Good morning or good afternoon, wherever you may be. Welcome to the webinar for DOE's Funding Opportunity Announcement entitled First Steps Towards Developing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency on Tribal Lands 2016, FOA number DE FOA 0001621. I'm Randy Manion of Western Area Power Administration. I will be assisting with today's webinar. Let's go over some event details first. Today's webinar is being recorded and all phones have been muted for this purpose. The audio recording and Power Points will be available in about one to two weeks. You will be notified once those are posted on the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs Website.
Be aware that questions will not be entertained during this webinar as this is a competitive opportunity and all questions need to be submitted in writing. So please, submit your questions via email directly to Tribal – T-R-I-B-A-L – @ee.doe.gov. That again is Tribal T-R-I-B-A-L – @ee.doe.gov. We'll try to keep the webinar to more than two hours. We have one speaker today, Lizana Pierce, who will be briefing you on the Funding Opportunity Announcement. Ms. Pierce is [audio skips out] with the U.S. Department of Energy and a program manager for the DOE's Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs. We are now officially starting the webinar. Lizana, the floor is all yours.
Thank you. Thank you, Randy. Good afternoon and welcome to the webinar everyone. This informational webinar is for people interested in applying for Department of Energy's Funding Opportunity Announcement entitled First Steps Towards Developing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency on Tribal Lands which was issued August 16, 2016.
As Randy said, my name is Lizana Pierce and I'm an engineer with the Department of Energy and a program manager under the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, otherwise known as the Office of Indian Energy simply. I've been working in clean energy for the last 20 years and specifically in Indian Energy since the late '90s. Under the Office of Indian Energy, I'm tasked with implementing the deployment program specifically for financial assistance. That entails issuing Funding Opportunity Announcements, managing the application review process and administering the resulting grant and overseeing the funded tribal energy projects. Pardon me.
The intent of this webinar is to cover the basic aspects of the Funding Opportunity Announcement otherwise known as a FOA and highlight essential details about the application process including the types of application spot, who is eligible to apply, con share and other requirements and what the application needs to contain and how to ask all related questions and how applications will be evaluated and selected for funding. Before we begin, I'd like to draw your attention to the email address in the lower right-hand side of this cover page. That's the official mailbox to direct all of your questions to during the entire FOA process. Please do not contact DOE or DOE laboratory staff directly with questions, including myself, as all of these questions must be in writing. The reason for that is only accepting questions in writing is to ensure that you receive a formal response and so that everyone has the benefit of that same response. Basically because if you have a question there's probably other potential applications likely to have the same question.
So as we will not have live Q&A session as part of this webinar, please cast your questions as they come up and send them via email to Tribal@ee.doe.gov and in the subject line of your email please include the FOA number, DE-FOA-0001621. Unless a similar question has already been asked, responses to questions received in this mailbox will be posted to the Frequently Asked Questions webpage for this FOA. That's on the EERE Exchange website. Responses to your questions will typically be posted within three business days after receipt. But before submitting your question, please check the FAQs webpage to see if a similar question has already been answered. In submitting your question, please also be careful not to include any language that might be business sensitive, proprietary or confidential.
Your participation in this webinar is completely voluntarily and there are not particular advantages or disadvantages to the application evaluation process with respect to your participation in the webinar today. These slides and the audio recording of the webinar will be posted in the next week or so, as Randy said, and as a registrant of the webinar, you'll be notified when this material is available. You may want to download the FOA document now for reference as I will be referencing specific pages during the webinar. So let's get started. Next slide please.
Pardon me. Before we discuss the Funding Opportunity Announcement itself, I wanted to walk you through the ER exchange site, find the FOA document itself, the application forms, the Frequently Asked Questions, FAQs. The EERE Exchange website is at ERE/exchange.energy.gov. Once on that page, you need to scroll down the left until you can locate the FOA number, which as we said before was DE-FOA-0001621. Clicking the FOA number in the FOA list will take you to the section of the webpage specific to this FOA as shown on this slide.
As you can see in this slide of the EERE Exchange website, this section specific to the FOA includes a brief summary and other key information. A direct link to this FOA summary is at the bottom of the slide. My apologies for the legibility of the slide, but the screenshot will be expanded in the next few slides. Next slide, please. Thank you.
As you can see from this screenshot, the EERE Exchange summary for the FOA includes the FOA document itself, required application document, contact information for submitting questions regarding the FOA and for EERE Exchange support and a link to the Frequently Asked Questions, FAQs webpage and the submission deadline of October 20, 2016 at 5:00 PM Eastern time. If the application documents are not shown, you'll need to click on the view required documents link under the required application documents. Once the view documents will be revealed as shown on the slide, note that these are not the entirety of the forms and documents that compose the complete application. Next slide, please.
As you can see, once you click on the view required application documents, you'll see the various forms that need to be included. Note that these only comprise a part of the application and in and of themselves do not make a complete application. Further into the presentation, we'll go through the elements that comprise a complete application. So the forms include the application for federal assistance, the standard Form 424. This is a fillable PDF form. There's the budget justification form, IE 335, which is a multi-tab Microsoft Excel form.
There's also Disclosure of Lobbying Activities, SF LLL. It's a Word document. If this does not apply to you, please indicate, "Not applicable," sign, date and include as part of your application. There's also a summary slide template which is a Power Point slide. This is intended to summarize your proposed project. There's a work plan template, which is a Microsoft Word document to be used in preparing your work plan for your proposed project. All the other components of a complete application are self-generated. For a complete list of the application contents, please see the tables on pages 19 and 20 of the FOA. Next slide, please.
The answers to all FOA related questions, as we said, received in our email box, Tribal@ee.doe.gov, will be posted on the Frequently Asked Questions webpage. This slide shows an example of the FAQ webpage. Please check this page periodically as questions and answers will continue to be posted throughout the entire time the FOA is open, especially during before submitting questions as a similar question may have already been answered. Next slide, please.
This slide shows the anticipated schedule for the FOA which is also on the cover page of the Funding Opportunity Announcement or FOA document itself. The FOA has already been posted and we are conducting the FOA informational webinar now. Please note that all applications are due on the EERE Exchange website no later than 5:00 Eastern on October 20, 2016. Note that the closing time is 5:00 Eastern and that is so that the help desk assistance and support will be available to you up until the closing time. If you are in the Alaska, Pacific, Mountain or Central time zones, please plan accordingly to meet the 5:00 Eastern deadline.
Also note that DOE will not extend the submission deadline for applicants that fail to submit the required information due to server connection or congestion. The EERE Exchange system is designed to enforce the deadline specified in this FOA. The apply and submit buttons may be disabled at that mission deadline. Therefore, please, please ensure you begin uploading your application at least 48 hours in advance of this submission deadline to ensure you meet that and allow at least one hour to submit your application. Once your application is submitted, you may go back and revise it or update until the expiration or deadline. So I encourage you to verify that all elements of a complete application are actually submitted before that deadline.
So DOE anticipates notifying applicants selected for negotiation of award in February and making awards in the spring and early summer. Please note that each and every applicant will receive a notification letter by email through the technical and administrative points of contact designated in the application of the EERE Exchange system. So notification letters will state whether the application is determined to be noncompliant, which is incomplete or late, ineligible or nonresponsive. We'll see pages eight and nine of the FOA for applications specifically not of interest, if your application was not selected for funding or selection was postponed or not selected but designated as an alternate or selected for negotiation towards and award. So the notification letter will state the basis upon which each of those decisions were made and note that there is no process for appeal for applications deemed noncompliant or ineligible. Those decisions are final. Next slide, please.
So to apply for the FOA, the applicant must register with and submit the application material through the EERE Exchange website. We've spoken about how to submit a question and the Frequently Asked Questions webpage where also questions and answers will be posted. In order to receive an automatic update when amendments to the FOA are posted though, you need to consider registering in Grants.gov. That's the only way to get automatic updates of amendments to this FOA. So remember, applications will not be accepted through Grants.gov. Next slide, please.
The EERE Exchange registration does not have a delay, however some of the remaining registration requirements could take several weeks to process and are necessary for potential applicants to actually receive an award. So although not required in order to submit an application, all potential applicants lacking a DUNS number or those not registered in SAM or FedConnect should complete those registrations as soon as possible. You can see Part VI.B (beginning on page 41 of the FOA) for information on how to register in the above systems. Next slide, please.
So all applicants are strongly encouraged to carefully read the Funding Opportunity Announcement and to 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 of statements from DOE personnel, the FOA is the c controlling document and applicants should rely solely on the FOA language or officially seek clarification from DOE by submitting a written question. If you believe there are any inconsistencies, please contact us by sending an email, again to that same email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Next slide, please.
So the agenda for this webinar is as shown. First we'll provide a summary of the FOA. We'll discuss the applications specifically not of interest, the award information, applicant eligibility, cost share, content and form of the application, application eligibility, merit review and selection criteria and process, registration requirements, application submission and points-of-contact, questions and then the closing. Next slide, please. Thank you.
So the FOA Executive Summary is included on page one of the FOA document and includes key information on the FOA. This information is summarized on this and on the next slide. We'll go over this information as part of the presentation. What is provided here is the summary. I'll give you just a moment to read through the slide. Next slide, please.
The FOA Executive Summary also includes the eligibility, the cost share information and information on submission. We'll go over the eligibility in detail but realize that eligible entities are restricted to Indian tribes (including Alaska Native villages, Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Village Corporations) and Tribal Energy Resource Development Organizations. Also you may submit multiple applications however, each must be unique and distinct and address only one topic area. Next slide, please.
So the goal of DOE's Office of Indian Energy is really to strengthen tribal communities to sustain future generations. Specifically, the office is charged with promoting Indian tribal energy development, efficiency, use; reducing or stabilizing energy costs; enhancing and strengthening Indian tribal energy and economic infrastructure relating to natural resource development and electrification and bringing electrical power and services to Indian land and homes located on Indian lands or acquired, constructed or improved with Federal funds. Next slide, please.
So in support of the Office's objectives under this Funding Opportunity Announcement, the Office is soliciting applications to initiate the first steps towards developing and sustaining renewable energy and efficiency on Tribal Lands. Next slide, please.
Specifically the Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Indian tribes, as we said, including Alaska Native villages, Alaska Native Regional corporations and Village Corporations (hereafter referred to as "Indian tribe") and the Tribal Energy Resource Development Organizations under the following topic areas; to conduct energy options analysis (topic area one); establish baseline energy use and efficiency options (topic area two); develop energy organizations (topic area three); conduct climate resiliency planning, which is topic area four; establish policy, regulations and codes to reduce energy use or promote energy development, which is topic area five; and to obtain skills and training related to energy use and development (topic area six). I would urge you to review the requirements under each of those topic areas on pages four through eight of the FOA document as we will not go through the specific of each topic area as part of this webinar. Next slide, please.
So pursuant to the authorizing statute, the Office of Indian Energy will only accept applications form an eligible entity, which includes an Indian tribe or Tribal Energy Resource Development Organization. Applications form a consortium of Indian tribes will be accepted but must be submitted by a single Indian tribe acting as the applicant representing the consortium. Applications from any other organization or entity, regardless of whether they represent an eligible entity, will not be accepted. Next slide, please.
So Tribal Council Resolution from each participating Indian tribe, a declaration or resolution from each Tribal Energy Resource Development Organization, and a letter of commitment from all other project participants is required as part of the application. Also note that all resolutions, declarations and letters of commitment must be specific to the FOA and must include any cost sharing commitments. Next slide, please.
It is expected that proposed activities will result in specific outcomes (measureable results or end-products) that will lead to the development and deployment of strategic energy solutions, and/or build knowledge and skills necessary to implement successful energy solutions. Also under this FOA ten percent cost share will be required. The cost share is a percentage of the total allowable cost of the project which includes both the government share and the recipient share of the total project cost. The cost share must come from non-Federal sources unless otherwise allowed by law. I would urge you to see section III.B starting on page 11 of the FOA document which includes examples of Federal funds that are permissible for use no cost share. Next slide, please.
Selected applicants will need to plan a budget for a one-week trip each year to go to Colorado to attend and present at the annual Program Review. So please, include those travel costs for a one-week trip each year of the proposed project in the budget. For more on the annual reviews, you can see Tribal Energy Program Review under Projects on the Office of Indian Energy website. That URL is www.energy.gov/Indianenergy. Next slide, please.
So applications specifically not of interest are indicated on this slide and on pages eight and nine of the FOA document. So if your application includes any of these types it will be deemed nonresponsive and will not be reviewed or considered for an award, specifically anything that falls outside the parameters specified in I.B of the FOA and applications proposing the purchase of major equipment, the installation of energy hardware, installation of meters or other indicators, evaluation of product marketing opportunities, the assessment of manufacturing opportunities, technology research and development, product development, procurement of project related services, demonstration of unproven technologies or major construction manufacturing facilities or any buildings. Also applications not of interest are any where one has already taken irreversible actions regarding the project. Those can include but are not limited to site clearing, ground breaking, equipment, purchase, installation, et cetera. So remember, this is really a planning grant and anything that proposes installation of hardware will not be considered. Next slide, please.
So next on to the award information. As discussed in the Executive Summary, DOE expects to make approximately $2 to $3 million in Federal funds available for new awards under this FOA. Individual award amounts are anticipated to range from $50,000.00 to $250,000.00 and to not exceed $250,000.00. Also DOE will not consider applications proposing DOE funds of less than $50,000.00. The grant period is expected to be approximately one to two years but no longer than three years. DOE may issue awards in one, multiple or none of the topic areas. Next slide, please. Thank you.
So now we'll go over who is eligible to apply. Only the following types of applicants are eligible and if they do not meet these requirements they will be deemed ineligible and their applications will not be reviewed or considered. As we've said, eligible entities are restricted to an Indian tribe or Tribal Energy Resource Development Organization. As previously indicated, applications from a consortium or Indian tribes or Tribal consortium will be accepted but may be submitted by a single Indian tribe acting on as the applicant representing that consortium. Again, applications from any other organization or entity regardless of whether they represent that eligible entity will not be accepted. Next slide, please.
So note here that an Indian tribe for purposes of this FOA is any Indian tribe, band, nation or other organization group or community, including Alaska Native villages, Alaska Native Regional Corps and Village Corporations as defined in or established pursuant to ANCSA and that are recognized as eligible for special services and programs and services provided by the United States because of their status as Indians. Specifically, for purposes of this announcement, an Indian tribe including Alaska Native villages but not the Regional or Village Corporation must be federally recognized and listed in the Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. Also for purposes of this FOA, an Alaska Native Regional Corporation means one of the 13 Alaska Native Regional Corporations as defined in and established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, ANCSA. You can also find these eligibility requirements on pages 10 and 11 of the FOA. Next slide, please.
As you can see here and on pages 10 and 11, the definition of the Alaska Native Village Corporation, a Tribal Consortium and a Tribal Energy Resource Development Organization. Again, applications from any other organization or entity regardless to whether they represent that eligible applicant will not be accepted. Next slide, please.
Questions regarding eligibility. DOE will not make eligibility determinations for potential applicants prior to the date on which applications to this FOA must be submitted. So the decision on whether to submit an application in response to the FOA lies solely with the applicant. Next slide, please.
So next onto cost sharing. As we indicated before under the Funding Opportunity Announcement, required cost share must be at least ten percent of the total allowable costs of the project where the total allowable costs is the sum of the DOE share and the recipient share. For example, if the requested DOE costs are $125,000.00 the cost share would be $13,888.00 or ten percent of the total proposed project cost of 138,889.00, not the ten percent of DOE's requested amount of $125,000.00 or $12,500.00. So again, the cost share is ten percent of the total project cost. So to assist applicants in calculating proper cost share amounts, we've included additional cost share information in Appendix B of the FOA. Next slide.
So all cost share must come from non-Federal source unless otherwise allowed by law. Included here in the FOA on pages 12 are a few instances where Federal funds can be used as non-Federal cost share. Specifically funding under the Indian Self-Determination Act, Tribal self-governance funding agreements, self-determination contract funding or compact funding. Additionally, I understand that HUD's Indian Community Development Block Grant, ICDB funds, can also be used as non-Federal cost share. So if the funds being proposed is non-Federal cost share or from a Federal source allowed by law, you must specifically identify those funds and provide as part of your application evidence of the authority for those to be used non-Federal cost share such as an excerpt from the authorizing statute. Next slide, please.
So the total budgeted present in the application must include, again, both the Federal DOE and the non-Federal cost share which combine reflect the total project cost proposed. All cost must be verified both from the recipient's records and be necessary and reasonable for the accomplishment of the project. So allowable, allocable, reasonable. It's kind of – and as all sources of cost share are considered part of the total project costs, those cost share dollars will be scrutinized under the same Federal regulations as Federal dollars for the project. Next slide, please.
The cost share must be allowable and must be verifiable at the time of submission of the application. Now please refer to this chart for your entity's applicable cost principles. So it is imperative that you follow those applicable cost principles when completing your budget for the application. Next slide, please.
So cost share can be provided in cash or as in-kind contribution and it can be provided by the recipient, the sub-contractors or third parties. So allowable in-kind contributions may include, but aren't limited to such contributions of time, unrecovered indirect costs, unrecovered facility and administrative cost, F&A costs, the rental value of buildings or equipment, not the purchase price but just the rental value and the value of services or other resources or third party in-kind contributions. Next slide, please.
So be aware that there are items that are considered unallowable cost share. If the cost is considered unallowable, it cannot be requested from DOE nor counted as cost share. So this slide provides some examples of cost share that is unallowable. Please take note of the fourth and fifth bullets. Generally, any costs before or after the DOE grant period cannot be considered cost share. Next slide, please. Thank you.
So if an award is made cost share must be provided on an invoice by invoice basis at, as a minimum, the percentage negotiated. However, if you are not able to provide the cost share on an invoice by invoice basis you may request a waiver from DOE's contracting officer. The request would be made after notification of selection prior to award. So as an example of cost share among invoice by invoice basis, if an award is executed and an entity is requesting reimbursement for $50,000.00 in DOE funds and the cost share is 10 percent then the cost share reflected on that invoice must be $5,556.00 or 10 percent of the total project cost incurred of $55,556.00. Next slide, please.
So next onto the content and the format of the application. Applications must include the application for Federal Assistance which is the Standard Form-424. That's a formal application form signed by the authorized representative of the applicant. By signing, that authorized representative is making certain certifications and assurances and therefore the form must be printed, signed, scanned before being uploaded as part of your application.
Note that all forms can be attained from the EERE Exchange webpage under the required application documents. By clicking the required application documents, you'll get hyperlinks to the FOA forms revealed and then you can download, complete and then submit. Also included or needed as part of a completed application would be a Summary for Public Release. The applicants are required to submit a one-page summary of your proposed project.
Also needed is a Summary Slide which is a single Power Point Slide that provide quick facts about your proposed project. The slide content requirements are provided in the FOA and the template is provided as part of the required application documents on the EERE Exchange website. A technical volume is also a required element of your application and this is the key submission. It describes the proposed project and addresses all the merit review criteria. The technical volume does not exceed ten pages but that excludes the cover page and table of contents, as DOE's only going to review the first ten pages.
So again, see the table on pages 22 through 25 of the FOA document for specific content of the technical volume. Briefly though, the technical volume should include a cover page. See those instructions on page 22. The cover page is not counted against the ten-page limit as I just indicated, and the table of contents. The cover page, again, is not counted. It needs to include – the technical volume needs to include an executive summary, a project description and outcomes and roles and responsibilities and capabilities. The actual commitments of the applicant and each participant is not included in that page one but those commitments are to be included as an attachment. Depending on the type of entity, those commitments need to be in the form of resolutions, declarations and letters of commitment. Note the letters of support from anyone besides the member Indian tribe or participants of the project are not required nor desired.
Another element of your application is a work plan. The work plan is not part of the Technical volume but it is included as a separate attachment. The work plan should describe the work to be accomplished and how the applicant will achieve the project milestone. The work plan must not exceed five pages as, again, only the first five pages will be reviewed. You can see pages 25 through 27 of the FOA document for the specific content. The work plan template is included on the EERE Exchange webpage under required application documents and also as Appendix C of the FOA document itself. The complete application also include – and we'll discuss those on the next slide.
So during the submittal of your application in the EERE Exchange, files are denoted as either required or optional. So be aware that the files designated as optional on this slide and in the EERE Exchange may actually be necessary to complete your application and to fully address the merit review criteria. So the attachments to your application may include a graphic file which is an optional file, but under this file you can supply graphics or other information to supplement your technical volume including maps, photographs, past studies, reports or any supplemental information or other visuals.
Also included as an attachment to your application is the Statement to Commitment and Cost Sharing file. This is a required file. It includes the actual commitment from the applicant and each participant. As indicated from the last slide, those commitments may be in the form or resolutions, declarations and letters of commitment and, again, letters of support by anyone not participating in the proposed project or not required nor desired and should not be provided as part of the application.
Another attachment is the Subcontract plan. This is required if a project participant is be consultants, contractors or vendors have not been identified or will be competed for work. The plan should include a description of the selection process to be employed, statement of work, and criteria to be used for selection. Subcontract plan may be supplemented by excerpts from your Procurement Policy or Procedures Document.
Also as an attachment, you need to include a Résumé file. This is required for each key person proposed. That includes the applicant's technical contact, the applicant's business contact, Tribal staff, consultants, subcontract or representative, et cetera. Key person is any individual who contributes in a substantive, measureable way to the execution of the project. So each résumé must not exceed two pages. You need to save all the résumés in a single file for uploading with your application.
Also needed as an attachment is Budget Justification Workbook. This is form IE 335. Now the Budget Justification Workbook is required and must include both the funds being requested from DOE as well as those being proposed as cost share. So let me repeat. Budget and Budget Justification must reflect all project costs regardless of whether those funds are being requested from DOE or if they're provided as cost share. The form itself is a multi-tab Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and in addition to the proposed cost, the form requests the basis of estimate for the cost being proposed whether it be an invoice or an engineering estimate or a published price or a quote, et cetera. That's the basis of estimate. The form can be downloaded from the EERE Exchange website.
Applicants must also provide a separate budget justification which if form IE 335 from each sub-awardee which is another recipient or subcontractor, excluding vendors, that are expected to perform work estimated to be more than $250,000.00 or 25 percent of the total work effort, whichever is less. Remember that the budget justification must address the total project cost of the funds being requested from DOE as well as those being proposed as cost share.
So another attachment would be the budget support file. This is optional. This file, if submitted, could include documentation such as an indirect rate agreement, breakdown of fringe cost, vendor quotes which exceeds $250,000.00 or 25 percent, whichever is less, or other relevant supplemental budget-related information.
The eight attachment is the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities. This is Standard Form LLL. This is for recipients and sub-recipients may not use any Federal funds to influence or attempt to influence directly or indirectly Congressional action on any legislative or appropriation matters. So all applications are required to complete and submit the SF LLL Disclosure of Lobbying Activities and disclose if any non-Federal funds 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; an officer or employee of any Federal agency, a member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress or an employee member of Congress. If no non-Federal funds have been paid or will be paid to any person you just need to indicate none on the form, sign it and submit it. Next slide, please. Thank you.
Okay, so this slide summarizes the elements of an application. It's included on pages 19 and 20 of the FOA document. I recommend if you choose to apply to this funding opportunity to use this table as a checklist when preparing and when uploading your application. Next slide, please.
As we previously pointed out, applicants must submit applications no later than 5:00 Eastern time on October 20th. Once submitted, DOE will conduct an eligibility review and an application will be deemed eligible if the applicant is an eligible entity (and refer to section III.A of the FOA which is on pages 10 and 11). Another eligibility requirement is the cost share (section III.B on pages 11 and 12 of the FOA document.) The required cost share must be as we've said at least ten percent of the total allowable cost of the project.
Remember, the sum of both the DOE share and the recipient share of allowable cost equal the total allowable cost of the project. So the application is deemed eligible if it complies with the content and form requirements which we've just gone over and the applicant successfully uploaded all required documents and clicked the "Submit" button in the EERE Exchange by the deadline. In other words, a complete application submitted by the deadline. The application is eligible if the proposed project is responsive – pardon me – to the intent of the FOA. So see sections I and III.D of the FOA.
Specifically, any applications not responsive to the intent of the FOA as described in those sections were identified as specifically not of interest as described in section I.C will be deemed non-responsive and not reviewed or considered. The applicant is eligible if it meets the eligibility requirements listed in section III of the FOA with your eligible applicants. So please be aware that DOE will not make eligibility determinations prior to the date in which applications are due. Again, the decision on whether to submit an application in response to the FOA lies solely with the applicant. In other words, the DOE will not advise you or make a determination on whether your entity or your proposed project are eligible. So please, do not seek advice from any DOE employer or DOE laboratory staff. Next slide, please.
So now onto the merit review and selection process. This process consists of a series of review including an initial eligibility review, a rigorous technical review and programmatic review. The rigorous technical reviews are conducted by reviewers that are experts in the subject matter of the FOA but ultimately, the selection official would consider those recommendations and along with other considerations such as what we call program policy factors will make a selection decision. We'll see a depiction of the process on the next slide.
So this slide reflects the multi-tiered review process. As we indicated, it starts with an eligibility review. There's also an independent or individual review where each of the reviewers review the applications by themselves without any consultation from any other reviewers. Then we will have an independent reviewer meeting. All of those folks will come together and discuss the applications followed by a Federal Consensus meeting. They will be the ones to actually determine the consensus scores and strengths and weaknesses. Then we have a Federal Consensus Executive Board who will consider the amount of funding available and program policy factors and they'll ultimately make recommendations to the selection official who really is the decision maker. Next slide, please. Thank you.
So next we'll go over the merit review criteria, what your application will be reviewed against. So the four criteria are goals and objective, project description and outcomes, roles, responsibilities, capabilities and commitments, and then the work plan. So each of the criterion have varying weights ranging from 20 percent to 30 percent where the weight really indicates the relative importance of that criterion. So please see pages 36 and 37 of the technical review criteria if you are following along in the FOA document.
Also note that the technical volume and the work plan as described on pages 22 through 27 – pardon me – follow the same order and describe the required content on which this criterion will be applied. I'll give you a minute to read through the slide. I also might note that all applications under any and all of the six topic areas will be evaluated against that same criteria. Next slide, please.
Criterion two or the project description and outcomes is weighted as 30 percent and includes the clarity and completely of the detailed project description and then the value of the specific expected outcomes. Remember measureable results or end-products. Next slide.
So the third criterion is roles, responsibilities, capabilities and commitments. This weight is 30 percent. It includes the soundness of the project management approach and the demonstrated level of commitment of the applicant and each participating organization. That will be evidenced by past energy-related efforts and commitments as evidenced by letters of commitment. Next slide, please.
The fourth and final criterion is the work plan. This is weighted at 20 percent. So work plans will be reviewed on the clarity and completeness of the narrative description for each activity and the likelihood of achieving those project objectives through logical task structure. Next slide, please.
So next, onto the selection factors. So the selection official, as we indicated, may consider the merit review recommendation, the technical scoring if you will, the program policy factors, the amount of funds available in arriving at his or her selections for this FOA. Next slide, please.
So after the merit review process, the selection official again, as I said, may consider the program policy factors shown here to come to a final decision. The program policy factors are also included on pages 37 and 38 of the FOA document. I'll give you a moment to read through those factors. So you may also want to refer to the FOA for additional information on the cue Tribal Climate Action Champions and that those – also those Indian tribes designated under the Promise Zone Initiative which the selection official could consider if he or she chose to in making the final selections for funding. Next slide, please.
So registration requirements. Again, to apply for this FOA, applicants must be registered and submit the application material through EERE Exchange. You can see the URL there. During registration you will receive a control number. You need to make sure you retain this number and all of your application documents must be designated with this control number.
So the registration does not have a delay however the remaining registration requirements in the table could take up to several weeks to process and they're necessary for anyone to receive an award under this FOA. Therefore, although not required to submit an application all applicants lacking a DUNS number or not yet registered as SAM or FedConnect are urged to complete those registrations as soon as possible. So a DUNS number, this is a DUNS and brad straight Data Universal Number System, DUNS number. You would obtain that through the website link shown.
SAM which is the System for Award Management. You need to register in SAM and designate an electronic business point of contact or e-biz POC and obtain a special password called an impin which are important steps in the SAM registration. Basically the SAM system will have banking information. So if you are made an award we'll be able to electronically transfer funds into your bank accounts. The SAM registration must be updated annually.
So FedConnect. When registering in FedConnect you would create an organizational account. Your organization, SAM impin number which you just got when you registered in SAM it's required as a registration in FedConnect. For more information about the Sam impin or other registration requirements, please review the FedConnect Ready, Set, Go Guide. It's actually pretty good and it can be obtained from the FedConnect site. There's screen shots and it walks you through the process. It's actually pretty decent. Note that all the documents associated with any award will only be available through the FedConnect system. So therefore, it's a requirement that you be registered to receive an award.
Now as we said, Grants.gov. Please register in Grants.gov. It's the only way to receive automatic updates when amendments or changes to the FOA are posted. Again, note that applications will not be accepted through Grants.gov but only through EERE Exchange. You can find more information on these registration requirements on pages 41 and 42 of the FOA. Next slide, please. Thank you.
So as we said, all required submissions must come through EERE Exchange website. DOE will not review or consider applications submitted through any other means. Please also see the Users' Guide for Applying to the Department of Energy Funding Opportunity Announcement found on the EERE Exchange website under manuals. It's a step-by-step guide including screenshots on how to register, how to submit an application.
Please note that for this FOA there are no pre-application documents such as like a concept paper or letters of intent. We will also not – you will not be able to reply to reviewer comments. These are exceptions to the guide. The comments, the consensus comments will be provided when you're notified of the status of your application. So please disregard those particular sections in EERE Exchange User Guide. Next slide, please.
Key submission points. Again, these are recommended that you check for entries in the EERE Exchange. You are strongly encouraged to submit the application one to two days prior to the deadline and allow full upload of application document to avoid any technical glitches. Make sure you push the submit button. If you're making changes after you've pushed the submit button it will unsubmit your application and you will need to push it, the submit button again for it to be actually submitted. So for your records, I would also urge you to print out the EERE Exchange confirmation page at each step of the process which contains the application's control number as well.
So applicants that experience issues with submission prior to the deadline should contact the Exchange helpdesk for assistance. That's at eere-exchangesupport@HQ.doe.gov. The Exchange helpdesk and/or the EERE Exchange system administrators can assist you in resolving any issues. The Office of Indian Energy is not able to assist with technical system issues associated with the EERE Exchange system or submittal of an application. So contact them directly, please.
The applicants that experience issues with submissions that result in a late submission should also contact the EERE Exchange helpdesk for assistance. The Exchange helpdesk and/or the EERE Exchange system administrators may be able to assist. It is strongly encouraged that you keep records for documentation including screenshots of any issues you experience in submitting your application.
So when registering in EERE Exchange applicants must designate a primary and backup points of contact. This is whom DOE will communicate during the process. Remember that these are contacts that will be used to notify applicants of whether their applications are deemed non-responsive, non-compliant, unsuccessful or selected for negotiation of award. But it is imperative that applicants and those selectees be responsive during the award negotiation process so we can meet negotiation deadlines. Next slide.
So questions. Questions to this FOA as we have said a number of times, if you have any questions after you have read the Frequently Asked Questions on EERE Exchange to please email those to email@example.com. All Q&As related to the FOA will be posted on the EERE Exchange website under Frequently Asked Questions. We'll attempt to answer those questions within three business days unless there's a similar Q&A that's already been posted. You'll also be notified via email when response to your question has been posted.
So problems. Problems logging into EERE Exchange or uploading and submitting an application, as I said, contact that URL there on the slide and include the FOA name and number in the subject line. As questions are not being entertained during this webinar, again, please send any of those to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the FOA name and number in the subject line as well.
A few final comments. Please download the Funding Opportunity Announcement. I urge you to read it thoroughly so you understand all the steps and requirements for submitting an application. Do not rely solely on this webinar. If you're considering submitting an application, please register in EERE Exchange as soon as possible, obtain a control number because that needs to be on all of your documents. Check the Frequently Asked Questions for additional supplementary information.
A few final comments. Remember registering in Grants.gov means you'll receive email notices of any amendments or changes to the FOA but applications will not be accepted through Grants.gov. I want to thank you for attending, for your attention. Before I close, I'd also like to invite you to join the Office of Indian Energy's email list. To join, see the lower right-hand corner of our website at www.Energy.gov/Indianenergy. By subscribing, you'll receive information on this funding opportunity, funding opportunities through other agencies, training opportunities, webinars and other upcoming events.
For information on previously funded Tribal Energy projects you can see Projects on our website. For a list of other open funding opportunities, you can see the funding page. The Office of Indian Energy also offers technical assistance and if that is of interest I would urge you to check out the technical assistance section on our website and submit a request.
These slides and audio recording will be posted in the next week or two as we've said, as a registrant of the webinar you'll be notified when this material is available. If there are any inconsistencies, again, between the Funding Opportunity Announcement and this presentation or statements from DOE personnel, the FOA document is the controlling document and applicants should rely on that FOA language or seek clarification, again, by sending us a question. Hopefully we've answered some of your questions and provided an overview of the FOA in the process. We look forward to seeing your project ideas in this part of your applications and possibly working with you in the future. I want to – each of you have a wonderful afternoon. Randy, take it away.
Thank you so much Lizana. With that, we are concluding the webinar. Thanks everyone.
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