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 please send me the link for the webinar that will be held on Nov 3, 2014?
Answer 1:

The Landscape Design for Sustainable Bioenergy Systems FOA Informational Webinar will be held Monday November 3, 1:30 p.m - 3:00 p.m. EST. Standard application questions regarding the EERE Office and FOA procedures will be discussed. The webinar presentation link is


Question 2: Where are the slides from the webinar located?
Answer 2: The slides have now been posted on  EERE eXCHANGE at: The link to the recorded webinar is:
Question 3: For existing commercial scale farmers, proving the business case analysis- including the monetary and technical value comparisions of food crops versus cellulosics crops, is very important to convince company leaders to plant cellulosics. to what extent can existing lands planted in food crops (cane and/or corn) constitute part of the 10K acres, and in what percente compared to the cellulosic plantings? it's very difficult to make conversion investments and plant large plots of land in cellulsics unless the comparitive economic value is proven, so it's best to plant smaller percentages of the 10K acres in cellulosics.
Answer 3: The FOA does not specify what percentage of the defined spatial area should be planted in cellulosic crops, as this should be determined  based on site-specific factors.
Question 4: For the first application stage, in addition to 4-page concept paper, should applicant submit any other documents or the concept paper suffice?
Answer 4: Please see section IV.C.1. of the FOA for information on the Concept Paper Content Requirements. Documentation outside of the requirements of Section IV.C.1. of the FOA are not required
Question 5: Is the 20% cost share mandatory for every proposal? Can a proposal be exempt from this requirement if most participants are from federal entities?
Answer 5: Please see section III.B “Cost Sharing” of the FOA. The 20% cost share requirement is required regardless of the entities involved in the project.
Question 6: Could you please confirm that an organization can participate in multiple proposals?
Answer 6: Applicants may submit more than one Full Application to this FOA, provided that each application describes a unique, scientifically distinct project.  Additionally, organizations may apply as a Subrecipient on multiple proposals.
Question 7: Does the authorization of the Contracting Officer for DOE/NNSA FFRDC need to be submitted with the concept paper or full application?
Answer 7: Please see section IV.D. “Content and Form of the Full Application”, subsection 9, of the FOA: The Federal agency sponsoring the FFRDC must authorize in writing the use of the FFRDC on the proposed project and this authorization must be submitted with the application.
Question 8: Can partners change from concept paper to full proposal?
Answer 8: Yes
Question 9: We were instructed to get a control number, please point me in the right direction.
Answer 9: Once you create an application to this FOA in eXCHANGE, at:, a control number will be automatically assigned.
Question 10: What if the technology we are proposing involves the use of an allowable feedstock according to Appendix ‘F’ (e.g., switchgrass, energy cane, miscanthus, mixed grasses) combined with a a feedstock that is being discouraged in Appendix ‘F’ (e.g., algae, animal wastes, urban wastes, industrial wastes, and municipal solid wastes)?
Answer 10: The FOA defines which feedstocks are acceptable for funding under this solicitation. A project may include a combination of feedstocks, but activities associated with feedstocks other than those defined as acceptable feedstocks would not be eligible for DOE funding.
Question 11: Is there any limit on indirect cost rates?
Answer 11: Recipients should utilize indirect rates that have been established in their rate agreement, issued by their cognizant agency.  If the recipient does not have a rate agreement in place, one can be negotiated with DOE, in the event that an application is selected for award negotiations.  While a limit is not placed on rates, all organizations must adhere to their applicable cost principles.
Question 12: In the definition of “High Impact Feedstock” (Appendix ‘A’), there are targets for total biomass and biofuel production per year (50 million dry metric tonnes and 1 billion gallons, respectively). Is there a time frame by which this needs to ultimately be achieved (e.g., by the end of the project period) or a spatial extent to accomplish this goal that will be of interest to DOE for the purposes of this FOA?
Answer 12: The High Impact Feedstock definition refers to the ultimate potential of the feedstock and does not specify a timeframe or spatial extent.  Applicants may wish to provide a justification for why the proposed feedstock(s) would qualify under that definition.
Question 13: Appendix ‘H’, the Environmental Sustainability Table, outlines potential improvements to ecosystem services (water quantity/quality, soil stability/fertility, nutrient reduction, biodiversity, GHG emissions, etc.) that are expected to be addressed by the successful project. How will those performance metrics be measured in relation to the target feedstock goals? That is, if there are greater benefits to ecosystem services with a lower yielding feedstock (but one that still meets the definitions of “High Impact Feedstock as defined in Appendix ‘F’), will it be considered as competitively as one that has a higher biomass yield, but lower environmental benefits?
Answer 13: Performance metrics and target feedstock goals will be reviewed by independent reviewers as part of the Evaluation Process. Through this review, the competitiveness of each application will be evaluated based on the Technical Review Criteria in section V.A of the FOA.
Question 14: We are interested in proposing a multi-state project that would leverage and coordinate a range of ongoing relevant activities to focus efforts on two watersheds; thus we would address a "defined spatial area" that encompasses two watersheds. Is this approach acceptable?
Answer 14: Yes, this approach is acceptable.
Question 15: We have a question regarding what constitutes a suitable ‘forest residue’. In the FOA, forest thinnings are listed. Does this include material from thinning that currently is not commercially viable?
Answer 15: Yes, “Forest residue” can include thinning that currently is not commercially viable.
Question 16: Regarding the potential biomass user(s), can poultry houses be used as biomass users for the designed landscape, i.e. use of bioenergy crops as a bio-product for poultry bedding?
Answer 16: The FOA does not specify restrictions on the type of potential biomass user(s). Applicants are reminded that the intent of the FOA is to address the EERE performance metrics stated in Section 1.A. These performance metrics include dramatically reducing dependence on foreign oil, increasing the viability and deployment of renewable energy technologies, and spurring the creation of a domestic bio-industry. As explained in Section V.C.1, selections will be based on the degree to which the proposed project directly addresses EERE's statutory mission and strategic goals.
Question 17: For the full proposal, I noticed that the FOA says we can ask for up to 60 months of funding, and the budget justification is only for 3 years. Please let me know if we can indeed ask for up to 60 months, and if so please send me a link to the correct budget justification form.
Answer 17: Please note the budget justification form is broken up into budget periods and not individual years.  It is possible for a budget period to have a duration longer than 12 months.  Additional columns may be added if the project requires more than three budget periods.
Question 18: Please define “target level of performance” as required in the second bullet of the DOE Landscape Design Project Description. Does it mean TRL Level, as in many other DOE proposals? Or does it mean the targets of sustainability and targets for techno-economic analyses specified in Appendices H and I? Or something else?
Answer 18: Applicants should refer to Section I.A., specifically, the  sentence "Each project must establish targets for the following metrics for the defined spatial area and system under investigation" and the two sub-bullets following that sentence. Applicants should provide technical data or other support to show how the proposed targets could be met.
Question 19: I see the concept paper submission form includes questions about the topline DOE budget request and the cost share. Is it possible to indicate notional topline numbers that can be changed for the full application?
Answer 19: Yes, the amount of funding requested by the applicant can change between the concept paper and full application submission.
Question 20: I have a question in regards to Assessment of Feedstock Supply and Logistics, where the FOA states “Logistics systems must be consistent with proposed cellulosic feedstocks and designed for the specifications of a real or potential biomass user.” Does “potential biomass user” refer to an existing user or can it refer to a “future” user?
Answer 20: "Potential Biomass User” can refer to an existing or a future user.
Question 21: I am a scientist at a non US institution, and I need a US partner. Can you please indicate a source where US partners can be located and contacted for creating a partnership for the purpose of the FOA above?
Answer 21: DOE cannot recommend or endorse potential US partners; however, Appendix G of the FOA identifies a list of organizations that potential applicants are encouraged to engage with.
Question 22: In the initial FOA, the guidance on the initial 3-page project description for the Concept Paper proposal stage (p25 of 90) suggests that applications are encouraged to describe "The proposed project, including its basic operating principles and how it is unique and innovative" - Can you provide us some additional guidance about what is meant by the term 'basic operating principles'? Does this relate to the mission statement/goals of our project, or the logistics of how data will flow and research milestones will be managed during our project?
Answer 22:

In the context of this FOA, “basic operating principles” refers to the core elements and goals of the project, not necessarily the "logistics of how data will flow and research milestones will be managed during our project." Applicants should refer to the three components explained in Section I.B “Topic Areas/Technical Areas of Interest.

Question 23: An important question that we have pertains to Appendix F and the requirement that Acceptable Feedstocks have “ultimate availability potential of at least 50 million dry metric tonnes of lignocellulosic biomass per year”. Although much of our targeted research will be on private and state lands, it is unclear to us at this point if we can reach the stated goal without incorporation of federal forest and/or rangelands. Can you tell us if such lands would qualify to be included in potential availability required in the FOA?
Answer 23: The High Impact Feedstock definition refers to the ultimate potential of the feedstock at the national level, not project level. The FOA does not restrict federal forest and/or rangelands from contributing to this potential availability.
Question 24: • Can we use baseline data related to feedstock development from those research sites which are not present in the selected landscape but share similar characteristics (soil, topographical, and weather conditions) with sites present within the selected landscape? Do we have to use baseline data related to feedstock development only from those sites which are present within the selected landscape only?
Answer 24: The FOA does not specify restrictions on the source of the baseline data, but applicants should provide a baseline that pertains to the landscape under investigation. As explained in Appendix H, the baseline may be the current state of the landscape or the predominant “business-as-usual” conditions in the landscape. Independent reviewers will review “the level of clarity in the definition of the baseline” (Section V.A.2) as part of the Evaluation Process.
Question 25: Can we do experiments related to feedstock development on sites located outside the selected landscape but having same characteristics (soil, topographical, and weather conditions) as that of sites present within the selected landscape?
Answer 25:

The intent of the FOA is to support biomass production activities and experimental activities within the project’s defined landscape (See Section I.B, which states, “Within the defined spatial area, the project must implement an experimental design that quantifies environmental sustainability metrics….”).  Applicants may wish to explain why conducting experiments outside of the defined spatial area is suitable for meeting the objectives of the FOA, and this will be evaluated by independent reviewers as part of the Evaluation Process.

Question 26: I may not be able to complete the required SF-424 on time because I cannot readily provide some of the information on time for the submittal. If I cannot get this information on time, can I submit a paper defining the concept on 11-21-14 and submit the SF-424 at a later date?
Answer 26: The SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance document is only required when submitting the full application. It is not required when submitting the concept paper.
Question 27: Can you please clarify if energy beets are considered an acceptable feedstock for this FOA?
Answer 27: Energy beets are acceptable if they meet the definition of high impact feedstocks and energy crops as defined in Appendix F.
Question 28: Should I assume that the concept paper Project Description (3 pages maximum) does not include the cover page?
Answer 28: A cover page is not required. Please see section IV.C.1. of the FOA for information on the Concept Paper Content Requirements. Documentation outside of the requirements of Section IV.C.1. of the FOA are not required.
Question 29: Should we still consider sending the concept paper? At this time we have been able to include expertise in the most important disciplines that are required for our project, however we have not been able to get the commitment of other important partners.
Answer 29: DOE cannot advise applicants on whether or not to submit a concept paper, however note “that only applicants who have submitted an eligible concept paper will be eligible to submit a full application” as stated in section IV. A of the FOA.
Question 30: The 10,000 acre requirement as well as the language of the FOA causes me to ask whether you have an awardee already in mind?
Answer 30:

DOE has not pre-selected an awardee. The requirements of the   FOA are intended to provide guidelines that meet DOE's overall objectives and strategic goals.

Question 31: The FOA instructions state that the technical volume must be submitted in Adobe PDF format. However, the Workplan section of the technical volume is to be formatted in Microsoft Word. Does this mean that we should include the Workplan section as part of the Technical Volume in PDF format but also submit a separate WorkPlan file in Microsoft Word format?
Answer 31:

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 Exchange system will only allow one file per document upload field on the “Upload and Submit” tab of the Full Application record.  The separate Workplan document may be submitted as an Additional File with a similar, appropriate naming convention (e.g., “ControlNumber_LeadOrganization_TechnicalVolumeWorkplan”).

Please note, that all maximum page limit restrictions still apply to the entire Technical Volume.

Question 32: One Project Partner is a “virtual organization” (i.e., is not officially incorporated in a business sense [Inc., LLC, or 501(c), etc.]). Can a ‘virtual organization’ be listed as a funded Project Partner if there is no central accounting/contracts function to process payments? Or would the staff’s primary affiliated organization have to be listed as Project Partners instead?
Answer 32: Because it is unclear what you mean by a “virtual organization,” DOE is unable to respond directly to your question.  However, the FOA requires that  the Recipient is responsible for maintaining adequate project records (including those of subrecipients) to demonstrate that costs claimed have been incurred, are reasonable, allowable and allocable, and comply with the applicable cost principles. If a “virtual organization” is unable to comply with the express requirements of the FOA (such as having and maintaining a central accounting function to process payments and properly record allocated project costs) it is not eligible to apply.
Question 33: The team seeks clarification on the definition of “extension”. The FOA describes extension activities related to “State and/or local extension offices”. Will extension activities that are performed through extension channels that fall outside the formal nationwide Cooperative Extension System that are associated with educational institutions be viewed negatively, or as not responding to the need to include extension professionals in the process?
Answer 33: Extension activities associated with educational institutions that fall outside the formal nationwide Cooperative Extension System would be viewed as responsive to the FOA’s guidance to include extension professionals.
Question 34: Allowable biofuels – Please explain whether DOE BETO’s definition of biofuel includes only liquid biofuels, or if gaseous biofuels (e.g., biogas) are allowable and of interest to DOE. Our understanding is that the DOE’s biofuel program targets biofuels that will help meet the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard requirements. EPA states that RFS “…also permits renewable fuels that are not blended into gasoline, such as biodiesel and biogas, to participate in the RFS program” via renewable identification numbers (RIN). Please confirm DOE’s position on biogas.
Answer 34: Biogas is allowable under this FOA.
Question 35: The FFRDC Contractor Authorization letter that’s required should be addressed to whom; name and mailing address, please?
Answer 35: Contracting Officer
BioEnergy Division, Financial Assistance Office
Golden Field Office
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
U.S. Department of Energy
15013 Denver West Parkway
Golden, Colorado 80401
Question 36: I am a research administrator at a University and we are going to be a subcontractor on a proposal that is going to be submitted under this call. Our budget will be around $600,000 and it accounts for 15 percent of the entire project. In this scenario, do we need to include the EERE 159 from the University in the application ?
Answer 36: Yes, in this situation a subrecipient will be required to complete an EERE 159. Please See Section IV.D.7 of the FOA.
Question 37: Can federal agencies (USDA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, etc.) be funded Project Partners? (Does not refer to cost share.) Section II.B.2. (FUNDING AGREEMENTS WITH FFRDCS, GOGOS, FEDERAL AGENCIES AND FEDERAL INSTRUMENTALITIES) addresses this, stating “are funded independently of the remainder of the Project Team”. Seeking confirmation on our interpretation.
Answer 37:

As stated in the FOA in Section III.A.2, “Federal agencies and instrumentalities (other than DOE) are eligible to apply for funding as a subrecipient, but are not eligible to apply as a prime recipient”, and Section III.B “Cost share… must come from non-Federal sources unless otherwise allowed by law. (See 10 CFR 600.30 for the applicable cost sharing requirements.)” Federal agencies are eligible to be funded project partners. Please note, as stated in Section II.B.2, any funding agreement with a Federal entity would take place independently and would not flow through the prime recipient. An Inter-agency agreement or some other independent funding agreement would need to serve as the funding mechanism.

Question 38: Does the Principal Investigator (PI) (or one of the Co-PIs) have to be from the Prime Recipient?
Answer 38: No, the PI does not have to be from the Prime Recipient.
Question 39: One of our subcontracts, a for-profit, wants to waive some, or all, of the indirect costs and use that waived amount as in-kind match. Is this ok?
Answer 39: Unrecovered Indirect costs may be used as cost share.
Question 40: One of the sub-recipients for our grant application would like to aggregate their costs on a per unit of service delivered, rather than broken down by personnel vs. equipment, etc. Is this possible?
Answer 40: Because the description provided contains no information regarding what type of work this sub-recipient is intended to perform, it is unclear to DOE what is meant by a “per unit of service delivered” method.  It may be, however, that the proposed contractual work would generally be included as vendor costs.  Please review the EERE 159 Budget Justification for this distinction.  All contractors with total project costs of $250,000 or more will need to provide a level of detail that would allow EERE to determine if costs are allowable, allocable, and reasonable.  If selected for award negotiation, applicants may be required to provide additional information and documentation in order to make this determination.
Question 41: How many initial applicants were there vs how many were chosen to complete the application?
Answer 41: At this time, the requested information is not publicly available.
Question 42: The FOA states that CVs cannot exceed one page. Is there a standard format or a list of required elements for the CVs? This would be helpful given the tight space limitation for the CV.
Answer 42: Per the FOA, multi-page resumes are not allowed . There is not a standard format or a list of required elements for the CVs.
Question 43: We were just invited to submit a full proposal for this FOA. Can you please send me 1 or 2 successful full proposals for our review? Our concept paper is attached if you can think of another grant that might fall within this type of work.
Answer 43: At this time, the requested information is not publicly available.
Question 44: I have a questions regarding a discrepancy with the FOA and budget template EERE-159. On page 32 of the FOA it states that a separate budget justification EERE-159 form is required if the subaward is expected to perform work estimated to be more than $250,000 or 25 percent of the total work effort. The EERE-159 form states that each sub-recipient with total project costs of $100,000 or more, a separate budget form and justification must be submitted. These sub-recipient forms may be completed by either the sub-recipients themselves or by the preparer of this form. The budget totals on the sub-recipient's forms must match the sub-recipient entries below. Can you please clarify which instructions we are to follow?
Answer 44: The EERE 159 Budget Justification Form is required if the subaward is expected to perform work estimated to be more than $250,000 or 25 percent of the total work effort.
Question 45: The FOA says “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”. We interpret the language as saying the SF-LLL form is needed only if lobbying efforts will be made regarding this FOA proposal. The Project Team will not lobby for this project, so is the SF-LLL required? (The FOA and EERE-Exchange say the form is required). Please confirm.
Answer 45:

Your interpretation is correct. In this situation, the SF-LLL form would not be required. From the Section IV.D.10. of the FOA "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."

The SF-LLL is only required if it is applicable.


Question 46: The FOA says “Prime Recipients and Subrecipients are required to complete and submit SF-LLL…” Are all SF-LLL forms (Prime + 1 for each subwardee) uploaded through the same UPLOAD button? (i.e., are multiple file uploads accepted). Or should subawardee SF-LLL files be appended to the Prime Recipient’s SF-LLL form so there is only one file uploaded? Or should a separate file be uploaded for each subwardee SF-LLL form (using naming convention : ControlNumber_LeadOrganization_Subawardee_SF-LLL)? Please confirm.
Answer 46: Either submission is acceptable.
Question 47: Data Management Plan – Required by the FOA, but it is unclear how to submit to EERE. The Data Management Plan is not included in any of the required file uploads (page 23 of the FOA, “Full Application Content Requirements”). Is the Data Management Plan to be included as an Appendix of the Technical Volume (beyond the 30 page limit)? Is it uploaded under the “Additional Files” section? Please confirm.
Answer 47:

The Data Management Plan may be uploaded as an “Additional File” with a descriptive file name (e.g. ControlNumber_LeadOrganization_DMP).

Question 48: 4. Open Source Software Distribution Plan – Required by the FOA, but unclear how to submit to EERE. The Open Source Software Distribution Plan is not included in any of the required file uploads (page 23 of the FOA, “Full Application Content Requirements”). Is the Open Source Software Distribution Plan to be included as an Appendix of the Technical Volume (beyond the 30 page limit)? Is it uploaded under the “Additional Files” section? Please confirm.
Answer 48: As stated in the FOA” [Only] Applicants who will be developing open source software will be required to submit an Open Source Software Distribution Plan as part of their Full Application”.  Applicants may upload the Open Source Software Distribution Plan as an “Additional File” with a descriptive file name (e.g. ControlNumber_LeadOrganization_Software).
Question 49: One of our subcontracts in an International entity. The FOA states that a waiver form is needed for an International prime applicant, and also mentions later that any work done outside the US needs a waiver. Please verify that an International subcontract does not need to submit a waiver form.
Answer 49: In accordance with FOA Section, IV.D.11.i, the Prime recipient is the only entity that must be incorporated in the U.S. (or otherwise they must obtain a waiver).  A subrecipient does not have to be incorporated in the U.S. and does not need to obtain a waiver if it is a foreign entity. In accordance with FOA Section, IV.D.11.ii, if any work is to be performed outside the U.S., however (by the Prime, a subrecipient or anyone else), the entity needs a waiver.
Question 50: On the Cover Page, should organizations who provide a letter of support also be listed or simply those team member organizations who will be working directly on the project?
Answer 50: As stated in Section IV.D.2 of the FOA, the Cover Page should include names of all team member organizations.  Team member organizations are those with direct technical and/or financial support of the project.
Question 51: As I read the FOA, a open-source software plan is only required when open source software is being developed. Can you please clarify whether the FOA requires software products developed under the grant to be open-source?
Answer 51: Per Section IV.D.14 of the FOA, no, this FOA doesn’t require software proposed to be open-source, however, if open source software is proposed than the applicant must submit an open source software distribution plan. However, DOE’s goal is for any data, software (either open source or commercially licensed), and other deliverables to be disseminated as broadly as possible.
Question 52: Are formal letters of support from project partners required as part of the application?
Answer 52:

Letters of support from project partners are not required as part of an eligible application.  However, Applicants are encouraged to attach any letters of support from partners as an appendix to the Technical Volume (See Section IV.D.2).  Additionally, projects with a potential biomass user interested in utilizing feedstocks produced in the defined landscape are encouraged to include in their application a “letter of support” from this entity (See Section I.B.3).

Question 53: I do not currently see the portal to the online application on the EERE Exchange for this FOA. When will this be accessible?
Answer 53:

Only applicants who have submitted an eligible Concept Paper will be eligible to submit a Full Application (See Section IV.A).  An "Apply" button is available directly on the landing page for this FOA ( if an eligible Concept Paper was submitted by the 11/21/2014 deadline. 

Question 54: Our project expects there to be some income from sale of biomass during the 60-month project period. Based on the handling of project income from previous projects some members of our consortium have been involved in, there is some uncertainty about how this cash should be handled in the project budget. Can it be considered a cash contribution, that is, part of the consortium's cost share contribution, if it is fed back into the project and covering costs that would otherwise be expensed against the grant?
Answer 54: As stated in Section III.B.3 of the FOA, cost share must be verifiable upon submission of the Full Application.  Additionally, Financial Assistance regulations state that cost sharing contributions must be verifiable from the non-Federal entity’s records and are necessary and reasonable for accomplishment of project or program objectives (2 CFR 200.306).  Upon selection for award negotiations, DOE reserves the right to utilize any of the program income methods provided in 2 CFR 200.307.
Question 55: I do not see any discussion in the FOA of page limits for Appendices H or I. Can you confirm that there is no page limit for these two components of the application?
Answer 55: That is correct; there is no page limit for the information requested in Appendices H and I.
Question 56: The FOA sustainability metrics table in Appendix H states the following for greenhouse gas emissions: “Monitor soil carbon and greenhouse gas fluxes (CO2, CH4, N2O) using standard protocols. Complete a life cycle assessment that assumes a hypothetical feedstock-to-fuel pathway to show comparison to petroleum baseline (using GREET or comparable tool).” Is it permitted to do a “real world” pathway rather than a hypothetical pathway?
Answer 56: Yes, completing a lifecycle assessment of a “real world” feedstock-to-fuel pathway, instead of a hypothetical pathway, is permitted.
Question 57: Regarding the “Environmental Sustainability Table”, the FOA states “Applicants may use the table as presented or adapt it to fit the specific circumstances of their proposal.” We interpret this as being required to maintain the (row) categories (e.g., productivity, biodiversity), but having the flexibility to replace (or remove) the information in the “Minimum Requirements” and “Guidance on Target” columns. Please confirm, or clarify.
Answer 57: Applicants can modify the rows and columns in the table. Applicants are not required to maintain the rows as presented in Appendix H, as long as the information provided addresses each environmental sustainability category. Applicants may replace (or remove) the information in the “Minimum Requirements” and “Guidance on Target” columns.
Question 58: The most accurate and efficient way for the project partner responsible for crop establishment, harvesting, and transportation is to provide project costs on a “per acre” basis. The EERE 159 budget from, however instead requires personnel labor, fringe, travel, equipment, etc. to be specified separately. Is it acceptable for the cost estimate to be provided, by Budget Period, as an “Other Direct Cost” (or other cost category) that would allow for providing costs on a “per acre basis”? Please confirm, or clarify.
Answer 58:

Including these costs under Other Direct Costs may be appropriate.  The various cost components/activities should be clearly defined in the Other Direct Costs worksheet, within the “General Description” or “Additional Explanation” as appropriate.  Applicants may be required to provide additional information if selected for award negotiation.

Question 59: Can you provide clarification on what constitutes research and what is a demonstration for the purposes of cost-share accounting? As part of our project, we will be field testing a mobile conversion unit at remote locations for five weeks in each of two years. Remote field tests will include quantifying the effects of variable feedstock, feedstock preparation methods, and mobilizing between locations. As part of these tests, we will measure production rate, product proportions, and product quality. We will also measure costs and labor associated with shut-down, moving, and start up. We have designed the remote field tests to collect data on unit performance and consider these tasks to be research, and not demonstration, so we plan to offer cost share at the 20% rate. Is our cost share assignment correct for these describe tasks? If not, is there someone I can call to talk about the distinction between research and demonstration?
Answer 59: Please prepare your budget and application as an R&D project, with a 20% cost share commitment. See section III.b of the FOA for more information regarding cost share.
Question 60: We are preparing a full proposal and would like to know what federal environmental planning requirements we will need to follow to conduct research and site treatments in the field on private lands. For example, are archeological clearances and threatened and endangered surveys required?
Answer 60: See section VI.C.7., including the embedded links, for information on  DOE’s requirements for Environmental Review in Accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.  Please note other permits outside of DOE’s prerequisites may be required by other organizations or agencies, depending on the scope of activities.  Recipients are required to comply with applicable Federal, state, and local laws and regulations for all work performed under an Award.  Recipients are required to obtain all necessary Federal, state, and local permits, authorizations, and approvals for all work performed under an Award
Question 61: I want to be certain that we are interpreting the instructions correctly with regard to cost share for the extension portion of our proposal being submitted under FOA 0001179. Please advise whether we can exempt the amount allocated to extension from the total on which cost share is required. (I.e., if 20% of our proposal is extension, do we only need cost share on the remaining 80%, or is the extension collaborator simply not expected to contribute, with other collaborators being required to make up the difference?)
Answer 61: The cost share must be at least 20% of the total project costs for research and development projects (i.e., the sum of the Government share, including FFRDC costs if applicable, and the 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 for the applicable cost sharing requirements).  Therefore, whether or not an extension collaboration is involved in the project, 20% cost share of total project costs is still required. The extension collaboration could not provide a third party cost share commitment with Federal funds.
Question 62: Is it acceptable to modify the budget narrative to accommodate a 5 year budget? For example, I have added rows/columns to each page as follows while still identifying 3 separate budget periods since our institution’s Office of Sponsored Programs requires a yearly budget breakdown. Budget Period 1 (Year 1), Budget Period 1 (Year 2), Budget Period 2 (Year 3), Budget Period 2 (Year 4), Budget Period 3 (Year 5)
Answer 62: A Budget Justification (EERE 159) as described would be accepted as part of an application.  During award negotiations, DOE may consolidate the proposed budget on the SF-424A to tie into possible Go/No-Go decision points and funding restrictions.
Question 63: For harvesting and transportation equipment that we will need to purchase, will the full purchase price of the equipment be allowed under the grant, or is there some other calculation that we should use in determining the cost of the equipment? We have read the information in Appendix D but would like further clarification.
Answer 63: The full market value purchase price will be allowed under an award, if the equipment is purchased after awardee selections, if proper invoice is provided, if the equipment will be used for the sole purpose of the award, and if the Contracting Officer accepts the equipment as allowable, allocable and reasonable to the project during negotiations towards an award.
Question 64: You noted Section III.B.3 as stating "cost share must be verifiable upon submission of the Full Application" - what does this mean exactly? What evidence of ability to provide cost share must be available upon submission of the application?
Answer 64: If an entity other than the Prime Applicant is contributing cost share, a third-party cost share commitment letter should be submitted on the company’s letterhead, with the exact amount and description of cost share described, and be signed by an authorized company representative.  Third-party cost share commitments may be included as part of a partners letter of support as submitted within the “Technical Qualifications and Resources” section of the Technical Volume.  If the Prime is contributing cost share, initial evidence of cost share is not required.  Please be aware that documentation to support in-kind cost share contributions may be required during the negotiation process, if an application is selected for negotiations towards an award.  See “Appendix B – Cost Share Information” for additional information.
Question 65: Can the Gantt Chart, as part of the Work Plan, be included as a single 11x17 page to improve readability and efficient presentation of information?
Answer 65: No, please see Section IV.A of the FOA: "All pages must be formatted to fit on 8.5 x 11 inch paper with margins not less than one inch on every side. Use Times New Roman typeface, a black font color, and a font size of 12 point or larger (except in figures or tables, which may be 10 point font).
Question 66: Do all sub-recipients of the grant need to complete an SF424 form, or only those receiving over $250,000, or only the Prime Recipient?
Answer 66: Only The Prime Recipient needs to complete the SF-424.
Question 67: Summary Slide – Does DOE have a preferred Summary Slide format? EERE-Exchange does not have a Summary Slide template to download and the FOA does not include any details on the slide format, or a weblink to a template/example?
Answer 67: A Summary Slide template has been provided within the Application Documents of the FOA.  Use of this template is NOT required.  Please refer to Section IV.D.6 of the FOA for all Summary Slide requirements.
Question 68: The FOA says that subawardees (with >$250K or25% of the budget) are required to complete the EERE 159 form. The form is a MS Excel file. The Prime Recipeient budget (using EERE 159) submits the budget as a MS Excel file. However, the FOA says to submit the Subawardee Budget Justification as a .pdf. Is this a mistake? Or does DOE expect is a multipage .pdf with one page per EERE 159 tab for each subawardee?
Answer 68: Subaward Budget Justifications (EERE159) will be accepted as either PDF or EXCEL files.  As described in the question, a multipage .pdf with one page per EERE 159 tab is an acceptable submission.  Note that the submittal of more than one Subaward Budget Justification will need to be submitted as an “Additional File”.
Question 69: For the Budget Justification Excel spreadsheet, I need enough columns and rows for 5 budget periods instead of 3. I am afraid that if I add more columns and rows that the cell formulas will not add up correctly. Can I request a different, pre-edited spreadsheet or can I receive instructions on how to reformulate the cells to include more columns and rows?
Answer 69: There is not an available budget justification template with additional budget period columns. Applicants may insert additional columns as needed.  If the applicant decides to insert additional columns it is their responsibility to do so, and to make sure the embedded formulas remain intact.
Question 70: We are preparing our application; our project includes a component in which an analysis of the best feedstocks from an economic and energy level perspective. It would seem that Appendix I, Feedstock production and logistics, would be more of a work product of the project than an application item. Is it expected that all applicants will know exactly what they plan to plant? Or are you looking more for estimates?
Answer 70: It is not expected that applicants will know exactly what they will plant, as this determination may be part of the “Multi-Stakeholder Landscape Design Process” as described in Section I.B. However, as explained in Appendix I, applications should include a similar table to illustrate the parameters that will be collected and/or estimated over the course of the project.
Question 71: It says in the FOA that the deadline for responding to reviewer comments is February 10 but I imagine that may have changed given the updated deadline for the full application. Can you give an update on the new deadline for responding to reviewer comments if there is one?
Answer 71:

The submission deadline for replies to reviewer comments is 02/27/2015, 5:00pm Eastern Time.

Question 72: Now that the Submission Deadline for Replies to Reviewer Comments has been extended to 03/19/2015, when can we expect to receive any of these comments? Will each application receive comments? It would also be helpful to know how many eligible applications are being considered.
Answer 72:

DOE cannot disclose how many eligible applications are being reviewed. Each application will receive comments from that application’s reviewer. Reviewer comments will be available to all eligible applicants on March 17, 2015. You will also receive an email notifying you when reviewer comments have been posted. Per the FOA, applicants will have approximately three business days to prepare a short Reply to Reviewer Comments. Replies are due by March 19, 2015. Please see FOA section “IV.F. Content and Form of Replies to Reviewer Comments”.

Question 73: We just received notification that reviewers’ comments are available for applications submitted under this program. Please send these comments to me.
Answer 73:

You must login to EERE eXCHANGE at: to access your reviewer comments.

Question 74: What is the minimum font size for this document (replies to comments)?
Answer 74: All pages must be formatted to fit on 8.5 x 11 inch paper with margins not less than one inch on every side. Use Times New Roman typeface, a black font color, and a font size of 12 point or larger (except in figures or tables, which may be 10 point font).
Question 75: If you could inform me about the potential date around which we will hear about the final selection notification then that will be great. FOA said June 18, 2015.
Answer 75:

DOE anticipates announcing its funding decisions sometime in the next few weeks.