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A Connected Community (CC) is a group of grid-interactive efficient buildings GEBwith diverse, flexible end use equipment and other distributed energy resources (DERs) that collectively work to maximize building, community, and grid efficiency. The objective of this FOA is to select projects that will demonstrate how groups of buildings combined with other types of DERs , such as electric vehicle (EV) charging and photovoltaic (PV) generation, can reliably and costeffectively serve as grid assets by strategically deploying efficiency and demand flexibility. By demonstrating the ability of groups of buildings and DERs to modify load, the FOA outcomes will enable increased energy efficiency, reduced energy demand, and reduced environmental impact.
Under this FOA, DOE will select a portfolio of “Connected Community” projects totaling up to $65 million in varying climates, geographies, building types, building vintages, DERs utility/grid/regulatory structures and resource bases. Through funding these projects, DOE hopes to find and share technical and market solutions that will increase demand flexibility and energy efficiency.
For the purpose of this FOA, a DER is defined as a resource (community-scale or building-scale) that can provide all or some immediate electric and/or power needs and can also be used by the community to either reduce demand (such as energy efficiency) or supply power to satisfy the energy, capacity, or ancillary service needs of the distribution grid. In addition it should be connected to the distribution system, close to load, and the majority of produced energy should be consumed within the community. Examples of different types of DERs include photovoltaics (PV), energy storage, wind, combined heat and power (CHP), demand response (DR), energy efficiency (EE), microgrids, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Beyond a foundation of demand flexibility and energy efficiency, DOE expects to select a diverse portfolio of individual projects so that the combined insights from the whole portfolio will provide scalable solutions that can be applied throughout the country. Individual projects can include new construction, retrofits of existing building, residential, commercial, mixed use, campuses, and appropriate DERs. It is anticipated, but not required, that proposals will come from multi-disciplinary partnerships between energy utilities/providers, building/home developers/owners/operators, manufacturers, researchers and other key players.
Concept papers will be accepted on a rolling basis until the concept paper due date: Feb. 17, 2021
EERE strongly encourages teams from different organizations, scientific disciplines, and technology sectors to form interdisciplinary and cross-sector teams that span organizational boundaries in order to enable and accelerate the achievement of scientific and technological outcomes that were previously viewed as extremely difficult, if not impossible.
An entity may submit more than one Concept Paper and Full Application to this FOA, provided that each application describes a unique, distinct project and provided that an eligible Concept Paper was submitted for each Full Application.
EERE and OE expect to make a total of approximately $65 million of federal funding available for new awards under this FOA, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. EERE anticipates making approximately 6-8 awards under this FOA. EERE may issue one, multiple, or no awards. Individual awards may vary between $3 million and $7 million, but DOE reserves the right to adjust these amounts depending on the applications submitted.