The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 Future Planning; Request for Information, 61622-61625 [2014-24328]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 61622 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 198 / Tuesday, October 14, 2014 / Notices of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6272(c)(1)(A)(i)) (EPCA), the following notice of meetings is provided: Meetings of the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) to the International Energy Agency (IEA) will be held at the headquarters of the IEA, 9, rue de la ´ ´ Federation, Paris, France, on October 21, 2014, commencing at 9:30 a.m. and at 9:30 a.m. on October 22. The purpose of this notice is to permit attendance by representatives of U.S. company members of the IAB at a joint meeting of the SEQ and the SOM which is scheduled to be held at IEA headquarters on October 21, commencing at 9:30 a.m., and a meeting of the SEQ which is scheduled to be held at the same location on October 22 commencing at 9:30 a.m. The IAB will also hold a preparatory meeting among company representatives at the same location at 8:30 a.m. on October 22. The agenda for this preparatory meeting is to review the agenda for the SEQ meeting. IAB representatives are also invited to participate in a meeting of the Emergency Response Exercise design group at 5:30 p.m. on October 22. The agenda of the joint SOM and SEQ meeting on October 21 is under the control of the SEQ and the SOM. It is expected that the SEQ and SOM will adopt the following agenda: 1. Adoption of the Agenda 2. Approval of the Summary Record of the June 26, 2014, Joint Session 3. Reports on Recent Oil Market and Policy Developments in IEA Countries 4. Update on OIM Projects and Priorities 5. The Current Oil Market Situation 6. Crises in Iraq and Libya: Consequences for Supply 7. Mexico’s Energy Reform 8. The Outlook for Production in Venezuela 9. Key Messages from the Medium-term Renewable Market Report 10. Update on the Ukraine-Russian Standoff and the Natural Gas Market 11. Other Business —Tentative schedule of upcoming SEQ and SOM meetings: —February 24–26, 2015 (tentative) —June 23–25, 2015 —October 13–15, 2015 The agenda of the meeting of the SEQ on October 22 is under the control of the SEQ. It is expected that the SEQ will adopt the following agenda: 1. Adoption of the Agenda 2. Approval of the Summary Record of the 142nd Session 3. Status of Compliance with IEP Stockholding Commitments VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Oct 10, 2014 Jkt 235001 4. Emergency Response Review Program 5. Australia Data Mission 6. Mid-term Emergency Response Review Update on Australia 7. Emergency Response Exercise 7 Update 8. Emergency Response Review of New Zealand 9. Gas Security 10. Saving Oil in a Hurry 11. Presentation on Tickets 12. Emergency Response Review of the Czech Republic 13. Outreach —ERE in China —APSA/Colombian ERA/ Stockholding workshop in Chile —Energy Community 14. Oral Reports by Administrations 15. Industry Advisory Board Update 16. Other Business —Tentative schedule of next meetings: —November 17–18, 2014 (ERE 7) —February 24–26, 2015 (tbc) —June 23–25, 2015 —October 13–15, 2015 As provided in section 252(c)(1)(A)(ii) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6272(c)(1)(A)(ii)), the meetings of the IAB are open to representatives of members of the IAB and their counsel; representatives of members of the IEA’s Standing Group on Emergency Questions and the IEA’s Standing Group on the Oil Markets; representatives of the Departments of Energy, Justice, and State, the Federal Trade Commission, the General Accounting Office, Committees of Congress, the IEA, and the European Commission; and invitees of the IAB, the SEQ, the SOM, or the IEA. Issued in Washington, DC, October 8, 2014. Diana D. Clark, Assistant General Counsel for International and National Security Programs. [FR Doc. 2014–24333 Filed 10–10–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 Future Planning; Request for Information Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy (DOE). ACTION: Request for Information (RFI). AGENCY: The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The Solar Decathlon provides participating students with hands-on experience and unique training that prepares them to enter the clean energy workforce. Open to the public free of charge, the Solar Decathlon gives visitors the opportunity to tour solarpowered houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energysaving features can help them save money today. The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002; the competition then occurred biennially in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011 in Washington, DC In 2013, the Solar Decathlon moved to the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. The next Solar Decathlon will take place Oct. 8–18, 2015, at the Orange County Great Park. This RFI seeks information to inform designing, planning and implementing the next generation of the Solar Decathlon—2017 and beyond. DATES: DOE will accept information on this notice, but no later than November 28, 2014. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are encouraged to submit information electronically. However, interested persons may submit information by any of the following methods: • Email: SolarDecathlonRFI@ EE.Doe.Gov Include Solar Decathlon in the subject line of the message. Submit electronic comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, portable document format (PDF), or American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) file format, and avoid the use of special characters or any form of encryption. • Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE–5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585–0121. Telephone: (202) 586–2945. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies. • Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, 6th Floor, 950 L’Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 586–2945. If possible, please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies. Instructions: All submissions received must reference the Solar Decathalon 2017 Planning RFI and include your name and/or agency name along with. No telefacsimilies (faxes) will be accepted. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Richard King, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, E:\FR\FM\14OCN1.SGM 14OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 198 / Tuesday, October 14, 2014 / Notices 1000 Independence Avenue SW., EE–5B, Washington, DC 20585; (202) 586–1693; Richard.king@ee.doe.gov. For legal issues, please contact Kavita Vaidyanathan; U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., GC– 71, Washington, DC 20585; (202) 586– 0669; Kavita.Vaidyanathan@hq.doe.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Authority and Background II. Disclaimer and Important Notes III. Proprietary Information IV. Evaluation and Administration by Federal and Nonfederal Personnel V. Discussion VI. Public Participation mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES I. Authority and Background The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solarpowered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. The winning team receives a trophy and the honor of victory. The competition is authorized under section 3165 of the Department of Energy Science Education Enhancement Act, as amended, which authorizes the Secretary of Energy to support competitive events for students under the supervision of teachers, designed to encourage student interest and knowledge in science and mathematics. (42 U.S.C. 7381b(a)(14)) The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002; the competition then occurred biennially in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011 in Washington, DC. In 2013, the Solar Decathlon moved to the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. The next Solar Decathlon will take place Oct. 8–18, 2015, at the Orange County Great Park. Each Solar Decathlon team builds a solar-powered house that showcases energy-efficient amenities and smart home systems that reduce carbon emissions without sacrificing the comfort of modern conveniences. The Solar Decathlon invites visitors to tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energysaving features can help them save money today. The purpose of the Solar Decathlon is to accelerate the adoption of energyefficient products and solutions by: • Educating students and the public about the money-saving opportunities and environmental benefits presented VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Oct 10, 2014 Jkt 235001 by clean energy products and design solutions • Demonstrating to the public the comfort and affordability of gridconnected homes that combine energy-efficient construction and appliances with off-the-shelf renewable-energy systems • Providing participating students with unique training that prepares them for the clean energy workforce The Solar Decathlon educates collegiate students about the opportunities presented by renewable energy and energy efficiency and challenges them to think in new ways about incorporating practical, affordable clean energy solutions into residential applications. The Solar Decathlon uses blended methods (including classroom instruction and real-world application) to teach science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for building systems design and operation. The Solar Decathlon accelerates the development of wholehouse design and Zero Energy Ready Home solutions that improve performance and reduce costs for homeowners. The Solar Decathlon fosters collaboration among students from different academic disciplines, including engineering and architecture, who otherwise might not work together until they enter the workplace. Since 2002 and through 2015, the impacts of the Solar Decathlon have: • Involved 130 collegiate teams, which pursued a multidisciplinary approach to study the requirements for designing and building energyefficient, solar-powered houses • Positively impacted nearly 20,000 collegiate participants • Expanded to Europe, China, and Latin America to involve an additional 78 teams and nearly 12,000 participants through Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 (Madrid, Spain), Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 (Madrid, Spain), Solar Decathlon China 2013 (Datong, China), Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 (Versailles, France), and Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean 2015 (Santiago de Cali, Colombia) • Educated the public about the benefits, affordability, and availability of clean energy solutions by generating widespread media coverage and harnessing digital tools to reach millions of people Additional information is available at www.solardecathlon.gov. For each edition of the competition, up to 20 collegiate teams are selected as finalists through a competitive proposal process. Each team has approximately PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 61623 two years to raise the resources needed to design, build, transport, and present its competition house at the Solar Decathlon. All houses are transported to a common site to compete against one another in the Solar Decathlon’s 10 contests. The competition is composed of juried evaluations (such as architecture and market appeal) and performance-based measurement (such as heating water, space conditioning, and powering an electric vehicle). Additional information about the contests and rules is available at http://www.solardecathlon.gov/ rules.html. In the first three editions of the Solar Decathlon, the solar-powered houses were independent of the electrical utility grid and used battery systems. Starting in 2009, the houses were gridtied to demonstrate net metering, better represent the growing market for distributed generation solar systems across the country, and show the public that solar was achievable within existing lifestyles and households. Since 2011, the competition has incorporated an Affordability Contest that encourages teams to think not only about superior design and performance but also costeffectiveness. Student teams must balance performance and design decisions with associated cost. Also in 2011, Solar Decathlon organizers decided to expand the competition’s audience beyond America’s capitol. After a national solicitation in which cities across the country competed to host this popular event, the Energy Department selected the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California, for the location of the Solar Decathlon 2013. In 2015, the Solar Decathlon will again be held at the Orange County Great Park. The 2015 competition incorporates a commuting contest that requires teams to drive an electric vehicle charged by their house energy system. The objective for this change is to expand the scope of the competition from a house to a household. DOE has continuously worked to reduce the cost of implementing the Solar Decathlon while improving the program overall. For example, DOE tries to hold the event in known locations where DOE already has the materials and knowledge to more cost effectively provide the necessary power and communication infrastructure. In 2015, DOE will be reducing its financial contribution to the Solar Decathlon teams, which reduces our costs but requires greater fund raising by each participating organization. DOE even considered holding the competition where each home would remain in E:\FR\FM\14OCN1.SGM 14OCN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 61624 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 198 / Tuesday, October 14, 2014 / Notices place, and not need to be moved to a central location. This would reduce or eliminate some costs for travel, security, infrastructure, and other event logistics; however this would result in a different Solar Decathlon event and a departure from past events. Throughout the history of the Solar Decathlon, the organizers have worked to leverage government funding with private support. Both the competition itself and the student teams receive significant contributions from industry to ensure the event is successful. Working with a range of partners from utilities and Fortune 50 companies to small homebuilders, the Solar Decathlon builds on government resources. Due to the collegiate team success in leveraging Energy Department funding nearly 8 to 1, the amount of government resources for the collegiate teams has been reduced to half the previous level. Further efficiencies have been implemented to produce the Solar Decathlon competition and public exhibit with reduced resources. The Solar Decathlon program costs DOE about $5M per each 2 year event cycle, which is a significant investment for this effort. DOE is continuously working to leverage resources, however further reductions risk reducing the event’s educational outreach under the existing format. One of the benefits of this program has been to educate builders and the future workforce regarding the design and construction of highly efficient homes whose energy use can be offset cost effectively with solar power. DOE has embarked on two new programs that help scale the delivery of this outcome. Formerly called the DOE’s Challenge Home, Zero Energy Ready Homes is a labeling program that highlights builders who have built new homes that are 40% to 50% more energy efficient than homes built to the IECC 2006 model energy code—a significant improvement beyond even the typical ENERGY STAR home. The Zero Energy Ready Homes Program provides an avenue for builders to promote their high performing homes through DOE recognition, and demonstrating the value of zero energy ready homes to homeowners. Over 250 Zero Energy Ready Homes have been completed to date with 8,000 additional Certified Homes committed to being built over the coming year. The DOE ‘‘Race to Zero’’ Student Design Competition provides an annual opportunity for schools and their students to compete against each other on designing marketable energy efficient new homes. 28 college and university teams from the U.S. and Canada VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Oct 10, 2014 Jkt 235001 participated in the first event, where students and advisors competed to create zero-energy ready home designs that were market-ready, efficient, durable, and incorporated the best practices from the DOE Building America Program. The desired longterm outcome is to inform schools on the value of integrating building science into design courses in all major architecture, engineering, and construction management courses. The Solar Decathlon program represents over a decade of work to show the U.S. public the opportunities and benefits of solar powered highly energy efficient homes, while also helping to educate our future workforce. It is now time to take a fresh look at the appropriate outcomes that DOE should deliver over the next decade, and the associated program format and implementation to optimize that outcome with the appropriate cost/ benefit for the U.S. For more information about the history of the Solar Decathlon, visit http://www.solardecathlon.gov/ history.html. The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from past and present participants in the Solar Decathlon, broader academic circles, industry, sponsors, and other stakeholders on issues related to future Solar Decathlon competitions. The objective is to improve the outcomes aligned with the Solar Decathlon in the long-term. DOE is specifically interested in feedback about additional U.S. benefits that should be the focus of future solar powered home programs funded by DOE, the format of a competition to achieve those benefits, and whether other formats or options can deliver higher value to the U.S. In the format discussion, if the current format is proposed to continue, information is requested on how DOE should identify future locations for the Solar Decathlon. II. Disclaimer and Important Notes This RFI is not a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA); therefore, DOE is not accepting applications at this time. EERE may issue a FOA in the future based on or related to the content and responses to this RFI; however, EERE may also elect not to issue a FOA. There is no guarantee that a FOA will be issued as a result of this RFI. Responding to this RFI does not provide any advantage or disadvantage to potential applicants if EERE chooses to issue a FOA regarding the subject matter. Final details, including the anticipated award size, quantity, and timing of EERE funded PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 awards, will be subject to Congressional appropriations and direction. Any information obtained as a result of this RFI is intended to be used by the Government on a non-attribution basis for planning and strategy development; this RFI does not constitute a formal solicitation for proposals or abstracts. Your response to this notice will be treated as information only. EERE will review and consider all responses in its formulation of program strategies for the identified materials of interest that are the subject of this request. EERE will not provide reimbursement for costs incurred in responding to this RFI. Respondents are advised that EERE is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted under this RFI. Responses to this RFI do not bind EERE to any further actions related to this topic. III. Proprietary Information Because information received in response to this RFI may be used to structure future programs and FOAs and/or otherwise be made available to the public, respondents are strongly advised to NOT include any information in their responses that might be considered business sensitive, proprietary, or otherwise confidential. If, however, a respondent chooses to submit business sensitive, proprietary, or otherwise confidential information, it must be clearly and conspicuously marked as such in the response. Responses containing confidential, proprietary, or privileged information must be conspicuously marked as described below. Failure to comply with these marking requirements may result in the disclosure of the unmarked information under the Freedom of Information Act or otherwise. The U.S. Federal Government is not liable for the disclosure or use of unmarked information, and may use or disclose such information for any purpose. If your response contains confidential, proprietary, or privileged information, you must include a cover sheet marked as follows identifying the specific pages containing confidential, proprietary, or privileged information: Notice of Restriction on Disclosure and Use of Data Pages [list applicable pages] of this response may contain confidential, proprietary, or privileged information that is exempt from public disclosure. Such information shall be used or disclosed only for the purposes described in this RFI. The Government may use or disclose any information E:\FR\FM\14OCN1.SGM 14OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 198 / Tuesday, October 14, 2014 / Notices that is not appropriately marked or otherwise restricted, regardless of source. In addition, (1) the header and footer of every page that contains confidential, proprietary, or privileged information must be marked as follows: ‘‘Contains Confidential, Proprietary, or Privileged Information Exempt from Public Disclosure’’ and (2) every line and paragraph containing proprietary, privileged, or trade secret information must be clearly marked with double brackets or highlighting. IV. Evaluation and Administration by Federal and Non-Federal Personnel Federal employees are subject to the non-disclosure requirements of a criminal statute, the Trade Secrets Act, 18 U.S.C. 1905. The Government may seek the advice of qualified non-Federal personnel. The Government may also use non-Federal personnel to conduct routine, nondiscretionary administrative activities. The respondents, by submitting their response, consent to EERE providing their response to nonFederal parties. Non-Federal parties given access to responses must be subject to an appropriate obligation of confidentiality prior to being given the access. Submissions may be reviewed by support contractors and private consultants. V. Discussion DOE seeks a variety of different types of information to help inform its decision regarding how future Solar Decathlon competitions will be organized. To this end, DOE seeks detailed information regarding the following aspects related to the Solar Decathlon competitions: Question 1 How could the goals of the Solar Decathlon evolve to create a larger impact on the market needs of the following industry sectors? a. Buildings b. Solar c. Utility d. Transportation e. Education mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Question 2 What additional outcomes of the Solar Decathlon could increase the scale of that impact, and improve its cost effectiveness for the U.S.? Question 3 What is the appropriate role for DOE with respect to delivering on this potential impact? VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Oct 10, 2014 Jkt 235001 Question 4 What changes could be made to the Solar Decathlon rules, format, location and logistics to achieve those outcomes? Question 5 How could the public and private roles and funding sources be developed to achieve those outcomes? Question 6 What should the Solar Decathlon look like in 10 years? VI. Public Participation DOE invites all interested parties to submit in writing by the date specified previously in the DATES section of this RFI, comments and information on matters addressed in this notice and on other matters relevant to DOE’s designing, planning and implementing the next generation of the Solar Decathlon 2017 and beyond. Issued in Washington, DC, on October 6, 2014. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. [FR Doc. 2014–24328 Filed 10–10–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2146–169] Alabama Power Company; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection: a. Application Type: Non-project use of project lands and waters. b. Project No: 2146–169. c. Date Filed: August 21, 2014. d. Applicant: Alabama Power Company. e. Name of Project: Coosa River Hydroelectric Project. f. Location: Neely Henry Lake in Etowah County, Alabama. g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791a–825r. h. Applicant Contact: Matthew Akin, Alabama Power Company, 600 18th Street North, Birmingham, AL 35203– 8180, (205) 257–1314, mjakin@ southernco.com. i. FERC Contact: Krista Sakallaris, (202) 502–6302, krista.sakallaris@ ferc.gov. PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 61625 j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests: November 10, 2014. All documents may be filed electronically via the Internet. See, 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission’s Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc. gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at 1–866–208–3676, or for TTY, (202) 502–8659. Although the Commission strongly encourages electronic filing, documents may also be paper-filed. To paper-file, mail an original and seven copies to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Please include the project number (P–2146–169) on any comments or motions filed. The Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person whose name appears on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. k. Description of Application: Alabama Power Company requests Commission approval to grant the City of Gadsden, Alabama (applicant) a permit to use project lands and waters to develop a community park. The proposed park would be located on or adjacent to Neely Henry Lake in Etowah County, Alabama and total 15.43 acres, half of the proposed park will be located on Alabama Power Company land within the project boundary. The applicant proposes to build the following facilities on project land: A 20 slip floating dock, a 12 slip boat dock, a pedestrian bridge, two picnic pavilions, three octagonal observation platforms, two overlooks, approximately 3,500 feet (roughly half of which will be within the project boundary) of combined boardwalk and pedestrian paths, pedestrian lighting, and 400 feet of rip rap to prevent shoreline erosion. l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission’s Public Reference Room, E:\FR\FM\14OCN1.SGM 14OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 198 (Tuesday, October 14, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 61622-61625]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-24328]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy


The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 Future 
Planning; Request for Information

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of 
Energy (DOE).

ACTION: Request for Information (RFI).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges 
collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses 
that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The Solar 
Decathlon provides participating students with hands-on experience and 
unique training that prepares them to enter the clean energy workforce. 
Open to the public free of charge, the Solar Decathlon gives visitors 
the opportunity to tour solar-powered houses, gather ideas to use in 
their own homes, and learn how energy-saving features can help them 
save money today. The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002; the 
competition then occurred biennially in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011 in 
Washington, DC In 2013, the Solar Decathlon moved to the Orange County 
Great Park in Irvine, California. The next Solar Decathlon will take 
place Oct. 8-18, 2015, at the Orange County Great Park. This RFI seeks 
information to inform designing, planning and implementing the next 
generation of the Solar Decathlon--2017 and beyond.

DATES: DOE will accept information on this notice, but no later than 
November 28, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are encouraged to submit information 
electronically. However, interested persons may submit information by 
any of the following methods:
     Email: SolarDecathlonRFI@EE.Doe.Gov Include Solar 
Decathlon in the subject line of the message. Submit electronic 
comments in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, portable document format 
(PDF), or American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) 
file format, and avoid the use of special characters or any form of 
encryption.
     Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, 
Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. If possible, 
please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not 
necessary to include printed copies.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department 
of Energy, Building Technologies Office, 6th Floor, 950 L'Enfant Plaza 
SW., Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. If possible, 
please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not necessary to 
include printed copies.
    Instructions: All submissions received must reference the Solar 
Decathalon 2017 Planning RFI and include your name and/or agency name 
along with. No telefacsimilies (faxes) will be accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Richard King, U.S. Department of 
Energy, Building Technologies Office,

[[Page 61623]]

1000 Independence Avenue SW., EE-5B, Washington, DC 20585; (202) 586-
1693; Richard.king@ee.doe.gov.
    For legal issues, please contact Kavita Vaidyanathan; U.S. 
Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, 1000 Independence 
Avenue SW., GC-71, Washington, DC 20585; (202) 586-0669; 
Kavita.Vaidyanathan@hq.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Authority and Background
II. Disclaimer and Important Notes
III. Proprietary Information
IV. Evaluation and Administration by Federal and Nonfederal 
Personnel
V. Discussion
VI. Public Participation

I. Authority and Background

    The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning 
program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate 
solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and 
attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends 
affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal 
energy production and maximum efficiency. The winning team receives a 
trophy and the honor of victory. The competition is authorized under 
section 3165 of the Department of Energy Science Education Enhancement 
Act, as amended, which authorizes the Secretary of Energy to support 
competitive events for students under the supervision of teachers, 
designed to encourage student interest and knowledge in science and 
mathematics. (42 U.S.C. 7381b(a)(14))
    The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002; the competition then 
occurred biennially in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011 in Washington, DC. In 
2013, the Solar Decathlon moved to the Orange County Great Park in 
Irvine, California. The next Solar Decathlon will take place Oct. 8-18, 
2015, at the Orange County Great Park.
    Each Solar Decathlon team builds a solar-powered house that 
showcases energy-efficient amenities and smart home systems that reduce 
carbon emissions without sacrificing the comfort of modern 
conveniences. The Solar Decathlon invites visitors to tour the houses, 
gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energy-saving 
features can help them save money today.
    The purpose of the Solar Decathlon is to accelerate the adoption of 
energy-efficient products and solutions by:
 Educating students and the public about the money-saving 
opportunities and environmental benefits presented by clean energy 
products and design solutions
 Demonstrating to the public the comfort and affordability of 
grid-connected homes that combine energy-efficient construction and 
appliances with off-the-shelf renewable-energy systems
 Providing participating students with unique training that 
prepares them for the clean energy workforce

    The Solar Decathlon educates collegiate students about the 
opportunities presented by renewable energy and energy efficiency and 
challenges them to think in new ways about incorporating practical, 
affordable clean energy solutions into residential applications. The 
Solar Decathlon uses blended methods (including classroom instruction 
and real-world application) to teach science, technology, engineering, 
and mathematics (STEM) for building systems design and operation. The 
Solar Decathlon accelerates the development of whole-house design and 
Zero Energy Ready Home solutions that improve performance and reduce 
costs for homeowners. The Solar Decathlon fosters collaboration among 
students from different academic disciplines, including engineering and 
architecture, who otherwise might not work together until they enter 
the workplace.
    Since 2002 and through 2015, the impacts of the Solar Decathlon 
have:

 Involved 130 collegiate teams, which pursued a 
multidisciplinary approach to study the requirements for designing and 
building energy-efficient, solar-powered houses
 Positively impacted nearly 20,000 collegiate participants
 Expanded to Europe, China, and Latin America to involve an 
additional 78 teams and nearly 12,000 participants through Solar 
Decathlon Europe 2010 (Madrid, Spain), Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 
(Madrid, Spain), Solar Decathlon China 2013 (Datong, China), Solar 
Decathlon Europe 2014 (Versailles, France), and Solar Decathlon Latin 
America and Caribbean 2015 (Santiago de Cali, Colombia)
 Educated the public about the benefits, affordability, and 
availability of clean energy solutions by generating widespread media 
coverage and harnessing digital tools to reach millions of people

    Additional information is available at www.solardecathlon.gov.
    For each edition of the competition, up to 20 collegiate teams are 
selected as finalists through a competitive proposal process. Each team 
has approximately two years to raise the resources needed to design, 
build, transport, and present its competition house at the Solar 
Decathlon. All houses are transported to a common site to compete 
against one another in the Solar Decathlon's 10 contests. The 
competition is composed of juried evaluations (such as architecture and 
market appeal) and performance-based measurement (such as heating 
water, space conditioning, and powering an electric vehicle). 
Additional information about the contests and rules is available at 
http://www.solardecathlon.gov/rules.html.
    In the first three editions of the Solar Decathlon, the solar-
powered houses were independent of the electrical utility grid and used 
battery systems. Starting in 2009, the houses were grid-tied to 
demonstrate net metering, better represent the growing market for 
distributed generation solar systems across the country, and show the 
public that solar was achievable within existing lifestyles and 
households. Since 2011, the competition has incorporated an 
Affordability Contest that encourages teams to think not only about 
superior design and performance but also cost-effectiveness. Student 
teams must balance performance and design decisions with associated 
cost.
    Also in 2011, Solar Decathlon organizers decided to expand the 
competition's audience beyond America's capitol. After a national 
solicitation in which cities across the country competed to host this 
popular event, the Energy Department selected the Orange County Great 
Park in Irvine, California, for the location of the Solar Decathlon 
2013. In 2015, the Solar Decathlon will again be held at the Orange 
County Great Park. The 2015 competition incorporates a commuting 
contest that requires teams to drive an electric vehicle charged by 
their house energy system. The objective for this change is to expand 
the scope of the competition from a house to a household.
    DOE has continuously worked to reduce the cost of implementing the 
Solar Decathlon while improving the program overall. For example, DOE 
tries to hold the event in known locations where DOE already has the 
materials and knowledge to more cost effectively provide the necessary 
power and communication infrastructure. In 2015, DOE will be reducing 
its financial contribution to the Solar Decathlon teams, which reduces 
our costs but requires greater fund raising by each participating 
organization. DOE even considered holding the competition where each 
home would remain in

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place, and not need to be moved to a central location. This would 
reduce or eliminate some costs for travel, security, infrastructure, 
and other event logistics; however this would result in a different 
Solar Decathlon event and a departure from past events.
    Throughout the history of the Solar Decathlon, the organizers have 
worked to leverage government funding with private support. Both the 
competition itself and the student teams receive significant 
contributions from industry to ensure the event is successful. Working 
with a range of partners from utilities and Fortune 50 companies to 
small homebuilders, the Solar Decathlon builds on government resources. 
Due to the collegiate team success in leveraging Energy Department 
funding nearly 8 to 1, the amount of government resources for the 
collegiate teams has been reduced to half the previous level. Further 
efficiencies have been implemented to produce the Solar Decathlon 
competition and public exhibit with reduced resources. The Solar 
Decathlon program costs DOE about $5M per each 2 year event cycle, 
which is a significant investment for this effort. DOE is continuously 
working to leverage resources, however further reductions risk reducing 
the event's educational outreach under the existing format.
    One of the benefits of this program has been to educate builders 
and the future workforce regarding the design and construction of 
highly efficient homes whose energy use can be offset cost effectively 
with solar power. DOE has embarked on two new programs that help scale 
the delivery of this outcome.
    Formerly called the DOE's Challenge Home, Zero Energy Ready Homes 
is a labeling program that highlights builders who have built new homes 
that are 40% to 50% more energy efficient than homes built to the IECC 
2006 model energy code--a significant improvement beyond even the 
typical ENERGY STAR home. The Zero Energy Ready Homes Program provides 
an avenue for builders to promote their high performing homes through 
DOE recognition, and demonstrating the value of zero energy ready homes 
to homeowners. Over 250 Zero Energy Ready Homes have been completed to 
date with 8,000 additional Certified Homes committed to being built 
over the coming year.
    The DOE ``Race to Zero'' Student Design Competition provides an 
annual opportunity for schools and their students to compete against 
each other on designing marketable energy efficient new homes. 28 
college and university teams from the U.S. and Canada participated in 
the first event, where students and advisors competed to create zero-
energy ready home designs that were market-ready, efficient, durable, 
and incorporated the best practices from the DOE Building America 
Program. The desired long-term outcome is to inform schools on the 
value of integrating building science into design courses in all major 
architecture, engineering, and construction management courses.
    The Solar Decathlon program represents over a decade of work to 
show the U.S. public the opportunities and benefits of solar powered 
highly energy efficient homes, while also helping to educate our future 
workforce. It is now time to take a fresh look at the appropriate 
outcomes that DOE should deliver over the next decade, and the 
associated program format and implementation to optimize that outcome 
with the appropriate cost/benefit for the U.S.
    For more information about the history of the Solar Decathlon, 
visit http://www.solardecathlon.gov/history.html.
    The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from past and 
present participants in the Solar Decathlon, broader academic circles, 
industry, sponsors, and other stakeholders on issues related to future 
Solar Decathlon competitions. The objective is to improve the outcomes 
aligned with the Solar Decathlon in the long-term. DOE is specifically 
interested in feedback about additional U.S. benefits that should be 
the focus of future solar powered home programs funded by DOE, the 
format of a competition to achieve those benefits, and whether other 
formats or options can deliver higher value to the U.S. In the format 
discussion, if the current format is proposed to continue, information 
is requested on how DOE should identify future locations for the Solar 
Decathlon.

II. Disclaimer and Important Notes

    This RFI is not a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA); 
therefore, DOE is not accepting applications at this time. EERE may 
issue a FOA in the future based on or related to the content and 
responses to this RFI; however, EERE may also elect not to issue a FOA. 
There is no guarantee that a FOA will be issued as a result of this 
RFI. Responding to this RFI does not provide any advantage or 
disadvantage to potential applicants if EERE chooses to issue a FOA 
regarding the subject matter. Final details, including the anticipated 
award size, quantity, and timing of EERE funded awards, will be subject 
to Congressional appropriations and direction.
    Any information obtained as a result of this RFI is intended to be 
used by the Government on a non-attribution basis for planning and 
strategy development; this RFI does not constitute a formal 
solicitation for proposals or abstracts. Your response to this notice 
will be treated as information only. EERE will review and consider all 
responses in its formulation of program strategies for the identified 
materials of interest that are the subject of this request. EERE will 
not provide reimbursement for costs incurred in responding to this RFI. 
Respondents are advised that EERE is under no obligation to acknowledge 
receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents 
with respect to any information submitted under this RFI. Responses to 
this RFI do not bind EERE to any further actions related to this topic.

III. Proprietary Information

    Because information received in response to this RFI may be used to 
structure future programs and FOAs and/or otherwise be made available 
to the public, respondents are strongly advised to NOT include any 
information in their responses that might be considered business 
sensitive, proprietary, or otherwise confidential. If, however, a 
respondent chooses to submit business sensitive, proprietary, or 
otherwise confidential information, it must be clearly and 
conspicuously marked as such in the response.
    Responses containing confidential, proprietary, or privileged 
information must be conspicuously marked as described below. Failure to 
comply with these marking requirements may result in the disclosure of 
the unmarked information under the Freedom of Information Act or 
otherwise. The U.S. Federal Government is not liable for the disclosure 
or use of unmarked information, and may use or disclose such 
information for any purpose.
    If your response contains confidential, proprietary, or privileged 
information, you must include a cover sheet marked as follows 
identifying the specific pages containing confidential, proprietary, or 
privileged information:

Notice of Restriction on Disclosure and Use of Data

    Pages [list applicable pages] of this response may contain 
confidential, proprietary, or privileged information that is exempt 
from public disclosure. Such information shall be used or disclosed 
only for the purposes described in this RFI. The Government may use or 
disclose any information

[[Page 61625]]

that is not appropriately marked or otherwise restricted, regardless of 
source.
    In addition, (1) the header and footer of every page that contains 
confidential, proprietary, or privileged information must be marked as 
follows: ``Contains Confidential, Proprietary, or Privileged 
Information Exempt from Public Disclosure'' and (2) every line and 
paragraph containing proprietary, privileged, or trade secret 
information must be clearly marked with double brackets or 
highlighting.

IV. Evaluation and Administration by Federal and Non-Federal Personnel

    Federal employees are subject to the non-disclosure requirements of 
a criminal statute, the Trade Secrets Act, 18 U.S.C. 1905. The 
Government may seek the advice of qualified non-Federal personnel. The 
Government may also use non-Federal personnel to conduct routine, 
nondiscretionary administrative activities. The respondents, by 
submitting their response, consent to EERE providing their response to 
non-Federal parties. Non-Federal parties given access to responses must 
be subject to an appropriate obligation of confidentiality prior to 
being given the access. Submissions may be reviewed by support 
contractors and private consultants.

V. Discussion

    DOE seeks a variety of different types of information to help 
inform its decision regarding how future Solar Decathlon competitions 
will be organized. To this end, DOE seeks detailed information 
regarding the following aspects related to the Solar Decathlon 
competitions:

Question 1

    How could the goals of the Solar Decathlon evolve to create a 
larger impact on the market needs of the following industry sectors?

a. Buildings
b. Solar
c. Utility
d. Transportation
e. Education

Question 2

    What additional outcomes of the Solar Decathlon could increase the 
scale of that impact, and improve its cost effectiveness for the U.S.?

Question 3

    What is the appropriate role for DOE with respect to delivering on 
this potential impact?

Question 4

    What changes could be made to the Solar Decathlon rules, format, 
location and logistics to achieve those outcomes?

Question 5

    How could the public and private roles and funding sources be 
developed to achieve those outcomes?

Question 6

    What should the Solar Decathlon look like in 10 years?

VI. Public Participation

    DOE invites all interested parties to submit in writing by the date 
specified previously in the DATES section of this RFI, comments and 
information on matters addressed in this notice and on other matters 
relevant to DOE's designing, planning and implementing the next 
generation of the Solar Decathlon 2017 and beyond.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 6, 2014.
Kathleen B. Hogan,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2014-24328 Filed 10-10-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P