Frequently Asked Questions

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Question 1: I just took a look at the new DOE FOA re Energy Infrastructure, and saw that one of the purposes is to fund programs that "Deploy energy infrastructure and integrated energy system(s) to electrify Tribal Buildings (Topic Area 4).” The tribe has committed to pursuing development of commercial operations at a building located on tribal fee land. There is electricity accessible; however, it would need to be extended to that site. Would that project be eligible for funding under this program?
Answer 1:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

Based on the limited information provided, it appears the building located on tribal fee land may qualify as an unelectrified Tribal Building (see definition of “unelectrified” below and in Appendix A of the FOA). However, unless the proposed project meets the requirement of electrifying “a “substantial” number of Tribal Buildings (no less than three (3) Tribal Buildings) which otherwise would be unelectrified”, it would not meet the requirements of Topic Area 4. Please review the requirements of Topic Area 4 to ensure the proposed project meets all the specified requirements.

 

““Unelectrified” for purposes of this FOA, means Tribal Buildings not connected to (1) the traditional centralized electric power grid or (2) an integrated energy system(s) operating independent of the traditional centralized electric power grid.”

 

Question 2: I have some questions regarding the Energy Infrastructure Deployment on Tribal Lands grant specific to energy projects that support gaming operations. Have any awards have ever been granted to energy projects that directly support gaming operations in the past? Would a proposal for this type of energy project be scored adversely for being tied to gaming?
Answer 2:

Gaming facilities or ‘tribal casinos’ are identified as “Tribally-owned or controlled building(s)” in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and, as such, projects proposed for tribal casinos are not prohibited, provided they comply with the remaining requirements of the FOA.

 Specifically, per the FOA, “[f]or purposes of this FOA, “Tribal Building(s)” may include a single or multiple “Tribally-owned or controlled building(s)” located on Tribal Lands.”

 And, per Section I.B. of the FOA (beginning on page 14), ““Tribally-owned or controlled building(s),” for purposes of this FOA, is a building or buildings where the eligible entity has the authority to augment or modify the building and where the building is either owned by the eligible entity or tribal members, or the eligible entity has a long-term lease (as a minimum, for the useful life of the proposed project). “Tribal Building(s)” may include, but are not limited to, tribal member homes, schools, community buildings, clinics/hospitals, tribal government buildings, fire stations, police stations, radio stations, washaterias, utility facilities (such as water/waste water systems), tribal casinos, or tribal businesses.” [Emphasis added]

 Yes, the DOE Office of Indian Energy has provided funds for numerous awards for projects supporting tribal casinos. A summary of all projects funded are posted on the Office’s https://www.energy.gov/indianenergy/maps/tribal-energy-projects-database.

 Provided the facility meets the FOA requirements, the specific type of building (e.g., one “supporting gaming”) will not affect the scoring of an application, since that is not a review criteria. For more on the review criteria, see Section V.A., Technical Review Criteria, beginning on page 72 and Program Policy Factors (Section V.C., beginning on page 74).

Question 3: For Topic Area 1 - does the system for tribally owned buildings need to be connected to the grid in order to qualify under the grant criteria? These buildings are in a remote area with no access to the grid and are now utilizing diesel gas generators. From the Solicitation: For Topic Area 1 (Energy Generating System(s) and/or Energy Efficiency Measure(s) for Tribal Building(s)) include the specific Topic Area (Topic Area 1.a., 1.b., or 1.c.) under which the application is being submitted, the project location(s), number of building(s) affected, type of technology being proposed (energy generating system(s) for Topic Area 1.a., multiple energy efficiency measures for Topic Area 1.b., and both for Topic Area 1.c.), description of the building(s) to be affected by the proposed project, current energy use of the affected existing building(s) and projected energy use for any new buildings being constructed or to be constructed, and the projected reduction and/or displacement of energy (amount, cost, and percentage) as a result of the proposed project.
Answer 3:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

As stated under Topic Area 1 on page 14 of the FOA document, “[n]ote that projects to be proposed under Topic Area 1.a. and Topic Area 1.c. are intended solely for energy generating system(s) that are grid-connected.” [Emphasis added] “Projects proposed under Topic Area 1.b. can be proposed for Tribal Buildings that are either grid-connected, or not grid-connected.” Therefore, as described, those buildings may meet the requirements of Topic Area 1.b. (Multiple Energy Efficiency Measures).

 

Based on the limited information provided, that the “buildings are in a remote area with no access to the grid and are now utilizing diesel gas generators,” it appears those buildings, as described, may also meet the definition of unelectrified, where ““[u]nelectrified” for purposes of this FOA, means Tribal Buildings not connected to (1) the traditional centralized electric power grid or (2) an integrated energy system(s) operating independent of the traditional centralized electric power grid.” [Emphasis added]

 

“Projects proposed under Topic Area 4 are intended for Tribal Buildings currently unelectrified. Grid-connected projects will only be accepted under Topic Area 1.a., Topic Area 1.c., and Topic Area 2.”

 

Specifically, under Topic Area 4 (Electrification of Tribal Buildings) beginning on page 27 of the FOA document, “DOE is seeking applications for the deployment of energy infrastructure to electrify Tribal Buildings. Topic Area 4 is intended for the deployment of energy infrastructure or integrated energy system(s) to provide electricity to a “substantial” number of Tribal Buildings (no less than three (3) Tribal Buildings) which otherwise would be unelectrified.”

Question 4: We are looking to apply to cover 5 Tribal buildings, the 5th building will supply any additional electricity to a nearby community. The first four buildings total about 60 kW and the 5th building would be about 160 kW. Would this still be appropriate to apply under Topic Area 1.a or would it be Topic Area 2.a?
Answer 4:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

To be eligible for Topic Area 2.a. (Community-Scale Energy Generating System(s)), the “minimum system size (100 kW rated capacity or BTU equivalent) may be for either a single individual energy generating system or the aggregate of multiple energy generating systems.” And, “[f]or purposes of Topic Area 2, “community-scale” means serving a substantial number of the total buildings within a community (no less than three (3) buildings). For purposes of this FOA, “substantial” means of “ample or considerable amount”.” [Emphasis added] Therefore, unless that single system serves a substantial number of the total buldings within that community, it would not meet the requirements of Topic Area 2.  

 

Note that there are no minimum size requirements under Topic Area 1; however, to be eligible for Topic Area 1, all buildings, including those within the “nearby community” as described, must be “Tribally-owned or controlled building(s)” and located on Tribal Lands, and for Topic Area 1.a. (Energy Generating System(s)) “intended solely for energy generating system(s) that are grid-connected”.

Question 5: We have a tribe who is looking to submit an application and wants clarification as to what the DOE needs to see to prove the funds are “verifiable”. From Page 17 of the FOA “and the cost share must be verifiable at the time of submission of the application”. Can you clarify what “verifiable” means? The tribe has asked if a commitment letter from a lender will suffice as “verifiable” under this FOA.
Answer 5:

For cost share funds to be verifiable, they must be able to be checked or demonstrated to be true, accurate, or justified.

 

Per Section III.B.3 (beginning on page 37 of the FOA document), “Cost share contributions must be specified in the project budget, verifiable from the Recipient’s records, and necessary and reasonable for proper and efficient accomplishment of the project.” That requirement means that if DOE requests documentation to verify cost share, the applicant must be able to provide that documentation. See additional clarification on cost share in Appendix B, Cost Share Information.

 

At the time of submission, a commitment letter from a lender would be acceptable as a commitment of cost share; however, that loan agreement would need to be executed prior to a grant agreement being awarded by DOE and cannot encumber any equipment acquired under the grant.  More specifically, since DOE retains a vested interest in any equipment purchased in whole or in part with Federal funds, any loan used as cost share cannot encumber (e.g., use as collateral for the loan) any equipment purchased under a grant.

 

Also be aware that per the FOA “cost share must be verifiable at the time of submission of the application. Although the cost share requirement applies to the project as a whole, including work performed by members of the project team other than the Recipient, the Recipient is ultimately and legally responsible for paying the entire amount of cost share.”

Question 6: I am wondering where I could find the recording of the webinar titled “Energy Infrastructure Deployment on Tribal Lands 2020”. Thank you in advance.
Answer 6:

The FOA webinar slides have been posted on EERE Exchange at https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2019/12/f69/2020-DE-FOA-0002168-final.pdf. The slides may also be obtained from the “Current Funding Opportunities” page of the Office of Indian Energy’s website at https://www.energy.gov/indianenergy/funding/current-funding-opportunities, or directly at https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2019/12/f69/2020-DE-FOA-0002168-final.pdf.

 

An audio recording of the FOA webinar will also be available in about one week at the links provided above.

Question 7: For tribal community energy infrastructure deployments, and overall energy and utility portfolios, is funding available for energy information systems, sustainability reporting tools, and other energy management software or outsourced services? If so, would this be under a different specific grant program with the DOE, or how would a tribe apply for a grant for energy management services? Based on the topic areas, I do not see where a software platform for energy analytics can be accepted for funding. Such systems provide immediate efficiency gains, value in utility savings, and optimize performance of property assets simply by gathering data, monitoring performance, applying algorithms against the data, to provide automated insights around energy consumption, GHG emissions, ZNE performance, renewable energy data around generation, consumption, and comparison against grid delivered data. Is an energy information system applicable to FOA-0002168?
Answer 7:

Based on the limited information provided, a software platform for energy analytics, as described, is not eligible under the subject Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). As stated under Section I.C., Applications Specifically Not of Interest (beginning on page 28 of the FOA document), “[a]pplications that fall outside the technical parameters specified in Section I.B. of the FOA” and “[a]pplications proposing studies, design and engineering (excluding final design and engineering), or development (pre-construction) activities; or any other activity which does not directly result in the installation of equipment to generate electricity and/or heating or cooling, reduce energy use, or enhance energy storage and delivery infrastructure”, among other types of applications, are not of interest.

 

Furthermore, page 29 of the FOA (Section I.C.), also identifies applications specifically not of interest to include, “[a]pplications proposing "energy conservation” where "energy conservation,” for purposes of this FOA, means decreasing energy consumption by using less of an energy service or going without an energy service to save energy. Energy conservation typically involves a behavioral change and may include meters or other indicators to induce that behavioral change.

 

Other funding opportunities issued through the Department of Energy and other agencies can be found at grants.gov. Each specific funding opportunity announcement will describe the application process and eligible topic areas.

Question 8: Since there is a 50% cost share and the cost share can't be federal funds, this FOA is only for very large tribes and mostly those that have casinos. Would this be a fair assumption? Or can cost shares come from county or city funds that aren’t federal?
Answer 8:

Per Section II.B. of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) document (beginning on page 34), “required cost share must be at least 50% of the total allowable costs of the project (i.e., the sum of the Government share, and the Recipient share of allowable costs equals the total allowable cost of the project). All cost share must come from non-federal sources and be clearly identified in the application, unless otherwise allowed by law (see note below and Appendix B). [Emphasis added]

 

Section III.B goes on to identify a number of federal funding sources that may be allowable by law to be used as non-federal cost share.

 

County or City funds would be considered non-federal funds, provided those funds were not originally provided to the County or City by a federal source.

 

Additionally, per page 12 the FOA document, “[c]ost share may include cash or in-kind contributions (e.g., contribution of time, unrecovered indirect costs, unrecovered facilities and administrative costs, rental value of buildings, land or equipment, the value of a service, other resource, or third party in-kind contribution) made during the period of performance of the grant. See Appendix B for more information on cost share.”

 

Based on the diversity of Indian tribes funded by DOE’s Office of Indian Energy through the years, many of which have required a 50% non-Federal cost share commitment, it is not a fair assumption that the FOA is “only for very large tribes and mostly those that have casinos.” In fact, many villages in Alaska have been grant recipients under similar FOAs. More specifically, 50 Alaska energy projects have received funding through the Office of Indian Energy since 2010; 25 of those have been deployment projects requiring a 50% cost share. For more information concerning the Indian tribes and tribal entities funded through the program, see our Tribal Energy Project Databasewhich includes an interactive map.

Question 9: Thank you for your time on the webinar today. I have two questions below. 1. Are you able to provide any of these statistics for the 2019 solicitation? If not available for 2019, for the most recent year in which this data is available. a. Total number of applications received b. Total number of applications deemed incomplete and not evaluated c. Total number of applications evaluated d. Total number of applications awarded e. Total amount of grant funds awarded amongst all awarded applications f. Minimum grant funds awarded for one application (IE, the smallest single award) g. Maximum grant funds awarded for one application (IE, the largest single award) 2. If a solar photovoltaic project is installed on ground mounted racking that is NOT a carport, but is on a racking system that is 1-2 feet off the ground and is not used for any other purpose other than solar photovoltaic generation, would the underlying racking system potentially be considered as an eligible cost for the purposes of the program?
Answer 9:
  1. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs is authorized to fund and implement a variety of programmatic activities that assist American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native villages with energy development, capacity building, energy cost reduction, and electrification of Indian lands and homes, and has since 2010. To support these goals, from 2010 to 2019, the program awarded a nearly $85 million to fund more than 180 tribal energy projects.  To find out more about the program, see the Program website. Specifically, see the “Projects” tab and under that tab “Projects Database” to see individual project summaries of all grants awarded since 2010 sorted by State, by Tribe, by technology, by award year, and by project type.

     

    DOE’s Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs does not release information on the number of applications received, deemed incomplete and not evaluated, or the number of applications evaluated to the public or other applicants for any Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). However, the press release identifies the applications selected for negotiation, and the minimum and maximum amount grant funds requested. Additionally, the “Projects Database” includes project summaries and funds awarded to each as a result of the 2019 FOA. Specifically, fourteen applications were selected for negotiation of award. For those fourteen awards, the DOE Office of Indian Energy provided $15.3 million, and the recipients committed to contribute $18.7 million for a total project value of $33.9 million. The minimum amount of grant funds awarded to a single recipient was $338,491 and the maximum amount awarded, $2,000,000.

     

  2. As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

Per Section I.C., Applications Specifically Not of Interest (beginning on page 28 of the FOA document), regarding applications proposing the construction of a building(s) or structure(s) such as carports: “Only the incremental costs associated with the installation of energy generating system(s), integrated energy system(s), or energy efficiency measures will be considered allocable to the proposed DOE funded project and not the cost of constructing the building(s) or structure(s), unless those structures are integral to the proposed project.”

 

As such, the FOA only excludes structures, such as carports, unless the structures are “integral to the proposed project”; it does not prohibit balance of systems, such as racking systems, which are necessary and integral to any proposed solar photovoltaic system.  

Question 10: As I understand the current solicitation for the Energy Infrastructure Deployment on Tribal Lands grant opportunity, the DOE offers funding for tribes that deploy energy efficiency or generation programs on tribal lands. Our company is currently exploring the development of a 150MW (AC) solar energy project that would be partially located on tribal land partially located on non-tribal land. The power produced by the project would be fed into an existing substation and sold to a regional utility (non-tribal). The benefits that would accrue to the tribe include revenue from leasing the land for the solar project and modest job creation during the construction of the project and potentially on-going operation and maintenance jobs. Since the project would not directly power any tribal owned buildings, or provide energy to tribal members at a retail level, i.e. local homes and businesses, my question is whether a solar development project, as described, could qualify for funding under this solicitation?
Answer 10:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

Per Section III.A. (page 31), “In accordance with EPAct 2005 authorities and consistent with 2 CFR 910.126(b), eligibility for award under this FOA is restricted to: (1) an Indian Tribe; (2) Intertribal Organization; or (3) Tribal Energy Development Organization; and (4) on whose Tribal Lands the project(s) will be located.” [Emphasis added] Therefore, projects that are not located on Tribal Lands, as defined in the FOA, are not eligible.

 

Per Section I.C. Applications Specifically Not of Interest, “[a]pplications for commercial or utility-scale projects intended solely for revenue generation through the export of electricity off Tribal Lands for commercial sale”, are not of interest.

 

Additionally, as it pertains to Topic Area 2.a., Community-Scale Energy Generating System(s), page 22 of the FOA document states, “[a]pplications for commercial or utility-scale projects intended solelyfor revenue generation through the export of electricity off Tribal Lands for commercial sale are notof interest under this FOA. On the condition that the proposed energy generating system(s) meets the requirements under Topic Area 2.a., a portion of the electricity may be sold, provided that the revenue benefits the eligible entity and the tribal community.”

 

More specifically, pertaining to Topic Area 2 (Community-Scale Energy Generating System(s) or Community Energy Storage Deployment), “[a]ll proposed projects (or buildings on which systems are proposed) must be on Tribal Lands, must be “owned or controlled” by the eligible entity, and must benefit the eligible entity (Indian tribe, Intertribal Organization, or Tribal Energy Development Organization) and the tribal community; however, the substantial number of buildings within a tribal community (no less than three (3) buildings), where the energy or heat is to be used, do not need to be “owned or controlled” by the eligible entity.”

Question 11: We have 4 energy generating systems that fall under Topic 1.a. (do not qualify for Topic 2) and 1 energy generating system that qualifies for Topic Area 2 (160-kW, at least 3 buildings being affected via virtual net metering or some other mechanism). Although the 5th system could be submitted under Topic Area 2, can it also be submitted under Topic 1.a to avoid writing two applications?
Answer 11:

If a proposed project does not meet the requirements for a particular Topic Area, the application cannot be submitted under that topic area “to avoid writing two applications.”  You may, however, submit separate applications under separate Topic Areas.  Per the Executive Summary (page 2), Section I.A. (page 12), Section III.E. (page 39) and again on page 45, “Applicants may submit more than one application to this FOA and/or more than one application under a particular Topic Area, provided each application is for a distinctively different project and each application addresses only one Topic Area. Each application must have a distinct title, unique Control Number as assigned by EERE Exchange during the registration process, and be readily distinguishable.” [Emphasis added]

 

Question 12: I am talking with Village Corporation’s CEO/President regarding a DOE energy grant. I do know the funding opportunity announcement said village Corporations are authorized to apply for a DOE grant. Would a Village Corporation, a previous grant recipient, be able to apply for a clean energy grant for possibly solar and to install energy saving devices for the Store and other business related structures?
Answer 12:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.”  However, with respect to your questions concerning the eligibility of Alaska Village Corporations and previous grant recipients, we offer the following:

 

Per the Executive Summary (page 1 of the FOA) and Section I.A. of the FOA (page 10), “DOE’s Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian Tribes, which include Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Village Corporations (hereafter referred collectively as “Indian Tribes”), Intertribal Organizations, and Tribal Energy Development Organizations”. [Emphasis added] Therefore, provided the application meets the requirements of the FOA, a Village Corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (85 Stat. 688) [43 U.S.C. §§ 1601 et seq.] would be eligible to apply.

 

Per Section II.A.3. of the FOA (page 31), “DOE will accept only new applications under this FOA. DOE will not consider applications for renewals or continuations of existing DOE funded awards through this FOA.” Therefore, as long as the proposed project is not a continuation or renewal of a project previously funded, and meets all the requirements of the FOA, the project would be eligible.

 

Also, be aware that, per the FOA, Applicants who have not previously received a grant from the Office of Indian Energy may be given additional consideration in the selection of applications for funding.

 

In addition, for your purposes in making the decision on whether to apply for a “clean energy grant for possibly solar and to install energy saving devices for the Store and other business related structures”, we offer the following:

 

Please explore the requirements of Topic Area 1, as it is for the installation of energy generating system(s) and/or energy efficiency measure(s) for Tribal Building(s), either a single Tribally-owned or controlled building or multiple Tribally-owned or controlled buildings. If your planned project is exclusively for solar, Topic Area 1.a., titled Energy Generating System(s), may be of interest. If you are considering both solar and energy saving devices for a particular building, provided those devices meet the definition in the FOA, you may want to explore Topic Area 1.c., which is for the installation of an energy generating system(s) in addition to a single or multiple energy efficiency measures.

Question 13: Do solar panels under the ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE DEPLOYMENT ON TRIBAL LANDS grant qualify if they are purchased by a lease to own agreement? As in our tribe will pay the cost of the energy to pay off the rest of the system. That should take about 5 years’ time. After the 5 years, the solar panel ownership will transfer over to the tribe.
Answer 13:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

Section I.B. of the FOA, as it relates to Topic Area 2 only, states “[a]ll proposed projects (or buildings on which systems are proposed) must be on Tribal Lands, must be “owned or controlled” by the eligible entity, and must benefit the eligible entity (Indian tribe, Intertribal Organization, or Tribal Energy Development Organization) and the tribal community; however, the substantial number of buildings within a tribal community (no less than three (3) buildings), where the energy or heat is to be used, do not need to be “owned or controlled” by the eligible entity.” [Emphasis added]

 

Per Appendix A, ““Owned or Controlled” for purposes of this FOA, is where the eligible entity has or has been given certain rights and duties, specifically the ability to exercise authority, direction and control over the project. Note that ownership may be private, collective, or common and some of those rights and duties may be held by different parties.”

 

Therefore, eligibility will depend on whether the lease-to-own agreement provides the Tribe the ability to exercise authority, direction or control over the project during the 5 year period and whether DOE has assurances that the Tribe will own the project at the end of the lease period. Also, be aware that Statements of Commitment (Section IV.C.10) are required as part of the application.

 

If, as described, the solar system is owned and operated by a non-eligible third party, then the project would not be eligible under Topic Area 2 of this FOA.

Question 14: I have a quick question about the FY 20 DOE grant. It says a minimum of $250,000 for Topic 2, does that mean total project cost or DOE share must be minimum of $250,000 with a total project cost of $500,000? Can you please clarify?
Answer 14:

Yes, for Topic Area 2 DOE funding per individual award must be no less than $250,000 for a total project cost of at least $500,000.

Question 15: Our Tribe has completed a feasibility study and options analysis for a microgrid project. We have a budget for the final specifications of the project and a preliminary design. We intend to select a contractor to perform final design work and to implement the project. Would this level of preparation be sufficient to meet the definition of “final design,” as an allowable cost? If not, can you clarify what level of design work is required prior to submitting an application?
Answer 15:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

Per Section I. C. (beginning on page 29), the following types of applications will be deemed nonresponsive and will not be reviewed or considered (See Section III.D. of the FOA):

 

  • Applications proposing studies, design and engineering (excluding final design and engineering), or development (pre-construction) activities; or any other activity which does not directly result in the installation of equipment to generate electricity and/or heating or cooling, reduce energy use, or enhance energy storage and delivery infrastructure.

 

  • Applications proposing the evaluation of product marketing opportunities, assessment of manufacturing opportunities, research, design and engineering (excluding final design and engineering), product development, or the construction of manufacturing facilities or buildings.

 

Therefore, to be eligible, all design and engineering (except final design and engineering) must be completed prior to submittal of an application and that information provided as part of the application, including sufficient engineering information to demonstrate the technical viability of the proposed project (see Criterion 3 on page 73 of the FOA).  

Question 16: We are working on a project to implement energy efficiency measure (EEM) upgrades in an existing building. While it is clearly stated that only the incremental costs of going above and beyond code are eligible costs in new construction, it is unclear about existing buildings. If we propose an energy efficiency measure to replace an inefficient building component, is the full cost of the energy efficiency measure eligible, or only the portion of the measure that goes above and beyond code?
Answer 16:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

Under Topic Area 1 (Energy Generating System(s) and/or Energy Efficiency Measure(s) for Tribal Building(s)), page 15 of the FOA states, “[c]osts associated with the construction of a building or buildings or structures such as carports (unless integral to the energy generating system(s) being proposed) will not be considered by DOE for reimbursement or as cost share; only the incremental costs associated with the installation of energy generating system(s) or energy efficiency measure(s) will be considered allocable to the proposed DOE funded project.” [Emphasis added] That particular statement, as you indicated, is specific to a building or buildings or structures such as carports that are currently being constructed or planned to be constructed during the proposed grant period and are not applicable to existing “Tribally-owned or controlled building(s)”.

 

Per Section IV.C.10 (page 61), “[r]eimbursement of actual costs will only include those costs that are reasonable, allowable and allocable to the project as determined in accordance with the applicable cost principles prescribed in FAR Part 31 for For-Profit entities; and 2 CFR Part 200 Subpart E - Cost Principles for all other non-federal entities.”

 

Therefore, provided the costs are allowable and reasonable and the proposed project meets the requirements of the FOA, the full cost for the installation of energy efficiency measure(s) in existing “Tribally-owned or controlled building(s)” will be considered allocable to the proposed DOE funded project.

Question 17: Would we qualify to receive funding if our match is reimbursed in full or in part by non-Federal funds and the project receives rebates for materials purchased and installed.
Answer 17:

Based on limited information provided we offer the following:

 

In regards to qualifying for funding, as stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

As stated under the Executive Summary, beginning on page 4 of the FOA under Cost Share, “[e]very cost share contribution must be allowable under the applicable federal cost principles, as described in Section IV.H.1 of the FOA. In addition, cost share must be verifiable at the time of submission of the application. Although the cost share requirement applies to the project as a whole, including work performed by members of the project team other than the Recipient, the Recipient is ultimately and legally responsible for paying the entire amount of cost share.” See additional information on verifiable cost share in DOE’s response to Question #5 under the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) associated with this FOA at https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/FAQ.aspx?FoaId=fe5dcfa3-2786-4c03-ae29-e77926e46f35.

 

Per Section III.B. of the FOA, under cost sharing (page 34), “Except for pre-award costs with prior DOE approval, only cost share contributions made during the period of performance of the grant, if awarded, can be considered. Any costs incurred prior to award selection cannot be considered as cost share or for reimbursement by DOE.

 

Section III.B. of the FOA, also states that “[t]he Recipient may not use the following sources to meet its cost share obligations:

  • Revenues or royalties from the prospective operation of an activity beyond the project period;
  • Proceeds from the prospective sale of an asset of an activity;
  • Federal funding or property (e.g., federal grants, equipment owned by the federal government);
  • Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) or other green attribute monetization funds;
  • Any form of cost sharing received after the DOE grant period or those received prior to being selected for award under this FOA;
  • Independent research and development (IR&D) funds;
  • The same cash or in-kind contributions to meet cost share requirements for more than one project or program; or
  • Expenditures that were reimbursed under a separate federal Technology Office.” [Emphasis added]

 

Additionally, per Section §200.406 of the Code of Federal Regulations under Applicable credits, “[a]pplicable credits refer to those receipts or reduction-of-expenditure-type transactions that offset or reduce expense items allocable to the Federal award as direct or indirect (F&A) costs. Examples of such transactions are: purchase discounts, rebates or allowances, recoveries or indemnities on losses, insurance refunds or rebates, and adjustments of overpayments or erroneous charges. To the extent that such credits accruing to or received by the non-Federal entity relate to allowable costs, they must be credited to the Federal award either as a cost reduction or cash refund, as appropriate.” [Emphasis added]

 

To summarize, unless approved by DOE, only costs incurred or cost share contributed during the period of performance of the grant are allocable to the grant and any applicable credits or rebates received during the period of performance of the grant, must be credited to the Federal award to offset project costs.

 

Question 18: The California Public Utilities Commission has a Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) that provides incentives for installing distributed energy resources such as solar photovoltaic microgrids with battery storage. I am considering applying for DOE funding for such a project under Topic Area 3.a. and Topic Area 3.b., and I was wondering if SGIP incentives could be used for cost-share requirements. SGIP covers up to $1/kWh for qualifying projects (which our project would).
Answer 18:

In regards to qualifying for funding, as stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

As stated under the Executive Summary, beginning on page 4 of the FOA under Cost Share, “[e]very cost share contribution must be allowable under the applicable federal cost principles, as described in Section IV.H.1 of the FOA. In addition, cost share must be verifiable at the time of submission of the application. Although the cost share requirement applies to the project as a whole, including work performed by members of the project team other than the Recipient, the Recipient is ultimately and legally responsible for paying the entire amount of cost share.” See additional information on verifiable cost share in DOE’s response to Question #5 under the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) associated with this FOA at https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/FAQ.aspx?FoaId=fe5dcfa3-2786-4c03-ae29-e77926e46f35.

 

Per Section III.B. of the FOA, under cost sharing (page 34), “Except for pre-award costs with prior DOE approval, only cost share contributions made during the period of performance of the grant, if awarded, can be considered. Any costs incurred prior to award selection cannot be considered as cost share or for reimbursement by DOE.

 

Section III.B. of the FOA, also states that “[t]he Recipient may not use the following sources to meet its cost share obligations:

  • Revenues or royalties from the prospective operation of an activity beyond the project period;
  • Proceeds from the prospective sale of an asset of an activity;
  • Federal funding or property (e.g., federal grants, equipment owned by the federal government);
  • Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) or other green attribute monetization funds;
  • Any form of cost sharing received after the DOE grant period or those received prior to being selected for award under this FOA;
  • Independent research and development (IR&D) funds;
  • The same cash or in-kind contributions to meet cost share requirements for more than one project or program; or
  • Expenditures that were reimbursed under a separate federal Technology Office.” [Emphasis added]

 

Additionally, per Section §200.406 of the Code of Federal Regulations under Applicable credits, “[a]pplicable credits refer to those receipts or reduction-of-expenditure-type transactions that offset or reduce expense items allocable to the Federal award as direct or indirect (F&A) costs. Examples of such transactions are: purchase discounts, rebates or allowances, recoveries or indemnities on losses, insurance refunds or rebates, and adjustments of overpayments or erroneous charges. To the extent that such credits accruing to or received by the non-Federal entity relate to allowable costs, they must be credited to the Federal award either as a cost reduction or cash refund, as appropriate.” [Emphasis added]

 

To summarize, unless approved by DOE, only costs incurred or cost share contributed during the period of performance of the grant are allocable to the grant and any applicable credits, incentives, or rebates received during the period of performance of the grant, must be credited to the Federal award to offset project costs.

Question 19: Tribes with $750,000 or less in annual funding may not be required to have annual financial audits. Does this exempt such Tribes from the audit requirement for this grant?
Answer 19:

If you are asking whether a Tribe who is not required to obtain a financial audit due to the limited amount of federal funds received each year (less than $750,000) is exempt from submitting a financial audit as required per Section IV.C.15. of the funding opportunity announcement, the answer is no; the Tribe must submit their most recent Financial Statements in lieu of a financial audit, including a statement that indicates that the Tribe receives less than $750,000 in Federal funds and therefore, does not have a A-133 audit.

 

Be aware that per Section 2 CFR 200.501(d) of the Code of Federal Regulations, any “non-Federal entity that expends less than $750,000 during the non-Federal entity's fiscal year in Federal awards is exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in §200.503 Relation to other audit requirements, but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and Government Accountability Office (GAO).” [Emphasis added]

 

If the above does not answer your question, please submit another question that more fully clarifies your question.

If you are asking whether a Tribe who is not required to obtain a financial audit due to the limited amount of federal funds received each year (less than $750,000) is exempt from submitting a financial audit as required per Section IV.C.15. of the funding opportunity announcement, the answer is no; the Tribe must submit their most recent Financial Statements in lieu of a financial audit, including a statement that indicates that the Tribe receives less than $750,000 in Federal funds and therefore, does not have a A-133 audit.

 

Be aware that per Section 2 CFR 200.501(d) of the Code of Federal Regulations, any “non-Federal entity that expends less than $750,000 during the non-Federal entity's fiscal year in Federal awards is exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503 Relation to other audit requirements, but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and Government Accountability Office (GAO).” [Emphasis added]

 

If the above does not answer your question, please submit another question that more fully clarifies your question.

Question 20: We have the following questions regarding the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA): (1) We have looked at just doing our own solar power generation system, with no connection to “the grid”; however, the FOA seems to state that ONLY doing a solar power system without grid connection would not be eligible. Am I correct on this statement? (2) We have also looked at doing a combination of both connecting to the grid and doing a solar power system. So we would have 2 “energy generation systems”. This makes a lot of sense to us because, in the winter, when we expect high volume use, of our building, it can snow for days on end and never see the sun and we’d need a couple of energy sources. We’ve looked at several other choices, but the solar + grid, has proven to be the cost effective and efficient. Would I be correct in assuming that an “energy generation system” like the one I described, would be eligible for Topic Area 1.a.? (3) Regarding land, the Tribe has purchased land. The land is not yet in “trust” but is Tribal Land status. The FOA didn’t indicate any issues there. Please confirm.
Answer 20:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

  1. Per Section I.B. of the FOA (page 15), “[p]rojects not grid-connected will only be accepted under Topic Area 1.b., Topic Area 3, and Topic Area 4.

     

    Relative to Topic Area 3, Integrated Energy System(s) for Autonomous Operation, Section I.B. (page 13) states, “Topic Area 3 can be for either: (1) integrated energy system(s) that are normally grid-connected, but can disconnect and function autonomously (independent of the traditional centralized electric power grid), or (2) integrated energy system(s) that normally operate autonomously (not connected to the traditional centralized electric power grid).” [Emphasis added]

     

    Under that same section, the FOA states, “[p]rojects proposed under Topic Area 4 are intended for Tribal Buildings currently unelectrified.” Where ““Unelectrifiedfor purposes of this FOA, means Tribal Buildings not connected to (1) the traditional centralized electric power grid or (2) an integrated energy system(s) operating independent of the traditional centralized electric power grid.” [Emphasis added]

     

    Therefore, if you are considering a “solar power generation system, with no connection to “the grid”” as you describe, please review the requirements for Topic Area 3 or Topic Area 4 to see if your proposed project meets the requirements under either of those Topic Areas.

     

  2. Per Section I.B. (page 13) “projects to be proposed under Topic Area 1.a., Topic Area 1.c. and Topic Area 2 are intended solely for energy generating system(s) that are grid-connected” [Emphasis added]

     

    Also per Section I.B. (page 12), the FOA states, “Applicants may submit more than one application to this FOA and/or more than one application under a particular Topic Area, provided each application is for a distinctively different project and each application addresses only one Topic Area.” [Emphasis added]

     

  3. Regarding land, per Section III.A. (page 33), “lands held in fee simple (purchased or owned) by an Indian Tribe” for purposes of the FOA are defined as Tribal Lands and therefore, eligible.

Question 21: Can funds be used to install a covered parking solar array? Or would the funds only be used for the cost of the solar array equipment and installation?
Answer 21:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

The third bullet on page 29 under Section I.C., Applications Specifically Not of Interest, states “Applications proposing the construction of a building(s) or structure(s) such as carports” are not of interest. The section also states, that “[o]nly the incremental costs associated with the installation of energy generating system(s), integrated energy system(s), or energy efficiency measures will be considered allocable to the proposed DOE funded project and not the cost of constructing the building(s) or structure(s), unless those structures are integral to the proposed project.”

Question 22: Would we still be eligible to apply for an Infrastructure Deployment grant without a completed Options Analysis?
Answer 22:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

As stated under Section IV.C.7. (page 59) and throughout the FOA, “[a]ll Applicants are required to submit an Options Analysis to demonstrate that other options were considered and that the proposed project best meets the overall tribal objectives.” As such, an Options Analysis is required as part of an application to be considered complete; DOE will not review or consider noncompliant, nonresponsive, and/or ineligible submissions (see Section III of FOA).

Question 23: Can you further define what is considered an essential tribal facility beyond what is in the FOA description? In the technical volume- project description and outcomes section (page 49), it seems to imply schools, homes, and businesses can be considered essential.
Answer 23:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

As stated under Section I.B. on page 24, ““Essential Tribal Facility(s)” for purposes for this FOA, are those facilities necessary for providing essential services, where “essential services” for purposes of this FOA means services, that if interrupted, would endanger the life, health or personal safety of the whole or part of the tribal community. Such essential services include, but are not limited to, emergency facilities or shelters, hospitals or medical services, fire services, police services, water/wastewater, sewage, communications, electricity, natural gas, telecommunications (including telephone, radio or television broadcasting, internet connectivity, and broadband speeds), and transportation.”

 

Schools, homes, and businesses can be considered essential, if they meet the definition above.

Question 24: Can you further explain the special considerations that will be given to tribes that meet the requirements on page 11 (High energy costs, not connected to the grid, or have never received a grant from this program)? Does this mean if we meet those criteria we will receive special consideration if our proposed project doesn’t fit with the topic areas? For example a solar system to operate a microgrid.
Answer 24:

For any Application/project to receive the special considerations you have described, it must first meet the eligibility requirements set forth in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). If your proposed project does not fit within one of the FOA Topic Areas, it will be deemed ineligible and will not be further considered. If, however, the Application/project fits within one of the FOA Topic Areas and meets the FOA eligibility requirements, the Selection Official may at his/her discretion apply program policy factors in making selection decisions.  As indicated under FOA Section I.A. (page 11):, “…the Selection Official may, through the application of program policy factors (see Section V.C.), also give additional consideration in the selection of applications for funding…” (Emphasis added)

 

Specifically, Section V.C. states that the “Selection Official may consider the following program policy factors (in no particular order) in determining which applications to select for award negotiations:


  • The degree to which the proposed project, or group of projects, represent a desired geographic distribution (considering past awards and current applications);

  • The degree to which the proposed project, or group of projects, represent a desired technology diversity (considering past awards and current applications);

  • The degree to which the proposed project, including proposed cost share, optimizes the use of available DOE funding to achieve programmatic objectives;

  • Whether the proposed project(s) serves tribal communities with high energy costs;

  • Whether the proposed project(s) serves tribal communities not connected to the traditional centralized electrical power grid; and,

  • Applicants who have not previously received a grant from the Office of Indian Energy.”

 Therefore, as stated above and under Section V.C. of the FOA, the Selection Official may consider whether the proposed eligible project(s) serves a tribal community with high energy costs, serves a tribal community not connected to the traditional centralized electrical power grid, or Applicants who have not previously received a grant from the Office of Indian Energy, regardless of the Topic Area under which an application is submitted or the type of eligible project proposed.

Question 25: Can the required 50% cost share match be met using an in-kind match?
Answer 25:

Section III. B. 3. (page 36) of the funding opportunity announcement (FOA)  states, “[p]roject teams may provide cost share in the form of cash or in-kind contributions. Cash contributions may be provided by the Recipient or Subrecipients. Allowable contributions include, but are not limited to: contribution of time, unrecovered indirect costs, unrecovered facilities and administrative costs, rental value of buildings, land or equipment, and the value of a service, other resource, or third party in-kind contributions.” [Emphasis added]

 

Please be aware, however, that this FOA requires “cost share” as opposed to a “match” (the term used in your question).  Cost share is, or a percentage of the total project costs up to the maximum amount of DOE funds specified for each Topic Area (see Section II.A.1.). This cost share requirement may be different than a “match”, which means every dollar requested from the funding source must be matched with a specified percent of your own monies. For example, if the total estimated project costs were $5 million, under a “match” scenario without a cap on the federal funds, the requested federal funding would be $2.5 million and the “match” would be $2.5 million. On the other hand, because of the maximum DOE funding amounts per individual award as specified for this FOA (see page 30), the cost share under this scenario would be $4 million if the proposed project were submitted under Topic Area 1 or Topic Area 3.a. and $3 million if the proposed project were submitted under topic Area 2, Topic Area 3.b. or Topic Area 4.

 

Also, note that only third parties provide “in-kind” contributions, whereas similar contributions provided by the Applicant are typically considered cash contributions.

Question 26: We would like to build two photovoltaic parking shade systems to power two buildings to reduce energy costs. I believe the project falls under Topic Area 1.a. Please correct me if I am mistaken. Because we are going to propose two separate buildings. Do we have to submit two separate proposals, one for each building? The Topic Area is the same. The only difference will be the building location and the size of the system.
Answer 26:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

Based on the limited information provided in your question, it appears your project(s) would fall under Topic Area 1.a.

 

As stated in Section I.A., “Applicants may submit more than one application to this FOA and/or more than one application under a particular Topic Area, provided each application is for a distinctively different project and each application addresses only one Topic Area. Each application must have a distinct title, unique Control Number as assigned by EERE Exchange during the registration process, and be readily distinguishable. All applications must designate the specific Topic Area under which that application is being submitted on the Summary/Abstract, Summary Slide and on the cover of the Narrative file (see Section IV.C., Content and Form of Application).”

It is unclear from your question, however, whether each of the solar arrays are “distinctively different” or a single project with multiple generating systems at different sites. Please note that multiple sites may be proposed as a single project, in one application. For instance, under Topic Area 1.a. (Energy Generating System(s)), the FOA states on page 15, that “either a single energy generating system or multiple energy generating systems may be proposed and either a single Tribally-owned or controlled building or multiple Tribally-owned or controlled buildings may be proposed.” [Emphasis added]

 

DOE cannot advise you on the application strategy that would be most effective, whether a single application with multiple sites or multiple applications each with a single site. However, we offer the foregoing information for your consideration in making that determination.

Question 27: Under Topic Area 3, can a proposed project provide additional power to other building that are not essential buildings as long as we meet the three minimum buildings requirements? Or can funds only be used to support essential buildings?
Answer 27:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

Based on the limited information provided, it appears your inquiry is specific to Topic Area 3.b. (Tribal Community Resilience), under which the definition of “community-scale” (page 26) is “serving a substantial number of “essential tribal facilities” (no less than three (3) essential tribal facilities) within a tribal community or the entire tribal community.” [Emphasis added] Under Topic Area 3.b., “an explanation and rationale as to how the proposed project meets the community-scale requirement, specifically addressing the “substantial” element, will be required (see Section IV.C.4)” as part of the Technical Volume.

 

Based on the above, there are two basic criteria to determining whether your proposed project meets the requirement for community-scale: (1) whether the proposed project serves a substantial number of “essential tribal facilities”, where “substantial” means “ample or considerable amount”; and (2) that the substantial number of buildings is no less than three (3) essential tribal facilities.

(1)    In this case the number of “essential tribal facilities” must represent a “considerable” number of the total essential tribal facilities, or represent a “considerable” amount of the electric load of all “essential tribal facilities”, and

(2)    Once that criteria is met, the number of tribal facilities considered essential must be no less than three facilities.

 

Once the “substantial” criteria is met, provided it is no less than three (3) buildings, other tribal facilities (up to an entire community) may be affected by the proposed project. Provided that the “essential tribal facilities” meet the definition in the FOA (see below or Appendix A of the FOA, the designation of a “essential tribal facility” is at the discretion of the Indian tribe or other eligible applicant.  

 

Per page 24 of the FOA, ““Essential Tribal Facility(s)” for purposes for this FOA, are those facilities necessary for providing essential services, where “essential services” for purposes of this FOA means services, that if interrupted, would endanger the life, health or personal safety of the whole or part of the tribal community. Such essential services include, but are not limited to, emergency facilities or shelters, hospitals or medical services, fire services, police services, water/wastewater, sewage, communications, electricity, natural gas, telecommunications (including telephone, radio or television broadcasting, internet connectivity, and broadband speeds), and transportation.”

 

Also, see the response to Question #23 under the Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) page.

Question 28: I have a question about building energy efficiency measures allowed under topic area 1.b. Would servicing and tuning an existing boiler in a building be eligible as an energy efficiency measure or would that be energy conservation (according to the FOA, using less of a service or going without a service)?
Answer 28:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

As stated in the FOA on page 10 of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), among numerous other places within the FOA, “DOE’s Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications to install energy infrastructure on Tribal Lands”. And, specifically relative to Topic Area 1 that DOE is solicitation applications to “[i]nstall energy generating system(s) and/or energy efficiency measure(s) for Tribal Building(s) (Topic Area 1)”. [Emphasis added]

 

Based on the above, servicing and tuning an existing boiler in a building, as described, would not meet the intent of the FOA which is to install energy infrastructure. Specifically, servicing and tuning an existing boiler in a building does not meet the FOA’s definition of either an energy efficiency measure or energy conservation, but rather could be considered basic maintenance.

Question 29: I have a question regarding the grant opportunity for Energy Infrastructure on Tribal Land. I work with Tribes that are seeking funding for Biomass Heating projects, and I wonder if you have a similar program for that, or if they could apply to this program as well. I have looked at all your information and it seems to focus on Electrical Generation, but I thought I would ask.
Answer 29:

As stated in Section III.F. Questions Regarding Eligibility (page 39) of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), “DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential Applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. The decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the Applicant.

 

However, for your purposes in making that decision, we offer the following:

 

Section I.B (page 16) under section Topic Area 1.a. (Energy Generating System(s)) states that ““Energy generating system(s)” for purposes of this FOA include: (1) combined heat and power system(s), (2) conventional distributed generation system(s) and (3) renewable energy system(s)”.

 

That same section (page 16), further states that ““[r]enewable energy system(s),” for purposes of this FOA, include systems for: (i) electric power generation; and/or (ii) heating or cooling systems” and further defines “[h]eating or cooling system(s) include, but are not limited to, the use of biomass for high efficiency combustion systems (i.e., stoves and boilers), active solar thermal systems for space or water heating, wind energy for heating, direct-use hydrothermal (geothermal) resources for water and space heating, or other renewable energy hybrid systems for heating and/or cooling. [Emphasis added]

 

Therefore, heating systems are being sought under this FOA, including biomass for high efficiency combustion systems (i.e., stoves and boilers).

 

Furthermore, on page 16, ““[c]ombined heat and power system(s),” for purposes of this FOA, include, but are not limited to, integrated systems that simultaneously generate heat and power using energy efficient turbines, reciprocating engines, micro-turbines, fuel cells, including waste heat recovery systems (capturing heat discarded by an existing process and using that heat directly or to generate power). For purposes of this FOA, waste heat recovery systems may be proposed in combination with an existing power system as a combined heat and power system under Topic Area 1.a., Topic Area 1.c., Topic Area 2.a., or Topic Area 3. Eligible combined heat and power systems may be fueled by any fuel source (natural gas, landfill or sewage gas, fuel and gas oils, coal, lignite, coke, biomass or biogas, solid waste, waste gases, or waste process heat). [Emphasis added]

 

Therefore, combined heat and power system(s) which include waste heat recovery systems combined with an existing power system using biomass, may meet the requirements of this FOA.