevant prototype made in the lab
Tier 2 $4,000,000 18 months ≥ 50% Cost Share
Develop the manufacturing processes and equipment to move from fully developed lab prototype to pilot-scale production.
Non-Hardware Development (Soft Cost/ Software)
Tier 1S $500,000 12 months ≥ 20% Cost Share
Accelerate transition of proof-of-concept or business plan to alpha capability and early customer trials.
Tier 2S $2,000,000 18 months ≥ 50% Cost Share
Transition alpha capability through beta launch and full commercialization.
Tier 0 ≥ 20% of Total Project Cost
Tier 1(S) ≥ 20% of Total Project Cost
Tier 2 (S) ≥ 50% of Total Project Cost
Awardee Cost Share = Awardee Contribution / (DOE Contribution + Awardee Contribution)
Cash or in-kind contributions
Cost share shall be incurred in equal installments over the life of the award
All expenditures must be allowable, allocable, and reasonable in accordance with the applicable Federal cost principles see FAR 31.201-4
What is “allocable”? (FAR 31.301-4)
A cost is allocable if it is assignable or chargeable to one or more cost objectives on the basis of relative benefits received or other equitable relationship. Subject to the foregoing, a cost is allocable to a Government contract if it:
(a) Is incurred specifically for the contract;
(b) Benefits both the contract and other work, and can be distributed to them in reasonable proportion to the benefits received; or
(c) Is necessary to the overall operation of the business, although a direct relationship to any particular cost objective cannot be shown.
An applicant may NOT use the following sources to meet cost share obligations:
Revenues or royalties from the prospective operation of an activity beyond the project period
Proceeds from the prospective sale of an asset of an activity
Federal funding or property (e.g., Federal grants, equipment owned by the Federal Government)
Expenditures that were reimbursed under a separate Federal program.
Project Teams may not use the same cash or in-kind contributions to meet cost share requirements for more than one project or program.
The Prime Recipient of the award must incur at least 60% of the awarded funds and corresponding cost share. The Prime Recipient must expend 100% of the total project cost in the United States. However, applicants may request a waiver of this requirement where their project would materially benefit from, or otherwise requires, certain work to be performed overseas.
Criteria Weighting for Concept papers:
Applicants should carefully read and address the scoring criteria stated in the FOA.
For Concept Papers, the scoring criteria are broken into 2 equally weighted sections:
Overall Project Plan - 50%
Impact of the Proposed Project on the Goals of the SunShot Initiative – 50%
Reviewers will only consider the specific criteria stated in the FOA when evaluating application materials.
DOE will encourage the most promising applicants to take on the requirement of drafting a full application and discourage (but not disallow) those that are not as likely to receive an award from doing so.
By discouraging the submission of a Full Application, DOE intends to convey its lack of programmatic interest in the proposed project and to save Applicants the considerable time and expense of preparing a Full Application for a proposed project that is unlikely to be selected for award negotiations.