- Educational Institution
- Energy Infrastructure
Reserved for Energy
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is issued by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO). The larger outcomes of this FOA will contribute to implementation of the U.S. Department of Energy Offshore Wind Energy Strategy. This DOE-based strategy document outlines DOE’s contributions to the challenges indicated in the nationwide strategy, including the need for reduced levelized cost of energy, expanded and predictable leasing and permitting processes, a more developed domestic supply chain, and expanded transmission. Congress has directed DOE to fund “Centers of Excellence focused on offshore wind energy engineering, infrastructure, supply chain, transmission, and other pertinent issues required to support offshore wind in the United States.” The intent of this FOA is to obtain proposals for university-led Offshore Wind Centers of Excellence as directed by FY23 Congressional Appropriations.
EERE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) seeks to seed one to two university-led Centers of Excellence to catalyze an education, research, and partnership ecosystem to address critical technology and deployment needs of offshore wind in the United States, and to develop the next generation of leadership for the U.S. offshore wind sector. The university-led Centers of Excellence funded through this opportunity are intended to accelerate and maximize the effectiveness, reliability, and sustainability of U.S. offshore wind deployment and operation through partnership with entities such as wind project developers, technology manufacturers, and other industry participants; other institutions of higher education; other research institutions, such as national laboratories; nongovernmental organizations; tribes; and state and local-level governments relevant to emerging commercial-scale offshore wind development.
The ideal Center will boast strong existing multi-disciplinary credentials in the technology, human, and environmental dimensions of offshore wind; robust diversity and inclusion strategies; and incorporate expansive partnerships that demonstrate that the Center can meet the above-named goals. Strong applicants will:
- Propose a clear education and research mission with a deep understanding of the strategies needed to develop multi-disciplinary educational programming that addresses the technological and human dimensions issues highlighted in the Department of Energy’s Offshore Wind Strategy;
- Connect their proposed educational and research programming to the unique nature of challenges associated with offshore wind development in their proposed region, technology, and/or other areas of focus;
- Show a clear path to impact in their chosen areas of focus, including through partnerships with the offshore wind industry, state and local governments, tribes, and stakeholder groups; and outreach to and engagement with key non-participating stakeholders and other entities; and
- Identify how their solutions can support broader national thinking and expertise consistent with the deployment acceleration, reliability, and sustainability goals of the Centers.
Under this FOA, EERE envisions awarding financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements with an estimated performance period of up to five years. It is anticipated that one to two university-led Centers of Excellences will be funded through this opportunity; more Centers may be funded as appropriations allow. The activities to be funded under this FOA will support the government-wide approach to the climate crisis by collaboratively addressing offshore wind energy development and deployment challenges, supporting the energy transitions that are critical for climate protection.
Technology Space and Strategic Goals
WETO is focused on three key opportunities for U.S. offshore wind energy through 2030 and beyond:
- Reduce the cost of wind energy for all applications targeting fixed-bottom offshore wind to 5.1 cents/kWh by 2030.
- Enable the integration of up to 50% wind energy or more into the U.S. grid while increasing grid resilience and reliability and supporting the electrification of U.S. industry, transportation, and buildings.
- Reduce impacts on the environment and affected communities and facilitate just, inclusive, and equitable development and delivery of wind energy.
Applicants had to submit a Letter of Intent and a Concept Paper by 5:00pm ET on 6/8/2023 to be eligible to submit a Full Application.