Funding Number: DE-FOA-0001329

Funding Amount: $12,000,000


The Solar Training and Education for Professionals (STEP) funding program will tackle soft costs by addressing gaps in solar training and energy education, both within the solar workforce and in professions that play a crucial role in solar deployment. First, it will support coordination among the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN), military bases, and the solar industry. This will ensure that solar instructors are well connected to solar employers, the SITN materials are up-to-date, and veterans are connected to solar training institutions. Second, it will establish new credentials in solar operations and maintenance, and mid-scale installations. Third, this funding program will enable solar training and education for professionals in indirect and related fields such as real estate, finance, insurance, fire and code enforcement, and state regulations. Finally, it will support the expansion of the Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment (GEARED) initiative. See the awarded projects.


It is anticipated that average award amounts will range from $200,000 to $2 million, with anywhere from six to 60 awards. For Topics 1 and 2, there is no cost share required, though cost sharing is encouraged. For Topic 3, a 20% cost share is required.

Prior to submitting a full application for this opportunity, a brief, mandatory concept paper is due on June 26, 2015. See all application dates below.

FOA Issue Date:May 13, 2015
Informational Webinar:June 4, 2015, 3:00pm ET
Submission Deadline for Concept Papers:June 26, 2015, 5:00pm ET
Submission Deadline for Full Applications:August 14, 2015, 5:00pm ET
Submission Deadline for Replies to Reviewer Comments:September 2015
Expected Date for EERE Selection Notifications:November 2015
Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations:January 2016


Additional Information

Download the full funding opportunity on the EERE Exchange website

Download slides from the informational webinar and frequently asked questions about this FOA

Read the EERE press release about this funding opportunity announcement

For FOA-specific support, contact