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Renewables Advancing Community Energy Resilience (RACER)
This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is being issued by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to invest in innovative research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) that accelerates the large-scale development and deployment of solar technology to support an equitable transition to a decarbonized electricity system by 2035 and decarbonized energy sector by 2050. Achieving this goal will support the nationwide effort to meet the threat of climate change and ensure that all Americans benefit from the transition to a clean energy economy.
This funding opportunity focuses on the development and application of solar technologies to improve the resilience of electric power systems and the communities they support. Projects funded under this FOA will focus on community energy resilience. Community resilience can be a comprehensive term that may apply to different critical services such as water, energy, communications, transportation and other types of infrastructure. In the context of this FOA, projects will focus efforts on community energy resilience to investigate the relationship between power systems resilience and community resilience and determine the ability of a community to prepare, recover, and adapt from an event that can cause power or energy disruption. The RD&D activities to be funded under this FOA will support innovative community energy planning methods and technology demonstrations that can increase energy resilience8 in response to the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events such as hurricanes, flooding, high winds, heat waves, wildfires, ice storms, or other events. These events can cause widespread equipment failures and infrastructure damages resulting in sustained power outages, particularly in the distribution grids that directly serve the communities. Innovative approaches to community energy planning and development of resilient clean energy technologies are needed to mitigate the impact of these disruptions to essential services, and increase preparedness to withstand and recover rapidly from these events.
- Required Concept Papers: May 28, 2019
- Full Applications: July 25, 2022
Areas of Interest
To accomplish RACER’s objective, SETO is interested in the following three topic areas:
1. Innovative Community-Based Energy Resilience Planning. The development of energy resilience planning at the community level, including the development and integration of new or existing metrics and preparedness and response plans, via robust multi-stakeholder participation and collaboration. Where appropriate, opportunities must be identified for solar PV plus storage deployment in locations that can best support increased resilience.
2. Automation strategies for Rapid Energy Restoration. The development and demonstration of robust sensors and communication technologies that enable rapid identification of available assets to re-energize a power system after an extreme event, including the design and integration of automation procedures that are assisted by distributed solar technologies to enable rapid recovery.
3. Innovative Solutions to increase the resilience and Hardening of PV Power Plants. Innovative approaches to PV system hardening, utilizing novel sensors, communications strategies, and data analytics to increase generation-side44 hardware resilience to minimize damage during these events.
Topics 1,2, and 3: An entity may submit more than one Concept Paper and Full Application to this FOA, provided that each application describes a unique, scientifically distinct project and provided that an eligible Concept Paper was submitted for each Full Application.
EERE expects to make a total of approximately $25,000,000 of federal funding available for new awards under this FOA, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. EERE anticipates making approximately 13-17 awards under this FOA. EERE may issue one, multiple, or no awards. Individual awards may vary between $500,000 and $3,000,000.