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The Office of Indian Energy hosted an informational webinar March 14, 2024 about the Clean Energy Technology Deployment on Tribal Lands – 2024 (DE-FOA-0003298) funding opportunity announcement.
Office of Indian Energy

The Office of Indian Energy hosted an informational webinar March 14, 2024 to provide interested applicants with more information on the Clean Energy Technology Deployment on Tribal Lands – 2024 (DE-FOA-0003298) funding opportunity announcement (FOA) and how to apply. In addition to describing the FOA, information was provided on who is eligible to apply, what an application needs to include, cost share and other requirements, how to ask questions, and how applications will be selected for funding.

LIZANA PIERCE: Good morning or good afternoon depending on where you are and welcome to the webinar. This informational webinar is for people interested in applying to the Department of Energy's Office of Indian Energy funding opportunity announcement or FOA entitled, clean energy technology deployment on tribal lands 2024, which was issued February 27 at the summit by the Secretary. 

The intent of this webinar is to cover the basic aspects of the Funding Opportunity Announcement. As I said, we also refer to it as a FOA. And we highlight the essential details about the application process including the types of applications sought, who is eligible to apply, cost share, and other requirements, what the application needs to contain, how to ask questions, and how applications will be reviewed and selected for funding. 

Before we begin, I'd like to draw your attention to the email address tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov in the lower right hand side of the slide. This is the official mailbox to direct all of your questions during the entire FOA process. Please do not contact DOE or DOE Laboratory staff or contractors directly with any questions including myself as all questions must be in writing. 

The reason for only accepting questions in writing is to ensure you receive a formal response and so that everyone has the benefit of that same response because if you have a question, other potential applicants likely have a similar question. 

As we will not have a question and answer session as part of this webinar, please capture your questions as they come up and send them via email to tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. Please also include the FAO number, DE-FOA-0003298 in the subject line of your email. 

Unless a similar question has already been asked, responses to questions received at this mailbox will be posted to the frequently asked questions or FAQ web page for this FOA on the ie-exchange website. Responses to your questions will typically be posted within three business days after receipt or as best we can. 

Before submitting the question, please check the FAQ page on ie-exchange to see if a similar question has already been answered. In submitting your questions also, please be careful not to include any language that might be business sensitive, proprietary, or confidential. 

Your participation in this webinar is completely voluntary. There are no particular advantages or disadvantages to the application, evaluation process with respect to your participation in the webinar today. 

Note that if there are any inconsistencies between the Funding Opportunity Announcement, this presentation or statements from DOE or other personnel, the FOA document is the controlling document. And the applicant should rely solely on that FOA language or seek clarification by sending your questions to tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. 

These slides and an audio recording of this webinar will be posted in the next week or so and as a registrant of the webinar, you'll receive an email when this material is available. So let's get started. Next slide, please. 

My name is Lizana Pierce and I am the senior engineer with the Department of Energy and the deployment supervisor for the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs otherwise known simply as the Office of Indian Energy. I've had the pleasure and the privilege of working with tribes for the last 25 years and in the clean energy for the last 30 years. 

And, yes, the picture in the upper left is dated. I apologize for that. But in my current position as deployment supervisor, I support the Office in executing the deployment program, which is comprised of financial assistance, typically through competitive grants, technical assistance, and no cost or requesting tribes or tribal entities and education and capacity building. 

Additionally, I managed the national funding opportunity announcement and act as a project officer for some of the results and grants. And implement outreach through our website and email newsletters and oversee the support of our laboratory and other DE provider partners. 

I have with me Tweedie Doe, project of the lead, project officer with the Office, who is also a duty station with me in Colorado. Because there's so much information, Tweedie and I are going to take turns throughout the presentation. And Tweedie, would you like to introduce yourself? Next slide. 

TWEEDIE DOE: I would love to. Hello, everyone. My name is Tweedie Doe. I am a lead up-- lead project officer as Lizana mentioned. So I hope the other project officers are following, otherwise I wouldn't be a leader. I've been with DOE for about 15 years and about eight years with the Office of Indian Energy. 

And in my capacity, I get to work with tribal staff on extraordinary projects because I think they're all extraordinary whether they're big or small. I have great respect for anyone working on these projects. 

And we do have a lot of information so we will try to keep you all awake and listening during the next couple of hours. Back to you, Lizana. Do we have Lizana on? 

LIZANA PIERCE: We do. But I'm talking to myself I was on mute. Thank you, Tweedie. So before we get into the Funding Opportunity Announcement or FOA, I wanted to provide a brief overview of the Office. Our mission and our offering. 

As advocated for and by the tribes and incorporated in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Office of Indian Energy was stood up as one of at that point a dozen assistant secretarial level offices within the department. 

The Office is charged by Congress to promote Indian Energy development, efficiency, and use, reduce or stabilize energy costs, enhance and strengthen Indian tribal energy and economic infrastructure, and bring electric power and service to Indian lands and homes. 

To aid us in accomplishing this mission, we do receive insights on issues affecting energy and infrastructure development in Indian country to help guide us through this as the Indian country energy and infrastructure working group comprised of tribal leaders across the country. 

And I won't go into the various pictures we have, most of them are examples of projects we've had the pleasure of co-funding and working with, next slide, please. So shown here is a picture at the end of August of 2023, which includes our leadership, shown in the front, and some of the headquarters staff and the deployment team. The Office is currently comprised of about 18 federal employees, including two detailees, relatively recent contractors supporting headquarters, and then we have contractor support for the deployment program. The team is stationed across the country, including Washington DC, Colorado, Florida, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Oregon, Las Vegas, Alaska. And I may have forgotten a few, but needless to say, we're located across the country with many of us duty stations either in DC or Colorado. 

Next slide, please. That we achieve our mission and address the barriers, the Office of Indian Energy offers financial assistance as I said through competitive grants. A tactical assistance offered at no charge to Indian tribes, and tribal entities, and education and capacity building. These three prongs are intended to assist Indian tribes and tribal entities overcome the unique regulatory technical and economic challenges to developing their vast energy resources, if and how they so choose. 

Next slide, please. So last year the Office committed $72 million to 31 tribal clean energy projects across the country. This builds on an investment of over $120 million, and more than 200 tribal energy projects funded across the contiguous 48 states and Alaska that were funded between 2010 and 2022. Through these grants the Office of Indian Energy continues to suffer in partnership with Native communities to maximize the deployment of clean energy solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives. 

Specifically, these projects have resulted in some tangible benefits to over 100 communities, including 46 megawatts of new generation, nearly $315 million estimated to be saved over the system lifetimes, and a savings of $3.38 say for every dollar [? TUE ?] invested taxpayer money. And those projects will affect nearly 8,800 tribal buildings across Indian country.

So by the way, this slide shows the tribal energy project database on our website, the one before. 

[LAUGHS] 

And it's an interactive map, and we have a sortable database, so you can see projects, summaries, presentations. If they're completed, final reports for each of those projects. And at this point, I'm going to hand it back to Tweedie to present on the [? IA ?] exchange website, where you can download the Funding Opportunity Announcement, frequently asked questions, forms and templates. 

And remember, that the templates and forms only comprise a portion of a completed application, the remaining elements will need to be generated by the applicant. And she'll also cover registration requirements. So Tweedie, you're up. Next slide, please. 

TWEEDIE DOE: All right, thank you, Lizana. Before we discuss the Funding Opportunity Announcement, which Lizana had said earlier is DE-FOA, because we refer to FOA, 0003298. I want to walk you through the IE Exchange site. And where to find the FOA document itself, the application forms, and frequently asked questions, or FAQs, as you'll see that. The IE Exchange website is at ie-exchange.energy.gov. And you see that URL listed on the top of the slide in front of you. 

Once you are on that page, click on funding opportunities in the left navigation. Scroll down the list until you locate the phone number, which ends in 3298. Clicking the phone number in the phone list will take you to the section of the web page that's specific to this FOA, as shown on this slide here that we're looking at. And as you can see in this slide of the IE Exchange website, the section specific to this FOA, again, ending in 3298, includes a brief summary and other key information. The direct link to this FOA summary again, is at the bottom of this slide that you can see that's in the light blue there, and it is ie-exchange.energy.gov. 

Now to apply to the FOA, start by registering with IE Exchange, and then clicking the Apply button that's shown on the right of this slide. During the process a control number will be assigned to you. Retain this number as it will be used as an identifier, and it is required on all of your application documents. Note that there are manuals on the site, which will provide you with more directions on registering and on submitting an application. 

Let's go to the next slide and we are on, just want to confirm, slide nine. As you can see from this screenshot, the ie-exchange summary for this FOA includes the FOA document itself for download, the application forms and templates. That one is not circled on here, but you can see that on the screen. And note that the application forms and templates for this FOA on IE Exchange represent only a portion of the documents that's required for a complete application, as Lizana mentioned earlier. The remaining documents required for a complete application have no specific format, and are to be generated by the applicant. 

Now three, circled there, the contact information for submitting questions regarding this FOA, and for ie-exchange support. We also have the link, circled here, to the frequently asked questions, or FAQs, web page that's specific to this FOA. We also have a non-FOA specific FAQs that's available on the website as well. 

And lastly, the circle on the bottom there, very important is the submission deadline, which is May 30th, 2024, that's this year May 2024, at 5:00 PM Eastern time. And remember, it is Eastern time zone, so please plan accordingly, and adjust for whichever time zone you are located in when you are submitting your application. If the application forms and templates are not shown when you get on this page, you'll need to click on the View Application Forms and Templates label, and a list of the forms and templates will be revealed, which I'll show you on the next slide. So let's go to the next slide. Thank you. 

And as you can see on the screen here, once you click on the view application forms and templates, you'll see the various forms and templates that you'll need to be included as part of your application. These forms and templates, again, only represent only a portion of the documents required for a complete application. Specifically, they represent 11 of the 19 documents that are required for a complete application. All of the other documents that are not part of this 11, need to be completed. And they don't have any specific format, and they are to be generated by the applicant directly. 

Further into the presentation we'll go through all of the documents, all the 19 that comprise a complete application. And for a complete list of required application documents, if anyone's following the flow itself, you can go to the table that's located on pages 43, 44, and 45, of the FOA documents. If you want to pull that up and compare that at the same time. 

As denoted on IE Exchange, the application for federal assistance, also known as the SF424, that's standard form 424, the eligibility statements and evidence file, the budget support file, the cost share reduction request, the applicant registration certifications, and the disclosure of lobbying activities, also known as the SFLLL, they must be signed by an authorized representative of the applicant. And at the bottom of this slide here, you'll see the frequently asked questions, FAQs hyperlink, which we'll discuss on the next slide. 

Let's go let's go to the next slide. Responses to all SOA-related questions that are received in our mailbox, again is tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov, will be posted on the frequently asked questions web page specific to this FOA on the IE Exchange website. The screenshot here is an example that we wanted to show you. 

Please check the FAQ page periodically as questions and responses will continue to be posted throughout the entire time the FOA is open. Please also check this page before submitting your question. As a similar question may have already been answered. Also see the questions and answers page for non-FOA specific questions and answers if you have something that's not related to this FOA. 

Next slide, slide 12 please, thank you, Joe. I also want to let you know that we have developed two user guides for you, one, on the IE-Exchange, and the other one is on the login and registration process, that's including the two-factor authentication process that's required. You can access these guides by clicking on the user guides, that's located in the left navigation as shown on the screen here. Each guide has numerous screenshots to help you navigate the registration and application process. So please make use of the resources. And let us know if there's anything that you think would improve those resources, as we want them to be as useful as possible. 

Next slide, please. On the cover page of the FOA, you will find some key dates. The FOA has been issued, posted as you can see, February 27th, 2024. And we are conducting, right now, the FOA informational webinar. All applications are due on the IE-Exchange website, no later than 5:00 PM Eastern on May 30th, 2024. Note that, again, this closing time is 5:00 PM Eastern time, so please plan accordingly for your time zone. 

Please also note that DOE will not extend the submission deadline for applicants who fail to submit all the required information due to server connection congestion issues. IE-Exchange is designed to enforce the deadlines specified in this forum. The Apply and Submit buttons may be disabled at the define submission deadline. 

So therefore please ensure you begin uploading your complete application at least 48 hours in advance of the submission deadline, and this is to ensure that you meet that deadline, allowing at least one hour at least one hour to submit an application. Once the application is submitted in IE-Exchange, you may revise or update your application up until the deadline. So you can go ahead and get started on your application process earlier than the deadline. 

DOE anticipates notifying applicants selected for negotiation of award, fall of 2024, and then making the awards approximately 90 days after the receipt of any requested supplemental information to what's already been submitted in your application. Each and every applicant will receive a notification letter by email to the technical and the administrative points of contact designated by the applicant in IE-Exchange. The notification letters will state whether the application has been determined to be either non-compliant, this could be because there is an incomplete or late application, or ineligible, which could mean that it does not meet the eligibility requirements, beginning on page 31 of the FOA document, for anyone following along. 

Or non-responsive, that defined under Section 1C, application specifically not of interest, beginning on page 28 of the FOA document. Or not selected for funding, or also selection for funding is postponed. Or another determination could be that it has not been selected for funding, but designated as an alternate. Or hopefully you get a letter that says selected for negotiation of an award, that would be great news. The notification letter will state the basis upon which those decisions were made. 

Let's go on to slide 14. Even though we will go through much of the information contained in the Funding Opportunity Announcement in this webinar, I, and I think Lizana would urge you to read the FOA and then read it again to just make sure you've got all the requirements addressed in your application. And then also you may be interested in a webinar we had in February on successful grant applications for tribal clean energy projects, which included presentations from the Oneida nation and Forest County Potawatomi community. Each of those presenters provided great insights and tips on writing a successful application. 

If you are interested in the slides or recording, the webinars are under resources on the Office of Indian Energy website, which is our website is www.energy.gov/indianenergy. And maybe we can drop that link into the chat box, because I'm not sure if you got that. But they were great presentations. So I urge you, if you're looking for tips to check out those presentations. 

The next slide, let's go to slide 15. To apply to FOA, applicants must register, create an account, and submit all required application documents to ie-exchange at the URL that's shown up here on our screen. A control number will be assigned while registering in IE-Exchange. Retain this number, as it will be required on all of your application documents. 

The IE-Exchange registration does not have a delay. However, the remaining registration requirements could take several weeks to process, and are required prior to submitting an application. An authorized representative of the applicant must certify that those registrations are complete, and that certification is included as part of your application. Therefore, all potential applicants lacking a unique entity identifier, you may hear as referring back to the UEI, unique entity identifier number, which replaced the data universal numbering system, the DUNS number maybe some of you are familiar with. It's been replaced for entities doing business with the federal government. 

Or if you're not registered with the system for award management, otherwise known as Sam, or the FED connect system, or grants.gov, you should complete those registrations as soon as possible if you are interested in submitting an application. You will also need to register in grants.gov at that www.grants.gov, G-O-V, so that you will receive automatic updates when amendments to this FOA are posted, if we have any. Note that applications will only be accepted through ie-exchange, and not through grants.gov.

We're on to slide 16. Regarding registrations. The IE-Exchange registration, again, does not have a delay. The following could take several weeks to process. And all potential applicants lacking a unique UEI, again, should register with SAM or FedConnect to complete those registrations, prior to submitting an application. Refer to part 6, point B of the FOA, that's beginning on page 73. So go to 73 of the FOA document for information on how to register in the above systems. 

And it's very important that you register in these other systems as soon as possible as these registrations need to be completed prior to submitting an application. And those registrations could potentially take several weeks to get done. An authorized representative of the applicant must certify that all the system registrations have been completed, and that certification as part of your application. The applicant registration certification template is available under the application forms and templates for this FOA on IE-Exchange that we provided earlier. And it's also on this slide. You'll hear it several, times and you'll see it a lot on our slides. 

Next slide, please, Joe. All applicants are also strongly encouraged to carefully read the Funding Opportunity Announcement, or the FOA, and adhere to the stated submission requirements. This presentation summarizes the contents of the FOA. However, if there are any inconsistencies between the FOA and this presentation, or statements from DOE or other personnel, the FOA is the controlling document and applicants should rely solely on the full language, or seek clarification from DOE if something is unclear. If you believe there is an inconsistency, please contact us by sending an email to tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. 

Next slide, please. OK, we're finally getting to the agenda for this webinar. And as you can see, here's the agenda. First, we'll provide a funding opportunity announcement overview and the Office of Energy requirements, required application documents. Topic areas, we'll discuss applications, specifically, not of interest. 

We'll discuss award information. We'll go over who is eligible to apply. We'll talk about cost sharing requirements. We'll discuss the content and form of a complete application. We'll discuss the application eligibility requirements, the merit review, and selection criteria, and process. 

We'll talk about again about the registration requirements, how to submit an application. And your points of contact, we'll go over that. We'll talk about how to submit your questions if you have any, and best practices. And, finally, we'll close at the end of the agenda. 

And just as a reminder, again, we will not have a question and answer session as part of this webinar. So please if you do have a question, jot them down and send them to our designated email address for those questions and answers, tribal tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. Additionally, these lines, and an audio recording of this webinar, will be posted in the next week or so. 

And as a registrant for this webinar, you will be notified when this material is available on the Office of Indian Energy's website. So you can listen to us again, and again, and again. And again, if there are any inconsistencies between the FOA, the Funding Opportunity Announcement, this presentation or statements, you might hear from DOE, or other personnel. The FOA document is the controlling document. And applicants should rely solely on that FOA language, or seek clarification, again, by sending those questions to the tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. 

Next slide, so we're going to get started here. We're going to get started on funding opportunity, overview, and Office of Indian Energy requirements. Let's go to the next slide, please slide 20. The funding opportunity overview beginning on page one of the FOA document includes key information on this FOA. 

This information is summarized on this, and the next few slides that will share with you. We'll go over this information as part of this presentation , but it is provided here as a summary. There are four topic areas under which you can submit an application as described in the executive summary. And we will discuss each of those topic areas in more detail later in this presentation. We have approximately $25 million in federal funds available to make 5 to 10 awards under this FOA. 

And maybe I'll just give you just a few seconds here to read this slide before we move on to the next one. OK let's go to the next slide, we are on slide 21. Some additional key information that's related to this FOA. As indicated, depending on whether your proposed project is facility scale, or community scale, the FOA establishes the minimum and the maximum amount of funding per award. 

For facility scale projects, DOE funding per individual award is no less than $100,000 to a maximum of $2.5 million, which applies to topic area 1 and topic area 3a. For community scale projects, we have no less than $250,000 to a maximum of $5 million. And this applies to topic area 2, topic area 3b, and topic area 4. 

Awards under this FOA will be grants, with a period of performance of each award of approximately two to four years, which must include a mandatory 12-month verification period. OK, let's go on to the next slide, slide 22, and continue on this slide. And the next few slides will provide some key information that's related to the Funding Opportunity Announcement. We will go over the eligible applicant requirements in detail on subsequent slides. So I'll forego the explanation for now, except to say that it is limited to one, an Indian tribe, two, intertribal organization, or three, tribal energy development organization, and 4, on whose tribal lands the project, or projects, will be located. 

Note, however, that DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential applicants prior to the date on which applications to this blow up must be submitted. You may ask for your clarifying questions related to the follow-up, but DOE will not determine whether an applicant or a specific project is eligible during the application preparation stage of the process. And the decision of whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the applicant. 

Next slide, please. A 20% cost share of the total allowable cost of the project is required, unless the 20% cost share requirement is reduced to 10%. A cost reduction from 20% to 10% will be based on financial need, specifically, it could be poverty rate, or the median household income of the tribal community as a percentage of statewide median household income. There are more details later in the presentation, but note that the cost reduction request of less than 10% of the total project cost will not be considered, so the very minimum is 10% requirement. 

The total cost of the project is the sum of the federal share, and the non-federal recipient cost share of allowable cost equals the total allowable cost of the project. For instance, if a proposed project is estimated to cost a total of $500,000, the required cost share would be $100,000 or 20% of the total project cost, that's $500,000. And, therefore, the requested DOE amount would be $400,000 if the cost share is reduced to 10% of the total requested DOE, funds that would equate to $450,000, and the cost share would be $50,000, in this example that I just provided. 

In addition to the ability to consider geographic distribution, technology diversity, and the optimum use of available DOE funding to achieve programmatic objectives, the selection official may, through the application of program policy factors, and you can see what these program policy factors are in section 5.3 in the FOA, it will give you additional consideration in the selection of the applications for funding to whether the proposed project serves tribal communities with high energy costs, whether the proposed project serves tribal communities not connected to the traditional centralized electrical power grid. Three, the degree to which the proposed project will employ procurement of US iron steel manufactured products and construction materials, or applicants who have not previously received a grant from the Office of Indian Energy, so those are some of the program policy factors. 

The third item, the degree to which the proposed project will employ procurement of US iron steel manufactured products and construction materials, is a new consideration resulting from the Buy America requirements of the bipartisan infrastructure law. 

Next slide we are on slide 24. The DOE Office of Indian Energy may, upon request, provide technical assistance to all eligible applicants who apply under this FOA, and whose applications are comprehensively reviewed, but not selected for negotiation. This technical assistance will be provided on a priority basis over those who request technical assistance, but do not apply for this FOA. 

Applicants may submit more than one application to this FOA, including more than one application under a particular topic area, or sub-topic area, provided that each application is for a distinctively different project, and each application addresses only one sub-topic area at a time. Each application must have a distinct title, a unique control number, that's assigned by IE-Exchange, during the registration process, and be readily distinguishable. Each application must be limited to a single unique and distinct project. Unrelated projects cannot be consolidated into one single application. Note that concept papers are not required on this FOA, we are asking only for a full application. 

All right, slide 25. As mentioned previously, applications will only be accepted through IE-Exchange and required forms and templates are available under the FOA on IE-Exchange as we previously pointed out. The required forms and templates are available under the section that's called Application Forms and templates for this FOA, again on IE-Exchange. 

But remember, these forms and templates represent only a portion of the documents that are required for a complete application. The remaining documents required for a complete application, have no specific format and are to be generated by the applicant. Further into this presentation, we'll go through all of that documents, all of the 19 documents that comprise a complete application. 

As was also previously discussed, DOE we will notify all applicants of its eligibility and selection determinations via notification a letter by email. A notification letter will inform applicants with eligibility applications, if its application was selected for award negotiations or not. Those applicants will also receive written feedback on the time of the notification of your application. Ineligible applications will not be reviewed or considered for award. If determined to be ineligible, the contracting officer will send a notification letter by email, stating the basis upon which the application is ineligible, and not considered for further review. 

Next slide we are on slide 26. The requirements included on pages four through six of the forward document and listed on this slide are not all inclusive. I think we've been saying that a lot but we wanted to drill that in, and cannot exclusively be relied upon, as they do not reflect all evaluation factors and requirements for this FOA. Applicants must read the entire FOA to determine the complete set of requirements under this FOA. 

Pre-award costs. Only cost your contributions made during the period of performance of the grant, if it's awarded, can be considered. Any costs that have been incurred prior to the award selection cannot be considered as cost share or for reimbursement by DOE. The eligibility statement and evidence to support the DOE Office of Indian Energy's eligibility determination, all applicants are required to submit eligibility statements as part of their application that document and provide evidence of the applicant and tribal land eligibility. 

The statements of commitment and cost sharing. This statements of commitment and cost sharing will be discussed in greater detail later. In this presentation, however, all applicants are required to submit an applicant tribal council resolution, or declaration of commitment and cost sharing file which must include a statement of commitment and cost sharing by the applicant. In addition to the letters of commitment and cost sharing, are required from all other project participants, excluding the vendors to be provided under the participant letters of commitment and cost sharing file. 

Letters of support. The letters of support by anyone not participating in the proposed project are not required, or desired, and should not be provided as part of the application. So make sure your letters of support, if you have any, are only provided by participants, anyone participating in the project. 

Post award payment. This is important. Payments will be made electronically on a reimbursement basis through the automated clearing house, or ACH, provided the requisite support is submitted. Reimbursement of costs will normally be made within 7 to 10 days. However, reimbursement may take up to 30 days, and you can look at the FOA for more details on the payment process. 

Post award reporting requirements. The selected applicants will be required to document progress in quarterly reports and project outcomes in a comprehensive final report, as well as present at the annual program review to be held each fall in Colorado. Travel costs for this annual review, which is about one week in duration plus some travel days there, must be included for each year of the grant in the proposed budget, including the year the initial award is anticipated. 

The equipment title and vested interest, subject to the conditions that's provided under 2 CFR, section 200.313, specifically for equipment Title to the equipment acquired under a federal award will conditionally vest upon acquisition with the non-federal entity. The non-federal entity cannot encumber this equipment, and must follow the requirements of the 2 CFR 200.313 before disposing the equipment. 

Note that if the federal share of the financial assistance agreement is more than $1 million, pursuant to the requirements of the 2 CFR 910.360 part B, subsection 4 for profit recipients more than $1 million for profit recipients, must properly record a uniform commercial code, or the UCC, financing statements for all equipment with a per unit acquisition cost of $5,000 or more, that's purchased in whole, or in part, with federal funds. That's a mouthful. 

OK, cost share. Every cost share contribution must be allowable under the applicable federal cost principles, as described in section 3b of the FOA. In addition, cost share must be available or accessible at the time of submission of the application. Cost share commitments cannot be dependent upon some future events, such as receiving a grant, obtaining a loan, monetizing tax incentives, or securing an investor. Furthermore, although the costs are requirement applies to the project as a whole, including work performed by members of the project team other than the recipient the applicant, is ultimately and legally responsible for providing the entire amount of cost share that's required, if an award is made, even if the cost share is being provided by a sub-recipient. 

That was a lot for you to sink in, and a lot for me to say. So I'm going to take a break from you for listening to my voice. I'm going to pass it over to Lizana. Next slide, please. 

LIZANA PIERCE: Gee, thanks. I know these are long and grueling, so please bear with us. Thank you, Tweedie. 

Next, we're going to discuss the required application documents. OK, next slide, please. The content and form of the application will be covered in detail later. I just wanted to give you a list of each of the required documents here. And on the next slide, and in section 4 of the document, which begins on page 43. 

I'd recommend that you use table 3, titled, Required Application Documents on pages 43, 44, and 45 of the FOA as a checklist when you prepare your application to ensure you have all the components to complete an application. Remember that forms and templates can be found on IE-Exchange under Application Forms and Templates for this FOA, and all other required application documents are applicant generated. 

Application documents for which a former template has been provided, are shaded here on the slide. And, again, all other documents need to be completed by the applicant, no specific format, and generated by the applicant. Those documents that must be executed or signed by an authorized representative are denoted with an asterisk on this list. Next slide, please. 

Shown here are the remaining documents that comprise the complete application. Note that you may submit an application at any time before the due date, and you'll be able to update it as needed up until the deadline. But please allow sufficient time to ensure that you first have all the files completed, and you have plenty of time to upload them prior to the due date and time, remember 5 o'clock Eastern. 

Next slide, please. I'm going to talk about topic areas. Next slide. So this builds on the efforts of the Office of Indian Energy and the authorities granted to the Office under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to accelerate the deployment of clean energy technology on tribal lands. In addition to the 75 million committed in 2023, as I said between 2010 and 2022, the Office has invested over $120 million in more than 200 tribal energy projects across the contiguous 48 states in Alaska. Those projects are valued at more than $250 million, leveraged by $93 M million in recipient cost share. 

Next slide, please. I'm making up for Tweedie-- 

[LAUGHS] 

--so we could speed this along. Under this funding opportunity announcement, the Office is soliciting applications to deploy clean energy technology on tribal lands. Eligible applicants include Indian tribes, which include Alaska Native regional and village corporations, inter tribal organizations, and tribal energy development organizations, and on whose tribal lands the projects will be located. 

Note that applications may be submitted on behalf of an Indian tribe by an authorized tribal organization, like a subsidiary instrumentality, provided evidence of that authority's supplied as part of the application. Definitions and eligibility are included under Section 3b of the FOA, and we'll go over the definitions later in the presentation. 

Next slide, please. This slide shows the eligible topic areas of the Funding Opportunity Announcement, topic area 1 and sub topic area 3a for clean energy technology on tribal buildings on a facility scale. Whereas topic area 2 and sub topic area 3b are for clean energy technology on a community scale. And topic area 4 may be either facility or community scale projects. 

Specifically, topic area 1 is for the installation of clean energy generating systems and/or energy efficiency measures on tribal buildings. There are three sub-topic areas, one for installation of clean energy generating systems, one for the installation of a single or multiple energy efficiency measure, and the last for combination of energy generating systems, and at least one energy efficiency measure. 

Topic area 2 is for the deployment of community scale clean energy generating systems, or community energy storage. For the purposes of topic area 2, community scale means serving a substantial number of tribal buildings within the community, or substantial portion of the community's energy load, or an entire tribal community, for the purposes of this file a substantial means of ample or considerable amount. And you can see Appendix A of the folio for definitions of community. 

Under topic area 3, the DOE Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications to install integrated energy systems for autonomous operations, which means independent of the traditional centralized electric power grid. To power either a single or multiple essential tribal buildings during emergency situations, a subtopic area 3a, or to power a substantial number of essential buildings for tribal community resilience, subtopic area 3b. For purposes of subtopic area 3b, community scale means serving a substantial number of essential buildings within a community, or substantial portion of the community's energy load, or an entire tribal community. 

For topic area 2 and subtopic area 3b, an explanation of how the proposed project meets the community scale requirement is required as part of the technical volume, and, specifically, must address the substantial aspects. Under topic area 3, the DOE Office of Indian Energy soliciting, seeking applications to provide electric power to tribal buildings, which otherwise would be unelectrified by deploying integrated energy systems, which subtopic area a or energy infrastructure, poles and wires, which is subtopic area 4b. Projects proposed under topic area 4b are intended for unelectrified tribal buildings, where unelectrified means tribal buildings that are not connected to the traditional centralized electric power grid, and not connected to a standalone isolated microgrid that operates autonomously from the traditional centralized electric grid, totally unelectrified. We'll go over more definitions later. 

Next slide, please. This m table 2, on pages 13 and 14 of the FOA document, provide some key information on each of the subtopic areas. Note that the requirements reflected in this table may not be all inclusive, and cannot be relied exclusively, as they do not reflect all the requirements for each topic area. Applicants must read the entire file, I don't know how many times we say that, but we really need it to determine the complete requirements for each topic area. And you can see more detailed descriptions of the topic areas that are section 1b as a follow up and definitions under Appendix A. 

So we previously discussed the subtopic areas which are intended for facility scale in which are intended for community scale. This table also identifies which sub topic area are intended for systems that are grid connected or not, and we'll go over that in more detail. You also notice that commercially-proven warranty technology is the right of this matrix is a requirement for all topic and subtopic areas and technologies Additionally, a 12-month verification is also required as part of any project proposed. 

Per the table, a comprehensive feasibility study is required for all topic areas, except subtopic area 1b, energy efficiency measures, which requires an energy audit, or an industrial energy assessment, and sub topic area 1c, which requires both a comprehensive feasibility study and an energy audit or industrial energy assessment. For topic area 1, clean energy generating systems and/or energy efficiency measures for tribal buildings and topic area 4, powering unelectrified tribal buildings. All buildings must be tribal buildings, as defined in the FOA, and for topic area 3, must be essential tribal buildings, as defined by the tribe or the applicant. 

For topic area 2, community scale clean energy generating systems, or community energy storage development, all proposed projects, or buildings on which the systems are proposed, must be on tribal lands, must be owned or controlled by the eligible entity or applicants, and must benefit the eligible entity, either an Indian tribe and a tribal organization, or tribal energy development organization, and the tribal community. However, the substantial number of buildings within the tribal community where the energy or heat is to be used do not need to be owned or controlled by the eligible entity. 

So for further topic area 2 and subtopic area 3b, which are both community scale, and subtopic area 4a, integrated energy systems for electrification, interconnection infrastructure such as distribution, substations, circuits, circuit breaker, switchgear, busbar distribution lines, distribution transformers, capacitors, voltage regulators meters. Utility poles may be proposed provided the proposed interconnection infrastructure is essential to the proposed project. 

And justification as to why that infrastructure is essential must be addressed as part of the technical volume. Note, that in order for the proposed interconnection infrastructure to be eligible, not only must it be essential, but the land on which that infrastructure is proposed must be, either on tribal land, or the necessary site access, such as rights of way agreements, must have been obtained prior to submitting an application. 

Next slide, please. And the remaining subtopic areas are shown here. Also, all clean energy technology proposed under this flow must be commercially proven, at least the technology readiness level of 9, and they must be warranted. Again, if there's any inconsistencies between the funding opportunity, this presentation, or anything you hear from me or other people, the FOA document is the controlling document and should be relied solely, or you can seek clarification through tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. 

Next slide, please. OK, so to be eligible, all proposed projects must have completed energy studies or analysis, which could either be a comprehensive feasibility study, or for energy efficiency measures, an energy audit or industrial energy assessment, and have completed development or pre-construction activities, and design engineering all except for final design. So you must have completed your studies and your design prior to submitting an application. Only final design and engineering activities are allowable under the FOA. 

Next slide, please. Next, I want to provide some definitions that will be key in deciding the topic area in which might apply to your specific situation. So grid connectors for purposes of the FOA, means it's connected to the traditional centralized electric power grid, where the traditional centralized electric power grid is defined as the main power grids in the continental United States, that's the Eastern interconnect system, Eastern interconnect, the Western interconnected system, the Texas interconnected system, as well as the interconnected grid in Alaska that connect Anchorage, Fairbanks, and the Kenai Peninsula. 

Except for projects proposing energy efficiency measures, subtopic area 1b, projects proposed under topic area 1, 2, and 3, are intended for tribal buildings that are either grid connected, which means connected to the traditional centralized electric power grid, or connected to a standalone, isolated microgrid that operates autonomously from the traditional centralized electric power grids, such as most of the Alaska villages. Projects proposing energy efficiency measures could be either grid connected or not grid connected, connected to a standalone, isolated microgrid, or totally unelectrified army. Projects proposed under topic area 4, which is powering unelectrified tribal buildings are intended for unelectrified tribal buildings, as we said, where unelectrified means not connected to the traditional centralized electric power grid, and not connected to a standalone, isolated microgrid. 

Next slide, please. OK, forward. Tribal buildings for the purposes this FOA is either a single or multiple buildings located on tribal lands, where the eligible tribal entity has, or has been granted 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 these rights and duties may be held by different parties. Title buildings are those where the eligible tribal entity has the authority to augment or modify the building, and where the building is owned by the eligible tribal entity, tribal members, a tribal organization, or the eligible tribal entity has a long-term lease, as a minimum, for the useful life of the proposed project. 

Tribal buildings may include, but are not limited to tribal member homes, schools, community buildings, clinics, hospitals, tribal government buildings, fire stations, police stations, radio stations watchtowers, utility facilities, such as water wastewater, or tribal businesses. And as mentioned earlier, proposed installations may be for either existing tribal buildings, or new tribal buildings that are currently being constructed, or planned to be constructed during the proposed grant period. 

Next slide, please. So specific to topic area 3, which is integrated energy systems for autonomous operations, essential tribal buildings for the purposes of this FOA are those tribal buildings necessary for providing essential services, where essential services means 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, medical services, fire services, police services, wastewater sewage, communications, electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, whether it be telephone, radio, or television broadcasting, internet connectivity broadband, and transportation. 

Next slide, please. OK, more definitions. Clean energy generating systems for the purposes of this will include either renewable energy systems, or combined heat and power systems, which use renewable fuels such as biomass, biogas, renewable natural gas, or renewable hydrogen. 

Energy efficiency measures for the purposes of this FOA means the implementation of either building efficiency measures, or industrial process efficiency measures. Energy storage for purposes of this file include, but are not limited to batteries, pumped hydro, flywheels, compressed air, energy storage, or thermal energy systems. And all of these definitions are in Appendix A of the FOA. 

For subtopic area 2b, which is community scale energy storage, community scale energy storage is intended to provide backup power during outages, or increase electrical distribution system reliability, which means reducing the frequency of both monetary and sustained outages, reducing the duration of outages, or reducing the operation and maintenance costs associated with outage management, while providing energy time shifting, such as storing energy when it's least expensive, and using the stored power during peak demand when prices are highest. Under subtopic area 2b, for community scale energy storage, are not intended to be combined with an energy generating system. 

Next slide, please. So an integrated energy system, under topic area 3, which is for integrated energy systems for autonomous operations, ie microgrids, if you will, and subtopic area 4a, integrated energy systems for electrification, must as a minimum, provide power to essential or unelectrified tribal buildings, depending on the subtopic area and include the clean energy generating system. Remember, it's either renewable or combined heat and power, using renewable fuel. Must include control and management systems and energy storage. 

Such systems may also include conventional energy generation devices, but only if you solely, as a dispatchable standby in special standby conventional energy generating device. Note that some components of the proposed integrated energy system may already exist, and therefore not all of the components must be proposed for funding. However, the integrated energy system as a whole must meet the requirements of the topic area. I hope that makes sense. 

For subtopic area 3a, powering essential buildings, that integrated energy system must power a single or multiple essential buildings, essential tribal facilities during the emergency situation, which for purposes of FOA. Emergency means a situation that poses an immediate risk to health, life, property, or environment requires urgent intervention to prevent a worsening of the situation. 

For subtopic area 3b, which is tribal community resilience, an integrated energy system must power a substantial number of essential tribal buildings within the community, a substantial portion of the community's energy load, or an entire tribal community. For community resilience, where for purposes of this flow was substantial means ample or considerable amount. And for subtopic area 4a, integrated energy systems for electrification the tribal buildings must be unelectrified. And again, all definitions are under Appendix A of the FOA. 

Next slide, please. For subtopic 4b, which is energy infrastructure for electrification, DOE is seeking applications for the deployment of energy infrastructure to electrify tribal buildings, which otherwise would be unelectrified. And as we said, on electrified for this FOA means buildings that either are not connected to the traditional centralized electric power grid, and/or not connected to a standalone, isolated microgrid that operates autonomously from a traditional centralized electric power grid. 

Energy infrastructure. For purposes of this FOA means electric power distribution technologies to transport electricity from a transmission system to individual consumers, and may include but is not limited to distribution substation circuits, circuit breakers, switchgears, busbars, distribution lines, distribution transformers, capacitors, voltage regulators, meters, and utility poles and wires. Applications under sub topic area 4b must demonstrate the availability of the energy source for the life of a project. Under subtopic area 4b, single or multiple triple buildings may be proposed. And all proposed energy infrastructure and type of buildings served must be on tribal lands. 

Next slide, please. OK, so as mentioned, interconnection infrastructure may be proposed under topic area two, subtopic area 36, subtopic area 4a, I'll give you a minute. I think we've gone through that information. Note, that in order for the proposed infrastructure to be eligible, not only must it be essential but the land on which the infrastructure is proposed must be either on tribal lands or a necessary site access, such as rights of way. Agreement must have been obtained prior to submitting the application. 

Next slide, please. OK, this is another big bugaboo section. We're going to talk about applications that are not of interest. As we said, we're not going to have a question and answer, all questions must be in writing and submitted to tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov, and we will post them on IE-Exchange, and notify you when those are answered. The slides and audio recording will be posted the next week or so, and you'll be notified when that's available on the Indian Energy website. And if there's any inconsistencies between the funding opportunity announcement, the presentation statements by Daley, or other personnel, the document is the controlling documents, and you should rely solely on that language or seek clarification through tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. 

Next slide, please. OK, so next we're going to discuss applications specifically not of interest. And I don't want to go through each of these in detail, but I do want to highlight a few types of applications which are not of interest under this FOA. The types of applications on this, and the next couple of slides are specifically not of interest, and will be deemed non responsive, and will not be reviewed or considered. 

I'm just going to highlight a few of these. All of these are listed under Section 1c of the FOA, I believe it is. Applications proposing studies, design, engineering, except for final design, development activities, or any other activities that does not directly result in the installation of clean energy technology, are not of interest. So you have to have had your comprehensive feasibility study, your energy audit, and/or industrial energy assessment done, and you must have done engineering and design. 

Applications proposing the evaluation of product marketing opportunities, assessment of manufacturing opportunities, research, design. And engineering, as I said, except for final product development, or construction of manufacturing facilities or buildings are not of interest and will not be considered. 

Next slide, please. And just a couple highlights, application posting the cost of construction of a building or structure, such as carports, are not of interest. Only the incremental costs associated with the clean energy generating systems energy storage, integrated systems, or energy efficiency measures will be considered applicable to the proposed project, and not the cost of the construction of the building or structures, unless those structures are integral to the proposed project. 

Any application where the applicant has already taken irreversible actions regarding the proposed DOE funded projects are not of interest. Irreversible actions relative to the proposed DOE funding project may include, but are not limited to site clearing, groundbreaking, equipment or system purchases, or installations, building, renovations, and building retrofits, so again if you want the elite to fund it, don't start it-- 

[LAUGHS] 

--until you have an actual award in place. Next slide, please. 

We're not interested in applications proposing energy conservation, which we've defined as a means of decreasing energy consumption by using less energy or going without, which means these are like behavioral things, not technology. Some behavioral conservation measures may include monitors, or other things, but we are really looking for energy efficiency measures technology that will reduce energy consumption, not changes in behavior. Applications for community or utility scale projects intended solely for revenue generating through the export of electricity for commercial sale are not of interest, unless and we have a few situations where we'll consider those. And you can read those here and in the FOA. 

Next slide, please. Applications for voting conventional energy generating devices are not of interest, unless they are used solely as dispatchable standby power source. The conventional energy generating devices are only eligible as dispatchable standby power, and only under topic area three and subtopic area 4a. And any applications proposing materials supplies or equipment which are not commercially proven, and/or warrantied, are not of interest. 

Next slide, please. Again, applications proposing the construction as a primary activity are not of interest. And construction is defined as, but not limited to building, erecting, altering, remodeling, repairing a building structure, or making major renovations or additions to existing buildings or structure. Construction does not include the installation of clean energy technology. 

Next slide, please. OK, we're going to give some key award information. 

Next slide. So as Tweedie mentioned earlier, we have the executive summary which begins on page 1 of the FOA document. DOE expects to make at least $25 million in federal funds available. And approximately 5 to 10 awards, if not more, under this FOA. 

And there are different restrictions for different topic areas, depending on whether it's facility scale or community scale. So for facility scale projects, which is topic area 1 and subtopic area 3b, the only funding for individual awards is from no less than 100,000 to a maximum of 2.5 million. And for community scale projects, which are topic area 2 and subtopic area 3b, the only funding per individual award is from no less than 250,000 to a maximum of 5 million. And for topic area 4, no less than 250,000 to a maximum of 5 million. As we indicated before, the awards are estimated or anticipated to be approximately two to four years, but they must include mandatory 12-month verification period. 

Next slide, please. OK, eligibility information. I think we're running behind. I'm going to try this off fast here. But all of this will be available in the recording if you can't stay on. I apologize. Maybe poor planning on timing. So remember, one of the files that comprise the application is the eligibility statements and evidence file. You will be required to complete this if you apply under this FOA, and we provided you a template. And you'll be required to provide evidence to support our determination. 

So you can find the template, again, on IE-Exchange under Application Forms and Templates. You're not required to use the template. However, the information that's in that template is required. Again, DOE will not make eligibility determination for potential applicants, prior to the date in which the applications are submitted. The decision on whether to submit an application lies solely with the applicant. 

And as we've indicated before, eligibility is limited to an Indian tribe, including Alaska Native Regional Corp, and Village Corps. And our tribal organizations or tribal energy development organizations, whose lands the projects will be located. I would urge you to look at the definitions and Appendix A or in the FOA, and we'll go over some of these other entities to be discussed. May also potentially submit an application on behalf of an Indian tribe, provided they have evidence of that authority is included as part of the application, such as the tribal organization, a subsidiary, or instrumentality of a tribe, for instance. 

Next slide, please. So the definition of an Indian tribe is shown here, and in the FOA, based on the Indian Self-determination and Education Assistance Act, and includes Alaska Native Regional and Village Corporations as defined and established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Note that an eligible Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including Alaska Native villages are those federally recognized and listed in the Indian entities recognized and eligible to receive services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. And we've included the link there for the January 2024 list. And I'll leave that up there. 

Also tribal consortiums, which for purposes of this FOA, means a group of Indian tribes, as defined above, that have chosen to submit an application are eligible, provided the application is submitted by one of those Indian tribes representing the consortium. And as I've mentioned before, applications may also be submitted on behalf of an Indian tribe by an authorized tribal organization, provided there's evidence. 

And the tribal organization per Public Law 114-245 has the meaning given to it in the Indian Self-determination Education Act, specifically means the recognized government body of an Indian tribe, and a legally established organization of Indians for which is controlled, sanctioned, or chartered by such governing body, or which is dramatic, democratically elected party by the adult members of the Indian community to be served by such organization. 

And which includes the maximum participation of Indians in all phases of its activity provided. That, in any case, where the contract is let or grant, made to an organization to perform services benefiting more than one Indian tribe, the approval of such Indian tribe shall be a prerequisite to letting or making such contract or grant. Yes, that's legally taken directly from the statute. I apologize. Again, all of this definitions are in Appendix A of the FOA. 

Next slide, please, slide 55. The second type of applicant eligible to apply under this is an intertribal organization, which defined for purposes of this FOA means an organization comprised of two or more Indian tribes established under congressional state or tribal law to act on behalf of the participating Indian tribes. Intertribal organizations may include, but are not limited to intertribal councils, regional tribal organizations, or associations, Alaska regional development organizations, and tribal federations, for instance. 

Next slide. In addition to Indian tribes and intertribal organizations, tribal energy development organizations are also eligible applicants in and of themselves. Tribal energy development organization for purposes of this FOA means any enterprise, partnership, consortium, corporation, or other type of business organization that is engaged in the development of energy resources, and is wholly owned by an Indian tribe, including section 17 corporations and organizations formed under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act. And any organization of two or more entities, with at least one of which is an Indian tribe, that has the written consent of the governing bodies of all Indian tribes participating in the organization to apply for a grant loan or other assistance, or to enter into a lease or business agreement or acquire rights of way. 

Note that any organization must have the written consent of the governing bodies of all Indian tribes participating in the organization, where an organization means a partnership joint venture limited liability company LLC, or other unincorporated association or entity that is established to develop Indian energy resources. If does not need to be vetted by BIA officially as a tribal energy development organization, but as defined here in this FOA. 

Next slide, please. OK, I think I've totally underestimated the time to get through all these slides, I apologize. To be eligible, proposed projects must be on tribal lands as defined for the FOA tribal lands or Indian lands held in fee simple, which means purchased or owned by the tribe or other eligible entity, lands held under long-term land lease as a minimum for the useful life of the project. And lands conveyed through to a native corporation, pursuant to ANCSA, and subsequently conveyed to another entity, provided that entity is a Native village or tribal government, or the land is held vested or managed for on behalf of a native village or tribal government entity. 

Next slide, please. And for purposes of this FOA, Indian land is defined as the Energy Policy Act of 2005 is shown here. I do want to bring to your attention the expansion of the Indian land authorized under the 2020 Energy Act, which added d and e above, which specifically is any census tract in which the majority of residents are natives per ANCSA, or enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe or village. And I'll give you just a minute to look through that. And if you have questions, as we go through these, please send an email to tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. 

Next slide, please. And for purposes of this FOA Indian Reservation, as defined here and under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, trust land basically. 

Next slide, please. OK, I think we said numerous times before we're not going to make eligibility determinations for potential applicants prior to the date on which the applications to the following must be submitted. You need to decide whether your project and the applicant are eligible and that decision to submit an application lies solely with the applicant. We're not going to have a question and answer again, but send your questions to tribalgrants. And the slides and audio recording will be available in the week, you'll be notified. 

Next slide, please. So I did want to bring to your attention a relatively new requirement, the Buy America Requirement, we mentioned earlier, which basically says that federally assisted projects, which involve infrastructure work undertaken by applicable recipient types require all iron, steel manufactured projects. Products are to be used in infrastructure work, or produced in the United States, while construction materials used in the infrastructure work are also manufactured in the United States. 

Whether a given project must apply, this requirement is very project-specific, is dependent on a number of factors, such as the recipients entity type, whether the work involves infrastructure, as that term is defined in section 70914 of the bipartisan infrastructure law, and whether the infrastructure in question is publicly owned or serves a public function. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult Appendix C of this file to determine whether their project may have to apply this requirement, or both to make an early determination as to the need of a waiver, as well as to determine what impact, if any, the requirement may have on your budget. 

I will say that there is a temporary waiver for tribes, it expires August of this year, unless extended. However, the awards must be made by that August 18th date, I think it is, in order for that waiver to be valid. And at this point I'm going to pass it back to Tweedie to cover the cost share requirements. Tweedie, you're up, next slide. 

TWEEDIE DOE: All right, OK. If you're still with us, I encourage you to get up stretch your arms, stretch your legs. And if you're listening to this recording, I encourage you to do the same thing. And we do have it recorded, so in the event that you are not able to stay with us for the entirety of this presentation, you can come back and listen to the portions that you missed out, or the portions that may have seen a little bit unclear. And so it's available to you at a later time. 

And the reason why we are not taking any questions and answers, we want to make sure all the answers are fairly shared with everyone. So if you have a question, others may have the same question. So as you're jotting down your questions during this presentation, send it to tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. 

OK, let's talk about cost sharing requirements. Let's go on to slide 63, please Joe. The money stuff. Unless DOE approves a requested cost reduction from 20 to 10%, a 20% cost share of the total allowable cost of the project is required, where total allowable costs of the project is the sum of the federal share and the non-federal recipient cost share of allowable cost. OK, I'm going to give you another example, I know I gave you an early example, this one, we're going to use a different amount. 

If you requested DOE cost. Let's say, if the requested costs are $800,000, the cost share would be $200,000, or 20% of the total proposed project cost of $1 million, not 20% of the requested amount. Again, the cost share is 20% of the total project cost, is which in this example are $1 million. Please also refer to section 3B for instances where federal funds may be permissible for use as cost share, such as the Indian Self-determination Act, the tribal self-governance funding agreements, self-determination contract funding, compact funding, and the NAHASDA which stands for Native American Housing assistance and Self Determination Act funds. To assist applicants in calculating proper cost share amounts, DOE has included additional cost share information, which you can find in Appendix D to this FOA. 

Next slide, please. Cost share reduction requests. How do you ask for a cost reduction request, that's important, right? An applicant may request a reduction in cost share from 20% to 10%, based on financial needs, specifically the poverty rate of the tribal community is at least 20%, based on the census bureau's that's under My Tribal Area, or the median household income of the tribal community does not exceed 80% of the statewide median household income, based on the census bureau also under My Tribal Area and ACS data profiles by state. 

Although an applicant is only required to meet one of the two factors that I just described to be eligible for a cost share reduction, it is requested that information be provided for both of those factors. If an applicant does not qualify for a cost share reduction, based on the census bureau's My Tribal Area and ACS data profiles by state data, the applicant has an option to use self-reported data for the poverty rate and the median household income of the tribal community, or communities, where the project will be located. You can see the [INAUDIBLE] data-- Yes. 

LIZANA PIERCE: Sorry, Tweedie, I just wanted to say, in some instances there may not be information available for your tribe or for your tribal area on the census bureau, and in that case they can also use self-reported data. Sorry to interrupt. 

TWEEDIE DOE: No, I appreciate that clarification that you added. So you can see the alternate data options instructions that we have in the cost share reduction request template for instructions. But we do provide that template in there, so all the instructions will be provided. What I'm saying here, you can go back to that template and review that as well. 

To submit a cost share reduction request, see section 3B2 of the FOA document, and the cost share reduction request template under Application Forms and Templates for this FOA on IE-Exchange. And we haven't said it in a while, but the URL is ie-exchange.energy.gov. When requesting a cost share reduction, the applicant must complete the application, based on the requested cost reduction amount and percentage. However, if DOE does not approve the request for reduced cost share, the applicant will be required to meet the 20% cost share. 

OK, next slide we are going to slide 65. All cost share must come from non-federal sources, unless otherwise allowed by law. And you can review 2 CFR 200.06, as well as 2 CFR 910.130, that's listed on the top bullet here on the slide for the applicable cost sharing requirements. As we mentioned earlier, there are federal funding sources that, per statute, will allow it to be used as cost share. 

Except under limited situations, and only with prior DOE approval, all cost share must be made during the period of performance of the grant. And costs incurred prior to award selection cannot be considered as cost share or for reimbursement by DOE. Section three 3B of the FOA will provide additional information on cost share type, allowability, verification, as well as payment. 

Cost share must also be available or accessible at the time of submission of the application. A written assurance, such as a commitment must be provided at the time the application is submitted. The written assurances, again, as a commitment is a binding guarantee that funds are available, or with respect to the use of equipment, contributed labor hours, or unrecovered indirect costs are accessible. Note that cost share commitments cannot be dependent on some future event, such as receiving a grant, or obtaining a loan, or securing an investor. 

Next slide, please, slide 66. Although the cost share requirements applies to the project as a whole, including work performed by members of the project team, other than the recipient, it is the recipient who is ultimately and legally responsible for the entire amount of the cost share if an award is made. If an award is made, cost share will be verified once invoiced documentation for all costs, which is the evidence of the expenditures for the project, associated with the project, will be required with each and every request for reimbursement from DOE or DOE's portion of those costs. 

DOE requires recipients to contribute the cost share amount incrementally over the life of the award on an invoice-by-invoice basis. In limited circumstances, and where it is in the government's interest, the DOE contracting officer may approve a request by the recipient to meet its cost share requirements on a less frequent basis. 

Next slide, please. The total budget included in an application must include both the federal and the non-federal cost share, which combined, reflect the total project cost that's being proposed. All costs must be verifiable from the recipient's records, and be necessary and reasonable for the accomplishment of the proposed project. Every cost share contribution must be reviewed and approved in advance by the contracting officer, and then incorporated into the project budget before any expenditure can be incurred on the project. 

Next slide, please. All right, one final note on cost share. As all sources of cost share are considered part of the total project cost, if selected for funding, the cost share dollars will be scrutinized under the same federal regulations as federal dollars requested for the project. Specifically, all costs, whether they be requested for reimbursement from or contributed as cost share, will require the same level of documentation to support those costs, as well as undergo the same level of review to determine allowability, applicability, and reasonableness, the three pillars for determining costs for DOE. 

Next slide, please. I guess that wasn't the final word, because again, cancer as I just said, must be allowable, be available or accessible at the time of submission of the application, and will be verified once it is invoiced. Please refer to this chart here, it is for your entities applicable cost principles. It is imperative that you follow the applicable cost principles when creating your budget for the application. And you can see that for state local and Indian tribal governments, it's under 2 CFR part 200, subpart E. 

Next slide, please, slide 70. Cost share can be provided in cash or in-kind contributions. It can be provided by the recipient, the subrecipient, or third party allowable in-kind contributions may include, but not limited to the following list. I'm going to tell you here, contribution in time, unrecovered indirect, costs unrecovered facilities, and administrative costs. The rental value of buildings, land or equipment, not the purchase price, but the rental value. And value of a service, other resource, or a third party in-kind contribution. And, again, only the rental or the lease value of buildings, land, or equipment and only for the period of the grant, is allowable, not the purchase price. 

Next slide, please. Be aware that there are items that are considered as unallowable for cost share. If a cost is considered unallowable, it cannot be requested from BOE or be counted as cost share. This slide provides some examples of cost share that is unallowable. For example, and you can see page 38 of the FOA. And I'll give you a few seconds here to read through the list, so it'll give you a little break from my voice. 

Take note that, generally, any costs before or after the grant period cannot be considered as cost share, I think we've mentioned that as a few times as well. And just as a footnote, investment or production tax credits and direct payments in lieu of tax credits are not considered federal funding after receipt by a grantee, and may be used as cost share. I'm going to say that again because I think that's important. Investment or production tax credits, and direct payments in lieu of tax credits are not considered federal funding after receipt by the grantee, and may be used as cost sharing. 

To be eligible as cost share, any investment or production tax credits received would need to be monetized, received, and contributed to the project during the grant period. Additionally, direct payments in lieu of tax credits may also be used as cost sharing provided those funds are received and contributed to the project during the grant period. We may get some questions on that on that on our tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. 

All right, next slide, please, we're on slide 72, where we're going to move on to a new topic. We're going to move on to the content and form of the application next. Next slide, please, slide 73 we're on. We'll go over each of the file as shown on this slide here. Remember, each of the files shown on this slide, and the next are required for a complete application. 

You can find a similar table on pages 42, 43, and 44 of the FOA document. FOA, again, stands for the Funding Opportunity Announcement, sorry to keep throwing acronyms here at you. And I would urge you to use this as a checklist when preparing and uploading your application to ensure that all relevant documents comprising a complete application are submitted. 

And as a reminder, application documents for which a form or template has been provided are shaded on this slide, I know it's a little bit hard to see there. Resume is the only one that's not shaded on this checklist. And documents for which a form or template has been provided are shaded as well, and those must be executed or signed by an authorized representative, or denoted with an asterisk next to them. 

Please bear with me, I'm going to be covering a lot of information still, but know that we are more than halfway, I think we're three-fourths of the way through here of this presentation. And remember that this is documented in Section 4C of the FOA document under the section that's called content and form of the application. And remember, the table required application documents beginning on page 43 of the FOA should be used as a checklist to help you, the components to be included as part of the application.

Next slide, slide 74. Forms or templates have been provided for the first five required application documents as shown on this slide, that's all sitting on top of each other here, but we're going to go through them here. First, an application for federal assistance, also known as standard form, SF-424. 

The application for federal assistance is a formal application for funding. The form must be signed by an authorized representative of the applicant. By signing this form, the authorized representative is making certain certifications and assurances, and therefore the form must either be digitally or manually in ink and scanned before being uploaded as part of your application. 

Important, type signatures do not constitute as a digital signature. Forms and templates can be obtained, again, from IE-Exchange website under Application Forms and Templates. The second one, summary slide, you can see that just right behind the one that's up front. It is a single PowerPoint slide that provides a quick facts about the proposed project. The slide content requirements are provided in the FOA, and a template provided as part of the Application Forms and Templates on IE-Exchange. 

The third document, the template volume, and you can see that it's just peeking out, Technical Volume on the right hand side. It is a key submission document that describes the proposed project and address the merit review criteria. The technical volume must not exceed 15 pages, and this of course excludes the cover page and table of contents as we will only review the first 15 pages. You can see the technical volume template that we provide for you on IE-Exchange for instructions and format as well. 

Just briefly, on the technical volume, it should include a cover page. The cover page, again, is not counted against the 15-page limit. A table of contents, also not counted against the page limit. The executive summary, that should be included, and that is part of the 15-page limit, as well as the project description and outcomes, as well as the roles, responsibilities, capabilities, and commitment of the tribe to the project, or the applicant, I should say, to the project. 

The fourth document, the work plan, the work plan is just sitting right above the technical volume there on your screen. The work plan is not a part of the technical volume, it is its own separate document, but to be included as a separate file. The work plan should describe the work to be accomplished, and how the applicant will achieve project milestones. 

The work plan must not exceed five pages, excluding the milestone table. And you can see the template for instructions and format. The template can be obtained at the same place under the Application Forms and Templates on IE-Exchange. 

The fifth one, the eligibility statements and evidence file, that's right up front there. All applicants are required to submit eligibility statements that document and provide evidence of the applicants and land status eligibility to support DOE's eligibility determination. A Microsoft Word template has been provided, and this template is again available under the FOA Application Forms and Templates on IE-Exchange. 

As with all the templates, the use of the eligibility statements and evidence template is not required, but the information included within the Eligibility Statements and Evidence template is required. So we're trying to make it easier for you by providing the template for your use. Note that this form must be signed by an authorized representative, either digitally or manually in ink and scanned before being uploaded as part of your application. And just a reminder, type signatures do not constitute a digital signature. 

All right, next slide, we're going to move along here onto slide 75. The next three requirement application documents are applicant-generated, so they're going to be generated by the applicant, we don't have them as templates. And we'll go through each briefly, and then discuss the budgets justification workbook for which a template has been provided. 

The sixth required application document is the Applicant Tribal Council Resolution or Declaration of Commitment and Cost Sharing file. All applicants are required to submit an Applicant Tribal Council Resolution or Declaration of Commitment and Cost Sharing file to include a statement of commitment and cost sharing by the applicant. You can see page 39 of the FOA for more on specific information that is needed as part of those applicant commitments. 

For Indian tribes, that Statement of Commitment and Cost Sharing must be in the form of an executed tribal council resolution. , Unless an Indian tribe provides a commitment in a format other than a tribal council resolution, and evidence of the statutory or other legal authority authorizing that form of commitment in lieu of a tribal council resolution accompanies that commitment. Such evidence must establish that the commitment submitted carries the same level of tribal leadership commitment as a tribal council resolution. 

Now for Alaska native regional corporations, or village corporations, or inter tribal organizations, and tribal energy development organizations, the Statement of Commitment and Cost Sharing may be in the form of a declaration or resolution signed by an authorized representative able to commit the entity. Remember, cost share must be available, or accessible, at the time of submission of the application as described. A written Assurance for Example Commitment must be provided at the time of application submission. The written assurances is a binding guarantee that funds are available, or with respect to the use of equipment, contributed labor hours, or unrecovered indirect costs are accessible. 

Costs or commitments cannot be dependent on a future event, such as receiving a grant obtaining a loan or securing an investor. And the recipient is ultimately and legally responsible for the entire amount of cost share if an award is made. And that commitment for the total amount of cost share, specific dollar amount, or up to a maximum amount and percentage of the total proposed cost, regardless of the source of that cost share is required as part of the applicant tribal council resolution or declaration of commitment and cost sharing file. Again, please see the instructions beginning on page 48 for the content of those commitments, 48 of the four documents. 

The seventh, Participant Letters of Commitment and Cost Sharing file. The Participant Letters of Commitment and Cost Sharing file needs to include letters of commitment and cost sharing from all other project participants, excluding the vendors. The letters must be specific to this FOA. And if cost share is being committed, include a statement of the total amount and type of cost share being committed, and a detailed estimate of the cash value of the basis and the nature of all contributions to the project by the project participant. And remember, letters of support by anyone not participating in the proposed project are not required, or are they desired, and should not be provided as part of the application. And you can see more on this on pages 51 and 52 of the FOA document. 

The eighth one, required document is the resume file. All applicants are required to provide a resume for the business contact and for the project manager. And each key person proposed, including tribal staff, as part of the project. A key person is any individual who contributes in a substantive, measurable way to the execution of the project. Each resume must not include two pages, and you can save all of the resumes into one single file for uploading with your application. 

The ninth required application document is the budget justification workbook. This workbook is also known as form IE 540.132-01 if you're interested. And it is a required form, and must include both the funds being requested from DOE, as well as those proposed as cost sharing. I'll repeat that, the budget and the budget justification must reflect all project costs, regardless of whether those funds are being requested from DOE, or provided as cost share. 

The form itself, it is a multi tab Microsoft Excel workbook. In addition to the proposed costs, the form requests the basis of estimate for the cost being proposed. The form, again, can be downloaded from the IE-Exchange under the Application Forms and Templates section. 

Next slide, please. The other 10 required application documents are shown here, and we're going to go over each one briefly. And instructions for each are included under Section 4C of the FOA document. Forms and templates have been provided for the first five required application documents as shown on this slide. 

Slide 77 please. next one. More screenshots of the forums to show you on the screen. Number 10, the 10th document required subrecipient budget justification workbook. Applicants must provide a separate budget justification for each subrecipient, not the vendors, but the subrecipient, that is expected to perform work estimated to be more than $250,000, or 25% of the total work effort, whichever is less of that amount. 

A subrecipient is a subawardee who is providing cost share, or with a vested interest in the proposed project, beyond just providing goods and services to the proposed work, that would be a vendor. If none of the proposed subrecipients meet the threshold above that I just described, the 250,000 or 25% of the total work, a subrecipient budget justification form is not required, and instead a file just stating no subrecipients being proposed meet the threshold requirements. And, therefore, a subrecipient budget justification form is not being provided here as an attachment. And this statement must be uploaded instead. 

A vendor budget information should not be included as part of the subrecipient budget justification, but rather included as part of the applicant's budget support file under contractual tab. A vendor is an entity contracted to provide goods and services within their normal business operations, and they also provide similar goods and services to many different purchases and operate in a competitive environment. 

The 11th file, budget support file. All applicants are required to submit support for their proposed budget to include an indirect rate agreement, break down of fringe cost, basis of cost estimate documentation, budget support for vendors and other relevant supplemental information. A Microsoft Word template has been provided for your use. The budget support template, again, is available under Application Forms and Templates for this particular item on IE-Exchange website. 

Note that the use of the budget support template is not required, but the information that's included within the budget support template is required. So we try to make it simple by putting all the information we're asking from you in that template. The 12th required document cost share reduction request. Applicants requesting a cost share reduction must submit a cost reduction request, using the format and instructions included within the cost share reduction request template provided under Application Forms and Templates for this FOA on IE-Exchange. A Microsoft Word template has been provided. 

The use of the cost reduction template is not required. Again, however, the information included within the cost share reduction request template is required if you are requesting a cost share reduction. The form provides instructions on how to calculate, whether you meet one or the two factors that we talked about earlier for a reduction in cost share, from 20% to 10%. Those calculations are based on census bureau data. 

If, however, an applicant does not qualify, or a cost reduction based on the census data profiles, or the profiles in the [INAUDIBLE] data, the applicant has the option to use self-reported data for the poverty rate and median household income of the tribal community, or communities, where the project will be located. If a cost share reduction is not being requested, please submit a sign statement on the applicant's letterhead, affirmatively stating that the applicant hereby represents and certifies that it is not requesting a cost share reduction and that the individual signing this statement is authorized to make this certification on behalf of the applicant. 

The next document, applicant registration certifications. We talked about earlier about the systems that you need to be registered in. All applicants must certify that all system registrations have been completed, and certify to those registrations as part of the applicant registration certifications file. A Microsoft Word template also has been provided. 

The Applicant Registration Certifications template, as with other forms and templates, is available under Applications and Forms and Templates on IE-Exchange. The use of the registration certification template is also not required, but the information included within the registration certification template is required. 

We're getting closer. 

[LAUGHS] 

Item 14, the SFLLL. This is a Disclosure of Lobbying Activities form. And this disclosure is required to be submitted, regardless of whether funds are being paid, or will be paid for influencing, or attempting to influence persons in connection with this application. The recipients and subrecipients may not use any federal funds to influence or attempt to influence directly, or indirectly, congressional action on any legislative or appropriation matters. 

All applicants are required to complete and submit this SFLLL. Again, it's the disclosure of lobbying activities, and disclose, if any, non-federal funds that have been paid, or will be paid to any person for influencing, or attempting to influence any of the following in connection with your application, whether you're an officer, or employee of any federal agency, a member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a member of Congress. If no non-federal funds have been paid, or will be paid, to any person for influencing, or attempting to influence, any of the above in connection with your application, you simply indicate None, and sign and date the form. And, again, this form is available in the same place on IE-Exchange. 

Next slide, slide 78. We're down to the last five required application documents. And they are all generated by the applicant. And we're going to go through each one of them. Number 15 of the 19 documents that are required. 

Number 15 is the potentially duplicate funding notice file. All applicants must provide a potentially duplicate funding notice. The acronym or the abbreviation. The PDFN, is a new requirement, specifically if the applicant or project team member has other active awards of federal funds. The applicant must determine whether the activities of those awards potentially overlap with the activities set forth in its application to this FOA. If there is a potential overlap, the applicant must notify DOE in writing of the potential overlap, and state how it will ensure any project funds. 

The recipient cost share and federal funds will not be used for identical cost items under multiple awards. Likewise, for projects that receive funder funding under this FOA, if a recipient or project team member receives any other award of federal funds for activities that potentially overlap with the activities funder under the DOE award, the recipient must promptly notify DOE in writing of the potential overlap, and state whether project funds from any of those other federal awards have been, are being, or are to be used in whole, or in part, for one or more of the identical cost items under the DOE award. 

If these are identical cost items, the recipient must promptly notify the contracting officer in writing of the potential duplication and eliminate any inappropriate duplication of funding. If potentially, duplicative funding does not apply, the potentially duplicative funding notice is not required. And instead, a file must be submitted, stating the applicant or project team member do not have any active awards that potentially overlap with activities proposed in this application, and therefore a potentially duplicative funding notice is not being provided here as an attachment. 

Item 16, site and resource maps and graphics file. This is required from all applicants, and this file must include any graphics to supplement the technical, volume including maps, photographs, or other visuals of the project location, or building or buildings, that are affected by the proposed project. Any other relevant background or supplemental data may be included here as well, except studies and analysis, design and engineering, and economic analysis information, which are to be included in their relevant files. 

If you choose not to provide any graphics, relevant background, or supplemental data, beyond that which may be in the technical volume already, submit a file stating, no additional site, resource maps, or graphics information is being provided as an attachment. Note that this information may actually be necessary to complete your application, and to fully address the technical review criteria, and you can see Section 5A for more information on that. 

File document 17, studies and analysis file. All applicants are required to submit a comprehensive, feasibility study, and/or energy audit or industrial assessment as specifically required for each sub topic area. And you can see Section 1B, and the technical volume template under Application Forms and Templates on IE-Exchange for the required content. These submissions must, as a minimum, include energy audits or energy assessments for topic area 1b, topic area 1c, and a feasibility study or studies for topic area 1a, topic area 1c, topic area 2, topic area 3, and topic area 4. Other supporting studies or analysis should also be included. And any other relevant background data may also be included under the resource map and graphics file. 

 

18, we're getting close, only two more here. The design and engineering file. All applicants must provide this file, consisting of completed design and engineering, except the final design engineering, which is an eligible activity under this FOA. Those design and engineering documents may include, but are not limited to detailed engineering drawings, interconnection studies and/or agreements. If applicable to your project, the detail materials and equipment lists, hardware specifications, warranties, and any other design or engineering data to supplement the technical volume. The design and engineering files supplement the technical volume in addressing the technical review criteria included in Section 5A the FOA. 

And lastly, number 19, economics file. As with the other required application documents, all applicants must provide an economics file, including, as a minimum, one, pro forma income statement, two, pro forma cash flow analysis and its findings, for example, the internal rate of return, the net present value, and three, payback period calculations in years against both the total project investment, that's the DOE share and the recipient cost share, and be solely against the recipient cost share. And each input and all assumptions must be identified. And you can see section 2.4 that's labeled as Economic Viability of the Technical Volume template, that's available under IE-Exchange under the same area Application Forms and Templates. The economics file supplements the technical volume in addressing the technical review criteria, again, included under Section 5A of the FOA. 

You may submit an application at any time before the due date, and that you will be able to update, as needed, up until the deadline. Please allow sufficient time to ensure you have uploaded all the 19 required documents, and that your application is complete prior to the due date and time. 

We are on to the next slide, slide 79. We're going to discuss eligibility requirements next. Let's go to the next slide, slide 80. As we previously pointed out, applicants must submit applications no later than 5:00 PM Eastern time on May 16th. Oh, I think we have this-- 

[INTERPOSING VOICES] 

Sorry. 

LIZANA PIERCE: May 30th. 

TWEEDIE DOE: May 30th. Thank you, I thought this didn't look quite right in my notes. Yes, May 30th, 2024, this year at 5:00 PM Eastern time, that's the deadline. I'm going to say that again, just in case. The deadline for this application is May 30th, 2024, 5:00 PM Eastern time. Please plan accordingly, because this is the Eastern time zone, 5:00 PM. 

Once submitted, DOE will conduct an eligibility review. An application will be deemed eligible, only if the applicant is an eligible entity. And see Section 3A of the FOA for this eligibility. The cost share requirements is satisfied. And you can read more about that in section 3B of the FOA. 

Third, the application complies with the content, the format, and submission requirements that's listed in Section 4A and Section 4C of the FOA. The applicant successfully uploaded all required documents and clicked the submit button on IE-Exchange by the deadline stated in the FOA, which is May 30th, 2024, 5:00 PM, Eastern time zone. The proposed project is responsive to the intent of the FOA per section one and section 3D of the FOA. And lastly, the application meets any other eligibility requirements identified in Section 3 of the FOA. Be aware that DOE will not make eligibility determination prior to the date on which the applications are due. 

The decision, again, whether to submit an application in response to this FOA lies solely with the applicant. In other words, DOE will not advise you, or make a determination on whether your entity or your proposed project are eligible prior to an application being submitted. So please don't seek advice from Lizana, don't seek advice from me, or from any other DOE employee, contractor, or laboratory staff. All questions regarding this FOA must be submitted in writing, and sent by email to tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. This ensures you receive an official answer, and everyone else will also receive the benefit of your question and answer, and that all potential applicants are fairly benefiting from the responses as well as your questions. 

I think I'm losing my voice, so I'm going to pass it back to Lizana for the next area. Lizana-- 

LIZANA PIERCE: Thank you, Tweedie. Next slide, please. We're going to talk about the merit review and selection criteria and process. I'm so sorry that I totally underestimated how long this would take. So regarding the merit review and selection process. Next slide, please. 

It consists of a series of reviews, including an initial eligibility review, rigorous technical review, and programmatic reviews. Rigorous technical reviews are conducted by reviewers that are experts in the subject matter of the FOA. Ultimately, the selection official considers those recommendations of the reviewers along with other considerations, such as the program policy factors to make selection decisions. 

Next slide, please. This slide reflects the multi-tiered review process which begins with an eligibility review. And if an application and applicant is determined eligible, the application undergoes a comprehensive technical review, consisting of independent reviews by subject matter experts, who provide ratings and document strengths and weaknesses of each application relative to the merit review criteria published in the FOA. 

After that independent review meeting concludes, the federal consensus board begins its review. The federal consensus board is primarily responsible for determining the technical merit of each application, which is inherently a federal function, and they make selection recommendations, based on that technical merit, in other words they determine the selection range. Following the federal consensus board, a merit review advisory report is produced, which describes the merit review process, how the merit review was conducted, and sets forth the federal consensus board's technical ratings, addresses the [INAUDIBLE] specific program policy factors, and any other selection of factors set forth in the [INAUDIBLE]. Finally, the selection official reviews that merit review advisory report, considers those recommendations of the federal consensus board, applies those program policy factors if he or she so chooses and makes the selection decision for negotiation and award. Next slide, please. 

The merit review criteria for this FOA, and their weights, are as follows versus the goals and objectives. And it's weighted at 10%, the project description and outcomes is weighted at 50%, roles responsibilities, capabilities, and commitment weighted at 30%, and then the work plan, which is weighted at 10%. Again, both the tactical volume as well as the work plan have templates. We provided again Section Five 5A of the FOA, beginning on page 67 identifies the criteria. And we'll go over each briefly. 

On this slide, and beginning on page 67, you'll see Criterion 1, goals and objectives, and the three subcriteria, which include clarity and completeness of the executive summary, the extent to which the proposed project provides economic money saved jobs et cetera. And other benefits to the tribe and the tribal community and soundness of the discussion of the need for and impact of the funding for the proposed project, and the implications if not funded. 

Remember, the technical volume template has been provided, it has instructions in the format, if you so choose to use it. Again, it's not required but the information we included is required. The technical volume must address the technical review criteria identified in Section 5A of the FOA. And applicants really should consider the weight of each of the evaluation criteria when preparing their technical volume. 

Next slide, please. So Criterion 2 is the project description and outcomes is weighted at a 50%. It includes four subcriteria, clarity and completeness of the detailed project description, technical viability of the proposed project, economic viability and sustainability, and the significance of outcomes. Note that under this criteria, the mandatory feasibility study, and/or energy audit, and/or assessments will be reviewed to assess the technical viability in addition to the technical volume, along with the engineering design file and the economics file, so all of those will supplement the technical volume. 

Next slide, please. 

TWEEDIE DOE: Lizana, I'm sorry to interrupt, I think you were on criteria 2. You might be a slide behind you on the screen. 

LIZANA PIERCE: So I am now on my slide 87. So and here are the last two subcriteria that comprise Criterion 2, and I'll give you a moment to read through those. The economic viability, as well as the significance of the outcomes. 

Next slide, please. The third criterion is roles, responsibilities, capability, and commitment. Its weighted at 30%, and the criteria includes the soundness of the project management approach, and the demonstrated level of commitment of the applicant and each of the participating organizations. And this is going to be evidenced by any past energy-related efforts, and the commitments to the proposed project as evidenced in the letters of commitment and cost sharing. 

Next slide, please. The fourth criterion, which is the work plan, again, we have a template, will be reviewed relative to the clarity and completeness of the narrative description of each activity, and the likelihood of achieving those project objectives through a logical task structure. And, again, there's a template for that. 

Next slide, please. Our program policy factors, we went over those briefly before the selection official may consider these, and determining which applications to select for award. Next slide, please. Though the program policy factors, which may be considered, include, in no particular order, geographic distribution, technology, diversity, degree to which the proposed project optimizes the use of available funding, and whether the proposed project serves tribal communities with high energy costs, tribal communities that are not connected to the traditional centralized electric power grid, the degree to which the proposed project employs US iron and steel manufactured projects and construction materials, and applicants who may not have previously received a grant from the Office of Indian Energy. OK, I think Tweedie's up again. 

[LAUGHS] 

I don't think your voice is [INAUDIBLE] up again. 

TWEEDIE DOE: I applaud everyone who's still with us from the beginning, hopefully you're not asleep. We're very, very close. Let's see, we're on slide 92 next. We going to advance to the next slide, and we're going to talk about the requisite registration requirements. So let's go on to slide, the next one, slide 93 and talk about that. 

The following registrations are required before submitting an application, therefore it's essential that these registrations be completed as soon as possible, if you haven't done them already, as some of these may take several weeks to process. The first one is IE Exchange, IE-Exchange, I should say. Register and create an account on IE-Exchange, at the URL, I just want to make sure it was on your slide there, ie-exchange.energy.gov. This account will then allow the user to register for any open FOAs that are currently in IE-Exchange. 

And remember, applications will only be accepted through IE-Exchange, not any other portal. A control number will be assigned while registering exchange. Retain this number, as it will be required on all application documents. The IE-Exchange registration does not have a delay, I think we mentioned this before, but the other remaining registrations may. And it could take several weeks to process. And they are also required, prior to submitting applications. So potential applicants lacking a UEI number, or not yet registered with SAM, or FedConnect, or grants.gov should complete these registrations as soon as possible. 

Next one, UEI stands for unique entity identifier, and you need to get one and you can obtain a UEI number, which replaced the DUNS number, if people are familiar with that, for entities doing business with the federal government. During the Sam registration or renewal process on sam.gov, a UEI is required for all entities doing business with the government. And SAM will provide you with that number, there should not be a charge for that. 

Next one, SAM. SAM stands for system for award management. Register with this system for award management at sam.gov. Designating an electronic business point of contact, or the EBiz POC, EBiz POC, point of contact, obtaining a special password called an MPIN, and obtaining a UEI number are important steps in the same registration. And the same registration must be updated annually. 

Note that effective, while June 2017, that was a while ago, you can no longer no longer access the SAM using Internet Explorer, ie versions older than IE-11. You either need to upgrade to an Internet Explorer version of IE-11, Internet Explorer 11, or higher. Or access SAM, using another supported browser type, for instance Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or another browser. 

OK, the next system, FedConnect. register in FedConnect at fedconnect.net to create an organization account. Your organization's SAM MPIN, that we just talked about, MPIN, is required to do this. And for more information on the SAM MPIN, or other registration requirements. Review this FedConnect ready-set-go document, and that's available at the link that we provided on this slide as well. 

The next one, grants.gov. Please register with grants.gov at grants.gov to receive automatic updates when amendments to this FOA are posted. However, please note that applications will not be accepted through grants.gov. We should do a test here, where applications are received. 

But I'll just tell you, all applications must be submitted through IE-Exchange at ie-exchange.energy.gov, not through grants.gov. Your registration in grants.gov only means you'll receive email notices of any amendments to the FOA. The applicant will be required to certify that these registrations, I just talked about, have been completed, and to include that certification as part of the application. 

Therefore it is essential that these registrations be completed as soon as possible, as some taking longer than others to get done. Failure to complete the registrations below prior to submitting an application could result in determining that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award. And you can see Section 6B of the FOA, beginning on page 75 for more on these required registrations. 

Next slide, slide 94 please. We're going to talk next about application submission requirements and designated points of contact. Next slide please, 95. We mentioned that the application must be submitted on IE-Exchange, and that DOE we will not review or consider applications submitted through any other means, it must be submitted on IE-Exchange. 

Please see the IE-Exchange applicant guide found on IE-Exchange under manuals. It is a step-by-step guide, including screenshots on how to register, create an account, and submit an application on IE-Exchange. We also have created an IE-Exchange registration login guide, and this is to help you through the multifactor login process. This guide also has screenshots and explains the login.gov in case you need that guide. 

Next slide, please. We are on slide 96. Next, key information regarding submission of an application. Check entries in IE-Exchange submissions could be deemed ineligible due to an incorrect entry. DOE strongly encourage applicants to submit applications one to two days, prior to the deadline, to allow for a full upload of application documents, and really to avoid any potential technical issues. So you're not there in the last second trying to submit the application and running into technical issues. 

Make sure you push the Submit button, it's a small minor thing, but make sure you do push this button. Any changes made after you push the Submit button will unsubmit your application, and you will need to push the Submit button again. For your records, print out the IE-Exchange confirmation page at each step, which contains the application's control number. IE-Exchange is designed to enforce the deadline specified in this FOA. The Apply and Submit buttons will be automatically disabled at the define submission deadline. 

Should applicants experience problems with IE-Exchange, the following might be helpful. Applicants that experience issues with submission prior to the FOA deadline, in the event that an applicant experiences technical difficulties with the submission, the applicant should contact the exchange helpdesk for assistance. And their email address is exchangehelp@hq.doe.gov. The exchange helped us to assist applicants to resolve issues. However, those applicants who are unable to submit their applications, because they are submitting them at the last minute, when network traffic could be at its heaviest, will not be eligible for assistance from the exchange help desk. 

You may access exchange help in the upper right-hand corner on every page of the IE-Exchange website. The Office of Indian Energy is not able to assist with technical issues associated with the IE-Exchange system, or the middle of an application. Applicants that experience issues with submissions that result in late submissions should also contact the exchange helpdesk for assistance. 

The exchange helpdesk and the IE-Exchange system administrators may be able to assist you in that case. And we also strongly encourage you to keep records and documentations, including screenshots of any issues you experience in submitting your application, and any efforts made to resolve those issues. And this is in the event of a late submission that documentation may be factored into whether your late application will be considered. 

Next slide, please, slide 97 I'm on. In addition, per page 83 of the FOA, please keep in mind that all information provided by the applicant must, to the greatest extent possible, exclude personally identifiable information, PII. Try not to include them, try very hard not to include that. Specifically, applicants must screen the resumes that you're submitting to ensure that they do not contain PII, such as personal addresses, phones, cell numbers, personal emails, or social security numbers, don't include those. In short, if the PII is not essential to the application, it should not be in the application. 

Next slide, 98. Applicants must designate primary and backup points of contact in IE-Exchange, with whom DOE will communicate during the process. Remember, these are the contacts that will be used to notify applicants of whether the applications were deemed non-responsive, non-compliant, unsuccessful, or better yet, selected for negotiation of an award. So we want to make sure we get in touch with you. 

Slide 99. Next we're going to talk about FOA-related questions here. Next slide, please, slide 100. We mentioned this before, but questions regarding the FOA, please send them to tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. But before you submit your question, we do urge you to check out the FAQs, the frequently asked questions and answers that are already up there on IE-Exchange to see if it answers your question before you submit one. If you do submit one, we will attempt to answer questions within three business days. And you will be notified when a response to your question is posted. And again, that will be available to everyone on IE-Exchange. 

OK, next slide. Some contact information here for problems, log in to IE-Exchange or uploading and submitting application documents. You can email exchange helpdesk. Again, this email address is on there, exchangehelp@hq.doe.gov, and include the phone number and number in the subject line. Exchange help can be found in the upper right corner of each web page on IE-Exchange or under Contact Us at the bottom of each web page as well. 

And we also recommend, if you are having difficulties that you see the IE-Exchange applicant guide and the IE-Exchange registration and login guide. And both of those can be found on IE-Exchange under Manuals. They do provide step-by-step guides with screenshots on how to log in, register, create account, all of that, IE-Exchange. 

Specific questions regarding the FOA itself should be sent to tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. Again, please include the phone number in the subject line, so we can easily locate and reference what your questions. And also remember to check out the nonspecific questions on IE-Exchange under questions and answers in the left navigation, or at the URL that's provided there. For frequently asked questions on the FAQs web page for this FOA. 

Oh my goodness, next slide, slide 102, Best Practices. We are almost done, and we're going to close out shortly here. But just a reminder that we will not have a question and answer. So please. all the questions that you have had during this presentation, please send them to tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. 

Additionally, these slides and an audio recording of this webinar will be posted in the next week or so. And as a registrant for this webinar, you will be notified when this is available. So you can listen to us again and again. And if there are any inconsistencies between the Funding Opportunity Announcement, this presentation or statements from DOE, or other personnel, the document is the controlling document. And applicants should rely solely on that language, or seek clarification by sending your questions again, tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. 

Thank you. Just a few more recommendations. Sorry, I'm on slide 103 please. Please download the Funding Opportunity Announcement and read it thoroughly. It won't be the best novel that you'll ever read, but it's great for successfully submitting an application. So you understand all the steps and requirements for submitting an application to this FOA. 

And don't rely just on this webinar today, please read the FOA itself. If you are considering submitting an application, please register in IE-Exchange as soon as possible to obtain that control number that we talked about, that's the number that will identify all of the documents that you submit to this FOA on IE-Exchange. And check out the frequently asked questions, FAQs on IE-Exchange periodically. 

We do have new information that we upload there. And so check it out for amendments information that's directly related to this FOA. I've talked enough, so I'm going to send it back to Lizana to close us out. Thank you everyone for sticking with us. 

LIZANA PIERCE: Thank you, Tweedie. Next slide, please. In closing, next slide. Let's be quick. A few final comments, hopefully we've answered some of your questions and provided an overview of the flow and the process. 

And bless you, those who have got with us at time such a poor time planner. However, if you have questions again, send them to tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. Don't ask me, any other Indian Energy staff, contracts, or Laboratory personnel, about eligibility of your project, or any other information related to the FOA, as only a formal response is posted under the FAQs will be honored, so you want a formal response. The purpose of accepting only written questions is typically, if you have a question somebody else has, and also we want to ensure that everyone has the same information relative to this competitive opportunity. 

Remember, registering at grants.gov means you'll receive email notices of any amendments, but applications will not be accepted so grants.gov. Please, I know this is tough. Consider submitting the application early, you can always revise it up until the deadline. I'd also invite you to join the Office of Indian Energy email newsletter list. And you can find that on our main page, www.energy.gov/indianenergy. 

By subscribing, you'll not only get information on funding opportunities through our office, throughout other federal agencies, webinars upcoming events as well. And for information on previously funded projects, we have a project database on our website. We also, again, offer technical assistance at no cost to tribes and tribal entities, so if you're interested, please check out technical assistance on the website as well. 

And you can submit a quick online request through the website. Slides and audio recordings are going to be made available in the next week or so, you'll be notified. Reminder, that this is my legal caveat here. Just a reminder that your participation in the webinar is completely voluntary.

There are no particular advantages or disadvantages to your application evaluation process with respect to your participation in the webinar today. Again, if there's any consistencies between the FOA, the webinar, anything anybody says, the FOA document is the controlling document and should be relied solely. Or if you need clarification, send your questions again to tribalgrants@hq.doe.gov. 

Next slide, please. Oh, and you can join us on social media. Thank you so much. I'm going to be a better time planner next time. Thank you for hanging with us. And thank you Sweetie for sharing this. I know it's dry, but it's important information if you're interested. This concludes today's webinar. Thank you.