U.S. Offers $6 Million for Efficiency and Renewables Research

The U.S. Department of Energy is looking for applications to pursue applied research, development and demonstration involving energy efficiency and some renewable energy.

GOLDEN, Colorado – Funding of $6 million will be available for up to ten awards in the current fiscal year, under a solicitation issued earlier this month. Priority areas of interest have been identified as buildings, state industries of the future, cogeneration and distributed generation, and transportation. The awards will be for up to three years, and demonstrations will be limited to field tests that provide critical operational feedback to researchers or manufacturers for the purpose of improving technical performance or lowering costs. The solicitation is limited to state agencies and organizations that represent state energy research entities, and does not include institutions of higher education. Those groups can participate as potential sub-awardees to eligible applicants. The solicitation is designed to provide opportunities to leverage funds for important research, development and demonstration (RD&D) to advance technologies that promote energy efficiency. A minimum of 20 percent non-federal cost-sharing will be required for all projects receiving awards, but any proposed cost-sharing above that minimum will be given favorable consideration in the selection process. The emphasis on building technologies will focus on a whole building (or “systems engineering”) approach, where individual building components and subsystems are considered collectively in terms of their interactions and joint impacts on building occupants and building operating performance. Projects should focus on daylighting, indoor environmental quality, commissioning and controls, and building components include energy conversion and control equipment supplying lighting, space conditioning, water heating, refrigeration, laundry, computing and information services. Specific needs include electric heat pump water heating, lighting controls, thermal distribution, unitary HVAC systems performance and dehumidification. Under the ‘State Industries of the Future’ category, funding will go to projects that state industries have determined will address priority energy, environmental and operational needs, but are not included in the current national level solicitations. For combined heat and power (CHP) and distributed power applications, projects must involve work that addresses transmission constraints, interconnect barriers, and which encourage strategic placement of distributed power technologies, consistent and streamlined siting and permitting regulations, and an equipment pre-certification program to avoid long and costly permitting delays; new commercial and industrial development for distributed generation using solar photovoltaics, wind, solar geothermal, energy storage, fuel cells and microturbines, as well as demand-side management measures to examine systemic operational parameters and capabilities. Hybrid applications, such as wind/fuel cell/microturbine applications for institutional and commercial applications, will also be considered. Under transportation, projects should focus on field research and technology validations designed to maximize the benefits of clean and efficient vehicle technologies.

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