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: Do the cost share funds for both project phases need to be secured and/or committed at the time of the initial application? If not, do these funds (for both project phases) need to be secured and/or committed prior to the initial (up to $1m) award? Or does the cost share for each phase just need to be secured and/or committed prior to the start of each phase?
Answer 1: Yes, per the FOA in Section III.B.5. Cost Share Verification, “Applicants are required to provide written assurance of their proposed cost share contributions in their Full Applications.”  The total cost share for the entire project must be secured at the time of the Full Application. The Applicant provides the written assurance of cost share in Block 18. “Estimated Funding” of the  SF424 Application form, which is signed by the Applicant’s Authorized Representative.  Commitment letters from third parties providing cost share will be required for those selected for award negotiations.
Question 2: Will it be allowed for a recipient to use the funds to fabricate a prototype?
Answer 2:
Yes, funds may be used for fabrication of a prototype for demonstration at WETS.
Question 3: Would the MHK WETS FOA require the funded recipient to expose company proprietary information to public?
Answer 3:

FOA 0001081 does not require the FOA recipients to expose the company’s proprietary information to the public.  Please refer to section VIII.E. Treatment of Application Information of the FOA.

In addition, please refer to section I.A of the FOA.  Two final reports are required per items IV and V of Budget Period II deliverables listed under the paragraph entitled Budget Period II in Section I.B.4.  The Final Report (Non-Public) may contain information marked proprietary and will be treated in accordance with Section VIII.N Rights in Technical Data.  The Final Report (Public) without proprietary information will be published upon DOE approval. 

The applicants are also encouraged to see the paragraph entitled ‘Data Access’ in section I.A of the FOA and section VIII.N regarding the access to and publication of the data collected from the work performed under this FOA.  As stated, EERE will work with the awardees during negotiations to define the data/measurements to be collected.

Question 4: Will the webinar briefing be available for review?
Answer 4:
Yes. The webinar is posted on the EERE Exchange website at
Question 5: Can you advise what the definition of Independent Research and Development Funds (IR&D) is? - The term is mentioned on page 17, paragraph 5 of the FOA (Cost Share Types and Allowability) and I can’t see it in the list of definitions.
Answer 5:
IR&D funds are defined as R&D initiated and conducted by contractors independent of government control and without direct government funding. IR&D includes: (1) basic research, (2) applied research, (3) development, and (4) systems and other concept formulation studies. IR&D does not include R&D performed under grants or contracts from the Government. So, an example would be a company that is doing research on a topic that is independent of the research being funded by a grant or cooperative agreement. For more information on IR&D, see the Federal Acquisition Regulations: FAR 31.205-18 Independent research and development and bid and proposal costs.
Question 6: Is a template available from EERE for US Manufacturing Plans?
Answer 6:
No. Please use the guidance from Section IV.C.12 US Manufacturing Commitments.
Question 7: Does the “Determination of Exception Circumstances” require that the US Manufacturing Plan include products sold and intended for use outside of the US?
Answer 7:
Question 8: Under what condition can the cost share requirement be waived?
Answer 8:
This FOA doesn’t allow for a cost share waiver per the Energy Policy Act (2005) that requires 20% cost share for R&D projects and 50% cost share for demonstration projects. Please refer to 10 CFR 600.30 Cost Sharing section for further information on cost sharing regulations.
Question 9: The Technical Volume guidance discusses technical baseline in several instances and it is not perfectly clear what the reference baseline is. Is the technical baseline: a. Most current technical status of the applicant’s technology developed from numerical models and small scale testing? b. Most current technology from developer that has been ocean-tested at intermediate scale? c. State of the art in the industry as a whole? d. Some other criteria?
Answer 9:

Please refer to the table under section IV.C.2, Technical Volume.

The 1st bullet of 2nd row (Project Overview) requires the applicant to discuss the background of their organization, including the history, successes, and current research and development status (i.e., the technical baseline) relevant to the technical topic being addressed in the Full Application.  In this case the applicant is expected to provide their device-specific present status of technology development.

The 3rd bullet of 3rd row (Technical Description, Innovation, and Impact) requires the applicant to describe the current state of the art in the applicable field, the specific innovation of the proposed technology, the advantages of proposed technology over current and emerging technologies, and the overall impact on advancing the state of the art/technical baseline if the project is successful.  In this case the applicant is expected to provide the overall impact of their device on advancing the present state of the art in the industry as a whole if the project is successful.

Question 10: 1. What is the rating for the anchors at the WETS deepwater sites? 2. Can you provide a link to the existing permit so that we assess the resources required for device-specific permitting? 3. How much detail is required on tasks, timing and budget for "Phase 2" in the application, given that a key part of "Phase 1" is defining these items?
Answer 10:
1. The moorings are designed for a maximum loading capacity of 640,000-lbs (640 kips).

2. The Army Corps of Engineers test site construction permit is not available to the public.  To assess the resources required for device-specific permitting the applicants are encouraged to refer to the Environmental Assessment (EA) developed for Wave Energy Test Site which is available at the following link:

3. Refer to the section I.B, Description and II.A, Award Overview for the FOA objectives, work to be performed, budget, and period of performance.  Though the FOA will be conducted in two budget periods, the applicants must provide all details covering the entire scope of work in Budget Period I and Budget Period II along with the schedule and budget for each budget period in the application.  The applicants may choose the level of details to be provided to cover all activities within the page limits specified in the FOA.
Question 11: The Technical Volume requires the Workplan to be submitted in MS Word format. Should the Workplan be included within the Technical Volume PDF file and as a separate MS Word file named “ControlNumber_LeadOrganization_Workplan” ?
Answer 11: Please review Modification 0001 to the FOA document that highlights the clarification on how to separately submit the Technical Volume and the Work Plan of the Technical Volume.
Question 12: 1. There are several references to maximum number of pages for the FOA submission however I could not find the number referenced in the FOA 1081 document. Can you please specify? 2. I registered on the EERE site right after the webinar. My understanding was I would receive a Control Number for our submission. When should I expect to receive the Control Number and I haven’t to date?
Answer 12:
1. Please review the table and numbers 1-13 in Section IV.C. of the FOA that give further guidelines on the documents to find the appropriate page maximums if required.

2. A control number will be issued when you click the “Apply” button to begin the process of submitting your Full Application to the FOA. Please ensure that the control number is included on all Application documents.
Question 13: One million dollar cost sharing requirement discourages us to respond to the current FOA.  We understand that another similar FOA is coming in the near future.  Would it be planned to reduce the amount of cost sharing down to the level that any individual can afford to deal with?
Answer 13:
EERE may issue a FOA in the future of a similar nature but there is no guarantee.  If EERE choses to issue a FOA, final details, including the cost sharing requirement will be subject to Congressional appropriations and direction.  Please continue to monitor for information on current Funding Opportunity Announcements that you may be interested in and eligible to apply for. 
Question 14: Can the grant submission deadline for full applications be extended by two-weeks from June 11, 2014 to June 25, 2014 for the above referenced FOA?
Answer 14:
No. There is no intention at this time to extend beyond the FOA application deadline of Wednesday, June 11, 2014 as stated in Exchange and the FOA.
Question 15: Appendix D - Data Management Plan refers to a website that I can not seem to access: Is the information that is supposed to be provided there - in particular the FAQ section - available elsewhere? The also referenced NGDS document, which IS available, appears to be not very specific to this FOA in particular or MHK technology development in general. Overall, any further guidance on the novel Data Management Plan requirement would be appreciated, in particular a sample of a data management plan would help. Specific questions: • What constitutes a "complete data management plan" as requested on pg. 34 of the FOA, in particular, what level of detail is required • In what format is the data management plan to be submitted (pdf?) • Is there a page limit / does the content count towards the technical volume page limit?
Answer 15:

The FOA refers to the site ( for ‘DOE Marine and Hydrokinetic Data Repository’ for uploading the data produced during the project execution.  This does not exist at this time.  We expect to have the site up and running in time for the potential awardees to upload the data in the future.

Regarding the Data Management plan, we do not have a sample. Please review Appendix D in the FOA  including the “Example Data/Measurements List” for guidance on completing the plan.  The Plan must be submitted in pdf format and is a separate document from the Technical Volume with no page limit.

Question 16: In reference to the Nameplate Capacity rating requirement, please clarify the following: Is said Nameplate Capacity rating related to the Peak Device Power Rating? OR Is it related to the produced maximum continuous average power capability of the device? While the Peak Power rating is directly related to the device’s ability to handle transient and quasi transient peak power events (generator-drive peak ratings), the produced maximum continuous average power is related to the device’s ability to generate such power on average under ideal metocean conditions on a continuous basis and remain within its prescribed operational requirements at all times.
Answer 16:
For the purposes of this FOA, the nameplate capacity refers to the maximum sustainable power output of a device on a continuous basis without failure. Normally, the peak power rating of a device is greater than the nameplate capacity.
Question 17: We are concerned that it is not possible to provide an adequate response to DE-FOA-00001081 within the 20 page limit. The FOA appropriately requests a significant amount of information, along with providing merit criteria, recommended section lengths and other guidance regarding the presentation of that information. However, the Workplan content requirements do not seem answerable in the recommended 9 pages, while expanding the Workplan section beyond 9 pages would create a similar problem for other sections. For example, the Milestone Summary for a 42 month project with only one milestone per quarter and appropriate go/no-go’s is likely to take 3-4 pages by itself. The Gantt chart and detailed task list for such a complex project will likely require an additional 4 -5 pages for a total of 7-9 pages. This would not appear to allow adequate space for the remaining Workplan section content requirements. As such and for all respondents, we ask if a modification can be made to remove the WBS and Task Descriptions, Milestone Summary Table and Project Schedule sections from the current page limit. Alternatively, could an appropriate increase in the page limit or a similar type accommodation be made? Thank you in advance for your time and consideration of this matter.
Answer 17:
Please see modification 0002 to the FOA which has extended the Technical Volume from 20 pages to 25 pages at  Please also see the update to the Technical Volume Table sections to denote pages advised per section versus a percentage in Section IV.C.
Question 18: Please advise if you can provide any information about, or a list of, participants in this FOA. I am an engineer and experienced utility project developer here in Hawaii, with a great interest in the development of marine renewable energy.
Answer 18:
DOE will not release information to the public on applicants who submit full applications to this FOA.
Question 19: I understand that HNEI has been allocated funds to provide services to WETS tenants; can you advise what these services are?
Answer 19:
HNEI's services for the WETS tenants may be available in the future but are not guaranteed at this time. The applicants are encouraged to prepare their applications without consideration to HNEI's services.
Question 20: With regards to the estimations of AEP (100kW - 1000kW nameplate device at WETS site - see page 7 of the FOA) and LCOE (see page 30 of the FOA), is it required that the guidance document be followed rigorously? I.e., For the WETS AEP estimation, please confirm that this is for a single device, and not a 260,000 MWh array as per the reference guide. For the LCOE estimation, please confirm whether this must be for the CA reference site and whether it must be for a 260,000 MWh array. Can the device size for the LCOE estimation be larger than the device size proposed for WETS testing? For both the WETS AEP estimation and the reference LCOE estiation, must each time series used to develop the power matrices be 200 Tp long? The guide recommends a time step of 0.01 Tp... what is the maximum Tp you consider to be reasonable?
Answer 20:

Please refer to the last bullet under the first paragraph in section 1.B.3 of the FOA which states – “‘Estimated annual energy production supported by assumptions and calculations for the wave conditions at WETS…..”

The applicants are expected to provide an estimate of the annual energy production (AEP) for a single device proposed to be tested for the wave conditions at WETS.  AEP estimation for a 260,000 MWh array at DOE reference site is not required as part of the application. 

However, as part of the project scope of work, the FOA awardees will be required to provide an additional LCOE calculation for both the single device and an array for deployment at the DOE reference site in Northern California near Humboldt Bay as stated in section 1.B.4 of the FOA (see ‘Cost Reporting Guidance’).  This calculation is not required to be a part of the application.

Per the ‘DOE LCOE Reporting Guidance’ it is recommended that the time step be 0.01 Tp seconds.   The technology developers can use their own simulation duration or time step, but the length of the time series should be at least 200 Tp seconds.

Question 21: The Technical Volume instructions indicate that certain descriptions should be repeated in multiple places, e.g., "expected outcomes" in both the Technical Description, Innovation and Impact (Relevance & Outcomes) and Workplan (Project Objectives) sections; "goals" in the Project Overview (Project Goal) and Workplan (Project Objectives) sections. Given the page limit, should these descriptions indeed be repeated in different sections, or is their inclusion in one of those sections sufficient?
Answer 21:

Applicants must provide all information listed under each section of the table of Section IV.C.2 - Technical Volume without repetition.  Some overlap may be inevitable but the applicants are encouraged to vary the level of information to be provided under each section as deemed fit. 

Please note that in the context, the word “goal(s)” differs for each occurrence in the example provided in the question:

• Project Overview (Project Goal):  The Applicant should explicitly identify the targeted improvements to the baseline technology and the critical success factors in achieving that goal. 

Here the word “goal” refers to the applicant’s targeted improvements to the baseline technology.

• Technical Description, Innovation, and Impact (Relevance and Outcomes):  The Applicant should provide a detailed description of the technology, including the scientific and other principles and objectives that will be pursued during the project. This section should describe the relevance of the proposed project to the goals and objectives of the FOA, including the potential to meet specific DOE technical targets or other relevant performance targets. The Applicant should clearly specify the expected outcomes of the project.

Here the word “goals” refers to ‘the FOA objectives/goals provided in Section I.B.1’.

• Work Plan (Project Objectives):  The Applicant should provide a clear and concise (high-level) statement of the goals and objectives of the project as well as the expected outcomes. 

This a high level statement of the applicant’s goals and objectives for the proposed project.

Question 22: The wave energy technology developer with whom we are teaming would like to send an engineer to work on site with one of our U.S. partners throughout the 12-month Phase I performance period. The developer’s management also would like to make two week-long visits to observe wide basin testing during Phase I. A. Can the transportation costs to and from the U.S. be funded by DOE or … if not … can payment of those costs by the foreign entity be counted as cost share? B. Can meals and lodging in the U.S. for developer’s management be funded by DOE or … if not … can payment of those costs by the foreign entity be counted as cost share? C. Are we correct in assuming that salary support for the on-site engineer CAN be funded by DOE and … for the portion of that salary paid by the foreign entity … can such payment be counted as cost share?
Answer 22:
Please review Section IV.H.3 & 5 of the FOA for requirements on foreign entity involvement and travel. If an applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of EERE that the Performance of Work in the Unites States waiver would further the purposes of the FOA and is otherwise in the interests of EERE and the United States, the foreign costs would be negotiated.  If approved, the proposed project costs would be allowable. For further information on allowable costs, please reference the applicable Federal cost principles listed in Section IV.H.1.
Question 23: Is the application under DE-FOA-0001081 subject to the executive order 12372 process? What is the name of federal agency?
Answer 23:
Please see Section IV.G of the FOA which states that the Wind and Water Power Technologies Office (WWPTO) is not subject to Executive Order 12372 so please check box “c. Program is not covered.”
Question 24: Is there any provision to be made for the Navy or Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) to purchase electricity landed ashore at the Wave Energy Test Site?  If not, can the value of this electricity be claimed as cost share?
Answer 24:
There is no provision for the Navy or Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) to purchase electricity from the test site at this time.  The value of such electricity cannot be claimed as cost share.
Question 25: The mooring description in the Final EA is as follows: Approximately 700 ft (213 m) of chain would extend through the water column to a 13-ft (4-m) long chain pigtail connected to the bottom of a surface buoy (see Figure 2- 3). … The mooring chain would float directly above the last sinker weight and would be under tension. The length of chain that is attached to the last sinker--called the mooring chain (Figure 2-3)--would be equivalent to the depth of the water. Therefore, there would be no slack or movement of the chain that would scour the substrate around the anchor and sinkers. When a WEC device is installed, the mooring rope that would be necessary to allow the device to be secured to the mooring chain would be put in place at that time. The mooring rope would be removed when the WEC device is removed. Two questions: A. For the deep mooring at 80m, is it correct to assume that the ground chain length = 213 m minus 13 m pigtail minus 80 m water depth = 120 m ? B. As waves push a connected WEC off station, it’s not completely clear what would provide the horizontal restoring force unless some portion of the ground chain is picked up off the bottom. To avoid picking up ground chain, am I correct in assuming that the required restoring force must be provided by the total sag of the catenary (including the 13 m pigtail) between the mooring buoy and the WEC?
Answer 25:

A. Note that the discussion of the mooring description given in the Wave Energy Test Site – Final  Environmental Assessment (EA) under Sec., Mooring System, focuses on controlling the watch circle of the device so as to prevent scour of the substrate around the mooring anchors and sinker weights.  It is not a discussion meant to address how the device is controlled within the mooring itself.  The vertexes of the “isosceles” triangle shape as referred to by the questioner have no correlation with the lengths of mooring chain because the latter is instead a function of the water depth at each of the three mooring anchor locations. 

In the mooring’s slack configuration when a Wave Energy Conversion (WEC) device is not installed, the approximate 700ft (213m) length of chain referred to in the EA is measured from the mooring anchor to the connection point below the surface buoy; the developer’s WEC device is to be tied into the mooring chain by connecting their mooring rope (hawser) from the WEC device to the 13ft (4m) long chain pigtail which directly connects to the mooring chain below the surface buoy.
B. The hawser length is to be designed by each developer and is required to be shorter than the distance between the center of the mooring and surface buoy in the uninstalled, or “slack” configuration.  So when the hawser connects the surface buoy and the WEC device, it pre-tensions the mooring to approximately 4,000-lb by lifting a short portion of the chain and the first sinker off the seafloor.  Therefore, the surface buoys don’t influence the stiffness of the mooring, but rather the pre-tensioning of the hawser depends on its elasticity and length and thus provides the restoring force to the device.

Question 26: Please see the following questions below related to DE-FOA-0001081. 1) Your answer to Question 19 appears to be in conflict with the information provided on page 88 of the FOA entitled ‘WETS Modus Operandi’. Please clarify the HNEI-UH roles and if all of the information provided on page 88 is accurate. 2) With regards to the NEPA compliance associated with the funding award, the FOA says “…all Recipients selected for an award will be required to assist in the timely and effective completion of the NEPA process in the manner most pertinent to their proposed project.” • Will DOE use the Navy’s Environmental Assessment for WETS (issued 3/8/14) to support the NEPA review required for the funding action? Or will DOE prepare a new environmental document? • Is the award recipient responsible for preparing environmental analysis documentation specific to their proposed project to support the NEPA review for the funding action? • Are there any other the environmental reviews associated with the funding action that the award recipient will need to assist with? (i.e., ESA Section 7, MMPA, EFH Assessment, etc.) 3) With regards to the third bullet under NAVFAC “Device-specific permits (CATEX and ACOE permits)” on page 88: • Please clarify the specific information that the award recipient is responsible for providing to NAVFAC for the permit documentation. • What federal action does this CATEX refer to? • Are there any other environmental reviews associated with the permit action? (i.e., ESA Section 7, MMPA, EFH Assessment, etc.) If so, who is responsible for preparing the environmental analysis documentation needed to support those reviews? • Are there any state or local authorizations that would be required? If so, is the award recipient or NAVFAC responsible for obtaining those permits?
Answer 26:

1) As stated on page 88 of the FOA in slide entitled “WETS Modus Operandi”, HNEI-UH will evaluate WEC system performance, mooring system and power cable life expectancy, and environmental impact with respect to acoustics, EMF, and for ecological survey purposes.  The data gathered by HNEI-UH will support the Government’s understanding of WEC demonstration impacts.  Wave data for the existing WaveRider buoy (Station 51207, Kaneohe Bay, HI) can be found at the NOAA site: as well as from  Additional data from two other WaveRiders buoys to be deployed in the coming months will also be posted on this website.   Beyond that, specific HNEI support services for WETS tenants are indeterminate at this time and should not be projected by the applicants to be offered as part of testing at WETS.

2) With regards to the DOE NEPA compliance:
• DOE is responsible for NEPA compliance specific to the agency’s individual NEPA implementing regulations and the action triggering the need for such compliance. Per CEQ guidance, DOE will utilize the NAVY EA to the greatest extent possible.  DOE is not at liberty to say what additional requirements, permits, or environmental analyses will be needed until the recipients have been identified and a thorough NEPA review has been completed.  Regardless, it is the sole responsibility of the grant recipient to identify and complete all necessary permitting and compliance with applicable environmental laws prior to deployment.

3) With regards to the third bullet under NAVFAC “Device-specific permits (CATEX and ACOE permits)” on page 88:
• If further NEPA documentation is required (e.g., CATEX, Memorandum to Record, Supplemental EA), the awardee is to provide input to the application process.  This also holds true for the ACOE Permit Application and the USCG Private Aids to Navigation (PATON) permit, the latter of which is to be submitted by the awardee.   As part of the PATON, the awardee must show compliance with NEPA as part of the USCG Application.
• CATEX refers to the device-specific NEPA analysis.
• The awardee will provide system configuration and device operation descriptions for the NEPA analysis, which may be exchanged via MS Word documents, MS PowerPoint slide sets, and/or teleconferences; thereafter, the Navy determines whether the device falls under the existing EA or requires additional NEPA documentation such as the (e.g., CATEX, Memorandum for the Record, or a Supplemental EA).  If the Navy determines that regulatory input is needed, the awardee must respond to questions from the agencies to determine if consultations need to be reinitiated (e.g., Sec 106, ESA Section 7, MMPA, EFH Assessment, etc.).
• No, there are no state or local authorizations required.