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: Can you clarify the geographic area for which services are to be provided? Is this for local or regional services, the service area of the golden office or nationwide.
Answer 1: This FOA is open to applicants nationwide.  Topic Area A is intended to address challenges at the regional, state, tribal, and/or local levels.
Question 2: Is a state public benefit corporation and state-owned power organization eligible to apply for this FOA?
Answer 2: As per Section III.A.2 of the FOA, "State, local, and tribal government entities are eligible to apply for funding as a Prime Recipient or Subrecipient."
Question 3: Are non-profit electric cooperatives eligible for the opportunity?
Answer 3: As per Section III.A.2 of the FOA, “nonprofits that are incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a particular State or territory of the United States are eligible to apply for funding as a Prime Recipient or Subrecipient.”
Question 4: Will the webinar and a transcript or recording be posted online?
Answer 4: Yes, the webinar and transcript are posted with the FOA document in EERE Exchange.
Question 5: I built a business plan designed towards small-scale manufacturing and distributing locally, then expanding.  It was 3 pages, but it was geared more towards the business aspect of the process.  Although, it does include a lot of your criteria for the first half of the concept paper and it was focused around creating business in West Virginia.  I was wondering if the data on the market, industry, and financials is encouraged, or should I go more into the implementation of the actual manufacturing and use that data to support the implementation?
Answer 5: Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Announcement posted on EERE eXCHANGE, including section I.D. “Applications Specifically Not of Interest”.  Proposals by for-profit entities that aim to develop a proprietary business model, and Proposals by for-profit entities that aim to promote a specific solar energy hardware technology or product, are both listed as specifically not of interest in FOA section I.D.
Question 6: We are partners (but don’t receive funds) in the Solar Ready II/Rooftop Solar Challenge initiative, are we eligible to apply?
Answer 6: You are eligible to apply. Current and/or previous participation in  DOE awards does not disqualify potential applicants from applying to this FOA. Please refer to FOA section III.A.
Question 7: We are a current Rooftop Solar Challenge awardee, made up of a large consortium of regional and local jurisdictions. Is this consortium eligible to apply for the Solar Market Pathway funding opportunity? Using the same lead agency? If not, are a subset of the local jurisdictions eligible to apply. These jurisdiction have not received funding from the Rooftop Solar Challenge grant, they have only participated in planning/oversight activities.
Answer 7: You are eligible to apply. Current and/or previous participation in  DOE awards does not disqualify potential applicants from applying to this FOA. Please refer to FOA section III.A.
Question 8: My colleagues and I have listened to the webinar for DE-FOA-0001071 from Solar Market Pathways and have understood it to be funding for planning a solar project rather than funding for actual purchase of equipment and installation. We are wondering if our understanding of this funding is correct and would like to know when the funding for the actual project purchase of equipment and installation you spoke of at the EPA New England Spring 2014 Tribal Environmental Conference might be available for review.
Answer 8:

Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Announcement posted on EERE eXCHANGE.  You are correct in that this FOA intends to provide funding for planning a solar project; however this FOA will not provide funding for the purchase of equipment or installation.

Question 9: Are there any limitations on organizations that wish to apply. In other words, are all non-profits eligible, including 501(c)3,4,6, etc.?
Answer 9: Nonprofit organizations described in section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that engaged in lobbying activities after December 31, 1995, are not eligible to apply for funding.
Question 10: Will DOE help in some way assist those seeking partnerships?
Answer 10: While the intent of this FOA is to encourage the development and strengthening of partnerships, including public-private partnerships, DOE will not be arranging partnerships for this FOA. It is the responsibility of the applicant to search and select the best partner(s).   
Question 11: Is it possible to submit a proposal focused on just one topic (e.g., C-PACE or shared solar or emergency response plans) or is it better if the proposal covers several topics?
Answer 11:

Proposals can focus on just one topic. Funding will be commensurate with scope. Please refer to FOA section I.A (particularly pp.15-16).

Question 12: Who is eligible to apply to this FOA?
Answer 12: Please refer to the FOA Section III.A Eligible Applicants.
Question 13: Can you provide link to view past project applications that have been granted?
Answer 13: Information on past projects is not available.  The proposed applications should be innovative in the applicant's jurisdiction.
Question 14: If a solar company partners with a non-profit organization on the project, with a focus on deploying an innovative solar financing program that will make commercial scale solar affordable in a territory, and the nonprofit plays a lead role in public education and policy development, which entity should serve as the project lead? Which activity would have greater priority under this FOA?
Answer 14: The applicant chooses the Project Lead.  In general, both areas you listed are of interest for this FOA.  Please refer to the FOA Section I, including I.C. Applications of Interest.
Question 15: Is in-kind cost share allowable?
Answer 15: Please refer to the FOA Section III.B.4 Cost Share Types and Allowability.
Question 16: Do FFRDCs supply cost share if they're priming Topic Area B?
Answer 16: At this time, all applicants are required to provide 20% cost share. As per the FOA, "because FFRDCs and GOGOs are funded by the Federal Government, costs incurred by FFRDCs and GOGOs generally may not be used to meet the cost share requirement. FFRDCs may contribute cost share only if the contributions are paid directly from the contractor’s Management Fee or another non-Federal source."
Question 17: Can proposals be targeted at specific sectors, i.e. at residential, commercial or industrial customers?
Answer 17: Yes.  This FOA is intended to support an aggressive yet achievable solar deployment goal within the awarded jurisdiction, and Applicant should describe the specific actions that will be taken to achieve that goal.  Please refer to FOA Section I.A and I.B.
Question 18: I work for a state owned utility in the clean energy group. Would we be eligible to apply for funding?
Answer 18: Yes, you would be eligible.  Please refer to the FOA Section III.A Eligible Applicants.
Question 19: What is the length of the concept paper? Where are the concept paper requirements listed in the FOA?
Answer 19: Please refer to the FOA Section IV.C Content and Form of the Concept Paper.
Question 20: Is Topic Area B required to have 20% cost share?
Answer 20: Applicants under both Topic Areas are required to provide 20% cost share.
Question 21: I am a graduate student at a nationally accredited university, and my group has already been approached to partner with two counties in the area as stakeholders in the initial concept paper. The two counties are distinct geographic entities, and I was wondering if it would be acceptable to offer our research and technical expertise to both the proposals.
Answer 21: Yes, a university (or other provider of technical assistance) may partner with more than one applicant. You may choose to submit or participate as a partner on multiple applications (see FOA section III.F) or apply as a consortium (see FOA section I.C, “Applications of Interest”). Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE
Question 22: Is the $15 million spread out over 3 years, or is that what you’re expecting each year? Specifically is Part B, the national administrator, $1-2 million for all 36 months? Or for 12 months?
Answer 22: The dollar values listed in the FOA are total dollar values for the 3 year project period.
Question 23: Would private sector financing used to deploy commercial scale projects count toward the cost-share of the project proposal?
Answer 23:

No purchase or installation of solar equipment will be funded with program funds under this FOA.  Engineering designs, environmental studies and other preparatory activities are acceptable.  So NEITHER private funds NOR DOE funds can be used for installation of solar equipment (i.e. construction costs) as part of the total project costs.  Please see FOA Section I.D. for more details.

Question 24: A proposal will have a lead Prime Recipient and say 4-5 other sub-recipients (participants). Can all the 20% cost share come in from the lead Prime Recipient?
Answer 24: Yes, all cost share may come from the Prime Recipient.  The Prime is responsible to ensure that the cost share requirement of the FOA is met.
Question 25: What is the desired timeline for the funded programs? Between 24 - 36 months, do you have a preference?
Answer 25: The desired timeline is whatever will result in a successful project in the applicant’s jurisdiction, and the expected period of performance with DOE funding provided under this FOA is 24 to 36 months.
Question 26: Will you keep the information provided in our proposal confidential?
Answer 26: Please refer to Section VIII.E. "Treatment of Application Information" in the FOA.  Applicants should not include trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential in their application unless such information is necessary to convey an understanding of the proposed project or to comply with a requirement in the FOA. Applications containing trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential, which the applicant does not want disclosed to the public or used by the Government for any purpose other than application evaluation, must be marked as described in that section.
Question 27: What is the definition in KW for Commercial Solar & Residential Solar?
Answer 27: The definitions for residential-scale and commercial scale solar vary depending on the jurisdiction, database, and reports.  However, in general, residential-scale solar typically is less than 10 kW in capacity, and commercial-scale solar is approximately 10 kW to 2 MW in capacity.  Systems with a capacity greater than 2 MW are usually referred to as utility-scale solar.  For this FOA, there is no distinction between rooftop and ground-mounted solar for residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar.  Please see the SunShot Vision Study for more information:
Question 28: Is a strategy to provide solar based heating or cooling with the PV installations to reduce/share soft costs acceptable?
Answer 28: For this FOA, plans that address deployment of solar photovoltaics (PV) and/or concentrating solar power (CSP) to increase access to cost-competitive solar electricity are specifically of interest (please see Section I.C).  However, applicants may propose to explore strategies to develop solar deployment plans and programs that would include solar based heating and cooling as part of the plan to deploy solar PV, in order to help reduce solar soft costs. 
Question 29: Until what date will you keep accepting questions?
Answer 29: As per the FOA Section VII, "questions regarding the content of this FOA must be submitted to: not later than 3 business days prior to the application due date."
Question 30: Are your Reviewers from the Industry or only the Govt or Both? How do you ensure that confidential information (like proprietary financial innovation models) stay confidential and does not get prematurely leaked into the industry?
Answer 30: All reviewers are required to submit binding confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements prior to beginning reviews.    As per the FOA, Section VIII.I. Notice of Potential Disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, "Applicants should be advised that identifying information regarding all applicants, including applicant names and/or points of contact, may be subject to public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, whether or not such applicants are selected for negotiation of award."
Question 31: Will solar thermal collectors and their deployment in community be considered as a potential funding subject as well as PV systems?
Answer 31: For this FOA, plans that address deployment of solar photovoltaics (PV) and/or concentrating solar power (CSP) to increase access to cost-competitive solar electricity are specifically of interest (please see Section I.C).  Applicants may propose to explore strategies to develop solar deployment plans and programs that would include solar thermal collectors as part of the plan to deploy solar PV, in order to help reduce solar soft costs.
Question 32: Are 501(c)(6) organizations eligible to apply as prime contractors or subrecipients for DE-FOA-0001071?
Answer 32: Yes, 501(c)(6) organizations are eligible to apply.
Question 33: I have a question on the Solar Market Pathways FOA. Can a non-tribal entity apply with a proposal to develop solar deployment plans with tribal partners, or is the target of any tribally-focused work under this FOA necessarily funded directly to a recognized tribe? It seems that a third party with experience and established tribal partners would be well positioned to propose a project for replicable tribal solar energy deployment plans.
Answer 33: Yes, a non-tribal entity may apply to this FOA as a prime recipient and partner with a tribe to develop deployment plans under this FOA.
Question 34: Under APPLICATIONS SPECIFICALLY NOT OF INTEREST, the FOA states, “No purchase or installation of solar equipment will be funded with program funds. Engineering designs, environmental studies and other preparatory activities are acceptable.” Would this mean we could or could not propose using grant funding for installation rebates to spur more solar projects in an area?
Answer 34: Under this FOA, stakeholders may evaluate installation rebates as a strategy to spur more local solar projects. However, DOE funds under this FOA may not be used for fulfilling rebates that go towards the purchase of equipment for solar projects.
Question 35: I noticed in the FOA for Solar Market Pathways, the focus in on reducing the soft costs of solar. While the FOA states technologies such as fuel cells will not be considered, would battery storage? I was thinking we could charge the storage devices with solar. Would this apply under the FOA?
Answer 35: For this FOA, plans that address deployment of solar photovoltaics (PV) and/or concentrating solar power (CSP) to increase access to cost-competitive solar electricity are specifically of interest (please see Section I.C). Applicants may propose to explore strategies to develop solar deployment plans and programs that would include battery storage as part of the plan to deploy solar PV, in order to help reduce solar soft costs.
Question 36: In the FOA document under the subheading "Teams and Key Stakeholder Support" (page 16) you mention letters of support. At what phase in the application process (Concept Paper or Full Application) do we include letters of support, and under what heading?
Answer 36: Letters of support should be attached via an Appendix to the Technical Volume of the Full Application.
Question 37: I am a consultant representing a for-profit applicant that has developed an innovative solar program that accelerates community adoption of solar and energy efficiency focused on driving down the soft costs of solar energy and energy efficiency efforts. This program has completed a successful pilot implementation in one community, and is being replicated this year in up to three additional communities. This application would seek to further expand the replication of this innovative model in a dozen communities, with visions of expanding nationally in the future. While the program itself exists, it has not yet been replicated in these dozen communities. It would seem to me that we are not supporting the existing program, rather its replication, and that we are not funding an already designed program, but its replication. Will this project replication fall outside of the following technical parameter? • Applications that seek funding primarily to support existing programs or fund already-designed programs (e.g., established solar incentives and group purchasing programs). However, applicants can propose innovative and novel iterations, as well as analysis of existing programs, in the context of establishing the broader solar deployment plan.
Answer 37: Proposed programs that are innovative in the Applicant’s jurisdiction are of interest under this FOA (see FOA section V.A Review Criteria, Criterion 1: Merit, Innovation, and Impact).
Question 38: What is the maximum funding award amount available for Topic Area B: National Solar Coordinator? $2million or $4 million?
Answer 38: As per the FOA Section II.A.1. Estimated Funding, "Topic Area B: National Coordinator—EERE may issue approximately one three-year award in this topic area, with an average award amount of $1 million to $2 million."
Question 39: Will you allow us to attach a few letters of support to the concept paper in order to demonstrate the support we have for the project? Are there any types of letters of support you don't want? We're hoping to include LOS from Active Project Participants, Stakeholders, and some state players that won't be actively involved in the project but whose support would help ease the project's way.
Answer 39: Letters of support should be attached to the Full Application.
Question 40: It looks like a budget number is not required for the concept paper submission. Is this correct?
Answer 40: That is correct, budgets are not required with Concept Papers.
Question 41: I am wondering about a cover page for the concept paper submission, since it seems to be outlined under the full application section, but is also referred to in the Application Process on page 29/30 for the concept paper and full application. First, is it required for the concept paper? If so, how will this impact the page maximum for the project description and/or addendum?
Answer 41: The Concept Paper does not require a cover page.  Please refer to Section IV.C.1 for the Concept Paper content requirements.
Question 42: We are a solar developer collaborating with local, state and regional community partners to deploy solar in states that currently discourage third party organization (TPO) financed projects such as solar PPAs. We have developed an innovative business model that overcomes those barriers. Would our developer fees, typically 10% to 15% of project turnkey costs, be eligible for grant funding under this program, to be matched by project hard costs that we finance?
Answer 42:

Fees are generally an unallowable costs per the Federal cost principles and therefore cannot be reimbursed or counted as cost share.  Please refer Section IV.I.1 of the FOA for more information on cost share types and allowability. 

Question 43: The City is working on our Solar Market Pathways concept paper. We are wondering if the 20% cost share can be in-kind, for example calculated using costs of city staff for their time involvement in creating the solar pathway?
Answer 43:

As specified in Section III.B.4 allowable in-kind contributions include, but are not limited to: personnel costs, indirect costs, facilities and administrative costs, rental value of buildings or equipment, and the value of a service, other resource, or third party in-kind contribution.  In addition, every cost share contribution must be allowable under the applicable Federal cost principles, as described in Section IV.I.1 of the FOA. 

Question 44: When a Concept Paper is submitted, is the Applicant also required to provide funding information?
Answer 44:

The Concept Paper does not require funding information.  Please refer to Section IV.C.1for the Concept Paper content requirements.

Question 45: The FOA indicates that the concept paper shall include a control number on the top right corner of each page. Which number does this refer to?
Answer 45:

Applicants will receive a control number once the concept paper submission process has been initiated in EERE eXCHANGE.

Question 46: My organization is exploring a concept paper with potentially 4 primary partners. However, we may not be able to get a firm commitment from one of those partners by the concept deadline of May 28th. Therefore, I have two questions. 1. Can partners be specified in the concept application as “TBD”, and then added in at the full application stage? 2.If our concept paper received an “encourage” decision but while preparing the full application, a partner organization that was included in the concept paper must drop out, are we still eligible to submit a full application?
Answer 46:

1. Partners may be specified as TBD. 

2. If a partner drops out or changes prior to full application submittal, you will still be eligible to submit a full application.

Question 47: We have one question on the Solar Market Pathways FOA. In the FOA, page 31-32, it states that the concept paper should be no longer than 3 pages, with an additional 5 pages allowed for addenda. However, the online application appears to only allow for a 4000 word abstract. Can you please clarify how long the concept paper should be?
Answer 47:

As specified in Section IV for the FOA, the concept paper must be in Adobe PDF format.  Please refer to Section IV.C.1for the Concept Paper content requirements. The online abstract is not part of the official concept paper submission.

Question 48: I wanted to verify that as a staff at a university, I can submit a concept paper through an EERE account in my own name on behalf of a researcher here at the university. Correct?
Answer 48:

Yes, you are correct.

Question 49: Is it acceptable to submit multiple concept papers under the same account for different concepts?
Answer 49:

Yes, you may submit multiple concept papers provided that each concept paper describes a unique, scientifically distinct project.

Question 50: Regarding submitting my proposal, I don’t see where I load the three documents listed as required. The EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange only shows a place to load a project description (3 pages) and an addendum (5 pages). Where do the SF424, LLL and budget spreadsheet go?
Answer 50:

As specified in Section IV.A of the FOA the application process will include two phases: a Concept Paper phase and a Full Application phase.  Only applicants who have submitted an eligible Concept Paper will be eligible to submit a Full Application. The three documents referenced (SF424, LLL, and budget spreadsheet) are associated with the full application, not the concept paper.

Question 51: Hello, Regarding submitting my proposal through the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange, what type of documents are commonly included in the “addendum” section of the submission? I understand the project description part but am curious as to what other sorts of information are routinely received via an addendum? This goes along with another question I submitted a few minutes ago RE where I add the required documents listed in the FOA.
Answer 51:

The addendum can be used to provide graphs, charts, or other data to supplement their Project Description.  The information provided in the addendum is at the sole discretion of the applicant.

Question 52: I'm a private solar developer planning to submit a concept paper for this FOA. We're interested in deploying our own version of community shared solar projects. In the announcement, I am concerned with the Applications Specifically of Interest and Not of Interest listed in I.C and I.D. The Applications Specifically Not of Interest includes for-profit entities submitting proprietary business models. Does the propriety of the business model refer to the privacy of it? We have certainly formulated our own approach to community shared solar but do not require it to be private. We just hope that our innovations aren't discriminated against because we're a for-profit company. Further, you discourage applications for existing programs. I assume there's no limit on applying existing incentives but this item makes me wonder. There's no other mention of incentives in the rest of the document so I'd like to know if incentives can be part of our application.
Answer 52:

This FOA seeks to support efforts that are replicable and that evaluate and document successful strategies for solar deployment. Private companies can lead programs that involve appropriate stakeholder processes and include widely disseminated results. 

The existence or lack of state and/or local incentives will not impact DOE’s assessment of the merits of a particular application. However, local market conditions, including incentives, should be addressed for any projects proposed under this FOA. The limitation is on using DOE grant funds to provide incentives for solar projects (e.g., state energy offices cannot use DOE grant funds under this FOA as a new source of funding to maintain an existing incentive program).

Question 53: Other than the five page limit and requirement for staff description as one of the addendum items, are there any additional restrictions, limitations or requirements about what can go into the addendum?
Answer 53: Please refer to Section IV.C.1for the Concept Paper content requirements.
Question 54: Regarding the 3-pp. Project Description / 5 pp. Addendum for the Concept Paper for DE-FOA-000-1071, Solar Market Pathways… 1. What is the guidance on font type and font size? 2. Standard margins apply? 3. Should the Project Description and Addendum be combined into one document? 4. File format – is Adobe Acrobat pdf preferred?
Answer 54: Please refer to the FOA Section IV.A Application Process, for formatting information.
Question 55: When an awardee is successful for the above mentioned grant, Must the awardee spend funds and provide reporting and then reimbursed? Or does the DOE provide a LOC to draw the funds?
Answer 55: Recipients may submit for reimbursement of allowable costs incurred.
Question 56: On prior Federal Contracts we (non-profit) were allowed to put in for an advance during the first quarter of federal funding, then subsequently received reimbursements. On form 424 when we complete the budget and federal payment allocations, may we include an ADVANCE in Q1 to assist in the launch of the Solar Pathways project?
Answer 56: Requests for advance payment will be considered on a case by case basis.
Question 57: Page 31 of the FOA provides an outline for the concept paper’s Project Description. This outline appears to address concepts submitted under Topic A. Is there a preferred outline or further guidance for what you would like applicants to address under Topic B?
Answer 57: The same information should be included for applicants under Topic B, modifying language as appropriate.
Question 58: My organization will be submitting a concept paper for this solicitation. I noticed in the on-line process you require that we identify our budget at the time of concept paper submission. If so, can the budget change between the concept paper submission and final proposal? I am not sure we will have our budget finalized by May 28th.
Answer 58: The budget may be modified between the time of Concept Paper submission and Full Application submission.
Question 59: We are finalizing a concept paper right now with two partner entities, but have not determined who the best group to act as the prime is. Would we be able to have one group submit the concept paper to ensure it is given to DOE per the schedule, but then modify the final project team structure in June if needed?
Answer 59: EERE Exchange will not allow applicants to change the Prime Recipient Identified under the Concept Paper prior to the Final Application.  While the team structure may change, the Prime Recipient should not.
Question 60: We are a newly established NGO based in Africa. We deal with technology transfer programs in renewable energy, engineering and agriculture. We would wish to apply for the above project. Are we eligible? What information would you require?
Answer 60:  Please refer to eligibility information in FOA section III.A, specifically with regards to Domestic Entities and Foreign Entities.
Question 61: Does the application have to maintain the same project(s) proposed in the concept paper if, after further research/analysis, applicant finds that a different project(s) would be more effective in fulfilling the purpose/goal of the FOA? In essence, can the applicant submit a different project(s) on the application than the one originally proposed in the concept paper? If the application must contain the project(s) listed in the concept paper, is it then acceptable for the project to remain but with the structure and details changed for the application?
Answer 61: The scope of the project should not change substantially between the Concept Paper submission and Full Application submission.
Question 62: On the EERE Exchange website, on the Funds and Costs tab, there are 2 Phases that have been pre-loaded. What do these two phases refer to? Our proposal has 3 phases. But we would prefer to enter in our total budget as a single number for the full 36 month project period. The website would not allow me to put in the full budget in one of the two phases. I needed numbers, showing adequate match, in both phases. So to get the system to accept my budget divided the total project budget into two equal parts and put half in each of the two Phases. Is this an acceptable work around?
Answer 62: The final budget does not need to be specified at the concept paper stage. For the concept paper, it is acceptable to put the full amount in one phase (if EERE Exchange allows it) or estimate the requested funding amounts for the phases.
Question 63: Unfortunately, we got a late start and have not confirmed all the participants and their roles, which is required on Exchange application. We do not want to put potential participants, roles and share of projects without confirmation. How do you suggest we proceed?
Answer 63: Please do not include unconfirmed participants but submit your Concept Paper based on the project as it currently stands.  Additionally, project partners may be marked as TBD.
Question 64: Our concept paper only has one total project amount which includes the required cost share. When completing the concept papers online, under "fund and costs", it asks us to provide the numbers for phases 1 and 2 and 3. Should we put them all in "phase I" if we dont have a phase 2/3 or just split them evenly?
Answer 64: The final budget does not need to be specified at the concept paper stage. For the concept paper, it is acceptable to put the full amount in one phase (if EERE Exchange allows) or estimate the requested funding amounts for all phases.
Question 65: On page 13 of the FOA it says: "Solar deployment plans can address many topics, programs, and potential pilots that could help facilitate solar market growth." However, on page 31 section C of the FOA it states: "Each Concept Paper must be limited to a single concept or technology." Question: Is it acceptable for the concept paper to address more than one program? If not, then is it correct to assume that if an applicant's solar deployment plan consists of numerous topics & programs, as mentioned on page 13, then more than one application will have to be completed to the FOA?
Answer 65: A single concept paper can address more than one topic, program, and/or potential pilot as long as these are part of a cohesive project plan or process (e.g., a stakeholder process in a particular region can evaluate and pursue multiple types of programs and choose to pilot some of those programs).
Question 66: What do you mean by target level of performance -- the number of kilowatt hours that will be generated and the correlated savings?
Answer 66: Applicants should specify solar deployment targets that are appropriate for the proposed project. See FOA section I.B. Especially: “Successful applications for Topic Area A will include the following: … Provide information on the market size and potential impact of the proposed Case Study, with clear goal target (e.g., increase of X MW installed or MWh delivered by Y date, reduction in price)”.
Question 67: Could you please advise when we might hear about encouragement/ discouragement from DOE to submit (or not) full proposal?
Answer 67: It is anticipated that encourage/discourage notifications will be released the week of June 9.
Question 68: Are federal utilities, such as the Bonneville Power Administration and the Tennessee Valley Authority, excluded from being prime recipients?
Answer 68: Yes, Bonneville Power Administration and Tennessee Valley Authority are prohibited from being prime recipients however, they can participate as sub-recipients so long as they have authority to accept DOE Financial Assistance Funding. 
Question 69: We are a national not-for-profit community development financial institution that would use this funding opportunity to increase the benefits of solar development to low-income communities and people. -- We understand that funds from this FOA cannot be used to pay for equipment or installation. Could a portion of the grant funds be used to fund a loan loss reserve that would not directly be used for equipment? -- Are we able to target the initiative to a number of jurisdictions around the country?
Answer 69:

Funding from this FOA cannot be used to fund a loan-loss reserve fund.  As the money used for the fund would not actually be expended, DOE could not reimburse the recipient for the fund a loan loss reserve fund.  To determine what types of costs are allowable, applicants should review the relevant cost principals for specific entity types.  For relevant cost principals see Part I.1 of the FOA. 


Yes, the initiative can be targeted to a number of jurisdictions around the country.

Question 70: We are proposing a stakeholder process that would bring together stakeholders each representing a different interest and perspective, in addition to the utility.    How do we provide enough details for the application without nullifying the collaborative process that would achieve the goals as we are planning to collaboratively design a larger solar strategy for the state?
Answer 70: Applicants should provide sufficient information in the Full Application to distinguish their approach, topics of interest, and potential outcomes from other Applicants who may also propose stakeholder processes. Applicants should refer to the FOA text, in particular the description for Topic Area A (section I.B), Applications of Interest (section I.C), Applications Specifically Not of Interest (section I.D), and the Review Criteria (section V.A.2). Applicants should especially note phrases in the FOA text that state “preference will be given to applications/proposals that…” or similar.
Question 71: My project team and I were happy to hear today that the DOE encouraged us to submit a full application. I have a question about the technical volume. At the beginning of that section of the FOA, it says that the technical volume should be saved in a single PDF file (p. 34). Elsewhere (p. 35) it says the workplan (a portion of the technical volume) should be submitted in Microsoft Word format. These instructions seem to be contradictory. Can you please provide guidance on the proper format of the technical volume including the workplan?
Answer 71: The Technical Volume consists of five sections: 1) Cover Page, 2) Project Overview, 3) Technical Description, Innovation, & Impact, 4) Workplan, and 5) Technical Qualifications & Resources, as described in Section IV.D.2 of the FOA. Sections 1, 2, 3, and 5 of the Technical Volume should be submitted as a single document in Adobe PDF format. Section 4, the Workplan, should be submitted as a separate document in Microsoft Word format.

The FOA specifies that the Technical Volume (PDF sections 1, 2, 3, 5) should be submitted with the following naming convention: “ControlNumber_LeadOrganization_TechnicalVolume”. The separate Workplan document may be submitted with a similar, appropriate naming convention (e.g., “ControlNumber_LeadOrganization_TechnicalVolumeWorkplan”).
Question 72: Who should letters of support supplementing full applications be addressed to?
Answer 72: The letters may be addressed to US Department of Energy.
Question 73: On page 43 of the FOA, in the section titled “Subaward Budget Justification (EERE159)” it is said that “Applicants must provide a separate budget justification, EERE 159 for each subawardee that is expected to perform work estimated to be more than $250,000 or 25 percent of the total work effort.” While listening to the application question and answer segment of the Webinar, it was indirectly implied in a question that the amount of money that constitutes a “Subaward Budget Justification” is $100,000. To move forward with our budget, and to ask our private partners to do the same, we would like some clarification on this matter please.
Answer 73: As per the FOA, "Applicants must provide a separate budget justification, EERE 159 (i.e., budget justification for each budget year and a cumulative budget) for each subawardee that is expected to perform work estimated to be more than $250,000 or 25 percent of the total work effort (whichever is less). "
Question 74: The online form contains a tab for project locations. For Topic B, the National Coordinator position does not seem to lend itself to a specific city/state location. For Topic A, our project is regionally based, not focused on a specific city/state. Is location information required?
Answer 74: All applicants should indicate a project location. If the proposed project is of a regional or national scope, Applicants should indicate the primary location of the prime applicant.
Question 75: When completing the SF-424, we noticed that the FOA links to an older version of the document. I wanted to check whether it is OK to submit a more recent version with our final proposal. The chief difference between the two is that the older version does not have an obvious way to include more than one Congressional district, while the new one does. We will be active in four states, so we have quite a few districts to add, but the "National-All" option is not quite correct either. Please advise.
Answer 75: Yes, you may use a more recent version of the SF-424 document.
Question 76: In the FOA, sub clause iii on p. 28 seems to be in contradiction to the paragraph titled "FFRDC Involvement" on p. 16, which states that FFRDC’s involvement should be fully funded by the Prime Recipient rather than directly funded by EERE. Could you please clarify
Answer 76: If an applicant chooses to work with a Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC), such as a national lab providing targeted technical assistance and/or analysis, the FFRDC providing technical assistance must be included in the proposal as a sub-recipient and fully funded via the Prime Recipient in the budget submitted with the proposal. 
Question 77: The FOA requests a Work for Others agreement, but the online form requests a Field Work Proposal. Are these the same document? Which form is required for FFRDC subrecipients?
Answer 77: Only a Work for Others agreement is required if an applicant is partnering with an FFRDC.  This has been corrected in Exchange.
Question 78: Does the Department of Energy want non-contractual program partners, that will not be compensated through the grant, listed in the application?
Answer 78: Any program partners who will be contributing to the scope of work of the award should be listed on the application, even if they are fully funding their own work.
Question 79: In the FOA, pages 33 and 35 state the Workplan “should be submitted in Microsoft Word format” but does not state a specific naming protocol for the Word document. What is the naming protocol for the workplan?
Answer 79: The naming protocol for the workplan is: {{ControlNumber}}_{{LeadOrganization}}_TechnicalVolumeWorkplan .
Question 80: Can a related DOE grant count towards the matching funds requirement?
Answer 80: As per the 10CFR600, "all cost sharing or matching contributions, including cash and third party in-kind, shall meet all of the following criteria... (5)are not paid by the Federal Government under another award, except where authorized by Federal statute to be used for cost sharing or matching."
Question 81: Page 42 and 43 of the FOA give the details for the Summary Slide for Public Release. We understand that we can only submit one slide, but can the slide have animations and effects that allow the graphics and information to appear at different times, in an attempt to keep the slide from being cluttered?
Answer 81: Please do not use animations in your slide, as slides are often used in printed form
Question 82: Does the Data Management Plan count toward the 25 page limit for the technical volume, or is it treated like the letters and resumes that do not count toward the page limit?
Answer 82: The Data Management Plan and Open Source Software Distribution Plan (if applicable) should be submitted as part of the Technical Volume. They will be considered in evaluating the merit of the Full Application (see FOA section V.A.2) and therefore count toward the page limit of the Technical Volume.
Question 83: The FOA states on page 55 of the FOA that " There are several one-time actions before submitting an application in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), and it is vital that applicants address these items as soon as possible". However, in the paragraphs below (on pp. 55-6) it sounds like there is only one thing that must be done to submit an application--register and create an account on the EERE exchange--and the other things (register for DUNs, SAM, FedConnect,, etc) must be done before receiving an award (but not before applying for the grant). Is that correct, or do I need a DUNS, SAM, FedConnect, or account to apply for the cooperative agreement?
Answer 83: As stated in the FOA, “The EERE Exchange registration does not have a delay; however, the remaining registration requirements below could take several weeks to process and are necessary for a potential applicant to receive an award under this FOA. Therefore, although not required in order to submit an application through the EERE Exchange site, all potential applicants lacking a DUNS number, or not yet registered with SAM or FedConnect should complete those registrations as soon as possible.”
Question 84: If we do not have any lobbying activities, are we still required to submit the form SF-LLL?
Answer 84:

Yes, you are still required to submit the SF-LLL.  The form can indicate no lobbying or not applicable.

Question 85: Can we complete the Budget Information - Non Construction Programs sheet SF-424A (Rev. 4-92) in EERE 159 Detailed Budget Justification instead of completing the more specific worksheets A-I?
Answer 85:

As specified in Section IV.D.4 of the FOA, Prime Recipients must complete each tab of the Budget Justification Workbook for the project as a whole, including all work to be performed by the Prime Recipient and its Subrecipients and Contractors, and provide all requested documentation (e.g., a Federally-approved forward pricing rate agreement, Defense Contract Audit Agency or Government Audits and Reports, if available).

Question 86: On page 67 of the FOA, the language instructs us to not include Protected Personally Identifiable Information in the proposal documents, and defines PII to include an individual’s name (among other things). Then on page 68, the list of allowable Public PII information does not include individuals’ names (although it includes information that would likely reveal names, such as email addresses and written biographies). Are we allowed to include individual staff persons’ names in the proposal documents, including the Project Narrative and Budget Justification?
Answer 86:

Applicants must ensure that Protected Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as names is not included in the following documents: Project Abstract, Project Narrative, Biographical Sketches, Budget, or Budget Justification. 

Question 87: We are applying for funding to integrate PV into Emergency Response Planning and are interested in possibly working with Sandia and/or LBNL to provide peer review. We have spoken with staff from both of those institutions who are interested in participating in the project at some level. Since we don't have a budget or even definite scope of work for them, is it OK to secure support letters from them stating that the project matches their missions and should we decide to subcontract with them, we would go through the appropriate "Work for Others" process? At the moment, we are simply not sure at what point or the degree to which we will need their service. We also have several other entities (such as RMI) that might provide peer review of certain elements of the plan. They are writing similar support letters
Answer 87:

Yes, it is ok to secure letters of support.

Question 88: Could you clarify instructions for the budget justification worksheet? On the personnel tab, there is a column for Task. Is it necessary to break down the budget by each task listed in the Work Breakdown Structure or is it sufficient to list the costs only by budget period for the application?
Answer 88:

It is not necessary to break down the budget justification by task.

Question 89: We are a for-profit company with approved Federal Acquisition Regulation rates (FAR rates) that document our audited costs. How can we include reasonable profit in our proposed rates in the FOA? We have reviewed the sample rate form and budget spreadsheet. Are we correct to place the profit percentage in the Other Indirect cost row as long as we incorporate our FAR supporting documents as approved?
Answer 89:

As per 10 CFR 600.318 Financial Assistance awards may not include fee or profit.

(a) Grants and cooperative agreements may not provide for the payment of fee or profit to recipients or subrecipients, except for awards made pursuant to the Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer Research programs.

(b) A recipient or subrecipient may pay a fee or profit to a contractor providing goods or services under a contract.

Question 90: We are submitting SF 424 and Disclosure of Lobbying Activities Forms via EERE exchange in connection with Solar Market Pathways grant due July 11. Do we need to have our Authorized Representative sign at the bottom under Signature of Authorized Representative?
Answer 90:

The SF 424 must be signed with either an e-signature, or hard copy (pdf'd) signture.We are submitting SF 424 and Disclosure of

Question 91: I have a question about uploading budget justification. Is it OK to save excel workbook as PDF (which generates about 10 PDF docs from all the tabs), and to then combine those PDFs into One Single PDF doc, with 10 or more pages?
Answer 91: Either format would be acceptable.
Question 92: Page 67 of the FOA (Section P.) refers to the “Project Narrative.” Under this FOA, does “Project Narrative” refer to the “Technical Volume,” or to another piece of the proposal?
Answer 92: The Project Narrative and Techincal Volume are one in the same.
Question 93: Our team would like clarity DOE's assumptions when calculating the $.06 per KWH cost of solar target by 2020. What are the criteria used for calculating a solar cost/kWh? Lifetime of the panels? Do we count the Federal ITC in the calculation? Do we count finance costs? Do we account for generation credits (feed-in tariff) from TVA?
Answer 93:
Question 94: We successfully completed uploading our Full Application for DE-FOA-0001071 late last night. We received the attached additional letter of support today. Please add this important letter of support to our file.
Answer 94:

All application documents (letters of support included) must be uploaded in exchange in accordance to the instructions included in the FOA.