DOE Innovative DEsigns for high-performAnce Low-cost HVDC Converters

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). Note the cost-share requirements.

Program Summary

This FOA will invest in R&D to support continued innovation and cost reduction for high-voltage direct current (HVDC) voltage-source converter (VSC) transmission systems. This investment is intended to enable future grid upgrades required to integrate increasing renewable energy generation on to the grid, both onshore and offshore.

Rapid deployment at scale for wind and other renewable resources requires cost-effective transmission solutions. HVDC transmission systems are an effective technology both on land and offshore to accomplish this deployment. Some of the highest quality wind resources in the United States are located offshore. The Administration has set a near-term offshore wind deployment goal of 30 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 and achieving it could unlock a pathway to 110 GW by 2050. Along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, many states have set their own procurement goals for offshore wind development. HVDC transmission can connect large amounts of new geographically diverse variable renewable energy resources that are far from load centers. As a result, HVDC transmission can facilitate achievement of the Administration’s goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035.

HVDC currently accounts for only a small fraction of the existing high-voltage transmission lines in the United States. Of the over 240,000 miles of highvoltage power lines, only 2,370 miles or 1% are HVDC. U.S. HVDC lines include four overhead transmission lines built from 1970 to 1986 and three short underwater lines commissioned from 2002 to 2010. Additionally, there are seven High-Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC)-HVDC-HVAC back-to-back converter stations along the eastern-western interconnect boundary from Montana to New Mexico. Five of these were built between 1977 and 1988 and two were added in 2003–2005. While HVDC has not been a significant part of U.S. grid development since the 1970 and 1980s, several large HVDC projects to deliver renewable generation to load centers are in various phases of planning and construction.

In addition to planning and siting challenges, cost is a critical barrier to widespread adoption and deployment of HVDC systems. Currently, HVDC system cost is driven by the converter substation given its increased complexity compared to HVAC systems. This FOA aims to address this barrier by investing in innovative solutions to reduce the cost of HVDC VSC technology. 

Reference the full DOE solicitation for complete details.

Deadlines

CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST November 1, 2023

DOE Concept Paper Deadline: 3:00pm MST November 14, 2023  

DOE Application Deadline: 9:59pm MST February 5, 2024

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Concept Paper (4 pages maximum): Provide: 1) the names all team member organizations, 2) the project location(s), 3) any statements regarding confidentiality, 4) the proposed technology description (as detailed in the DOE solicitation); and 5) the community benefits plan addressing three core elements: advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA); contributing to energy equity; and investing in America’s workforce.
  • Lead PI Curriculum Vitae
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required. Applicants must include the source of cost-share/matching funds in this budget overview and received verbal commitments of matching support.

To access the online application, visit: https://cuboulderovcr.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/6917/home

Eligibility

EERE will accept only new applications under this FOA. EERE will not consider applications for renewals of existing EERE-funded awards through this FOA. See the full solicitation for eligibility details.

Limited Submission Guidelines

An entity may submit only one Concept Paper and one Full Application.

Award Information

Ceiling: $3.3M

Floor: $2.5M

Period of Performance: 2-3 years

Anticipated Number of Awards: 3-4

The cost share must be at least 20% of the total project costs for research and development projects.  The cost share must come from non-federal sources unless otherwise allowed by law.