Renewables Lab Wants Zero Energy Home Using Solar

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory will issue a Request for Proposals for up to $4 million in funding for a new project under the Solar Buildings Program.

GOLDEN, Colorado – The project is a multi year effort for promoting the combination of solar energy and energy efficiency in a single family home, through the use of the ‘”Zero Energy Home’ concept that combines commercially available renewable energy technologies with energy efficient construction techniques. The result is a system that can provide the home’s energy demands while approaching zero net energy consumption from non-renewable energy sources. A single family home that adopts the ‘Zero Energy Home’ concept would, at minimum, incorporate both solar hot water and photovoltaic energy production. Acceptable projects under the NREL solicitation will be those that result in building, marketing and monitoring ‘Zero Energy Homes’ with solar DHW and PV generation. The many stages to building such a home includes market research, prototype designing and build, selection, design and building of appropriate building projects with multiple homes. NREL will accept projects in any stage of implementation and will allow successful bidders to progress from an initially defined project by establishing a Task Ordering Agreement for a 48 month period. During this period, follow-on funding may be provided as natural extensions of the selected initial proposals, or issued for entirely new projects as proposed by the selected bidders. New projects must meet the goal of implementing the ‘Zero Energy Home’ concept in projects not conceived of or that were at an immature stage of development at the time of the original request for proposals. The construction cost that will necessarily occur on-site in actually building single family homes will not be considered part of the projects costs and will not be reimbursed by NREL. A project must have at least 10 percent of the price from the bidder. NREL will award multiple contracts of up to $420,000, with total funding for the project of $4 million over four years. The RFP document will be posted on March 6, and bids will be due by May.

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