Finding the Resources to Assist EERE’s Diverse Range of Grantees

clock July 20, 2012 15:43 by author Bulletin Board
Government regulations for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) grants can be overwhelming for new grantees, and this problem can be magnified when there is a language barrier involved. This was the case in a Spanish speaking U.S. territory. Although the Technical Project Officer (TPO) was well qualified to monitor the project, it became clear during a site visit that something was getting lost in translation. [More]

Trends in RDD&D Monitoring

clock May 6, 2011 16:41 by author Bulletin Board
EERE RDD&D project officers submit standard desktop review reports delineating the quarterly outcomes of Recovery Act awards, as outlined in a previous post. Submissions for the Second Quarter of Fiscal Year 2011 began May 2, so we’d like to provide our readers with a look back at the results of the previous two quarters of reporting. Headquarters received all expected RDD&D desktop review reports for Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2010 and First Quarter Fiscal Year 2011 (over 700). Our analysis of the data indicates the vast majority of projects are on schedule, on budget and within scope. [More]

Communication in the Monitoring Process

clock April 18, 2011 09:59 by author Bulletin Board
One Solar America Cities project proves that you don’t have to live in a sunny state like California, Nevada, or Arizona to save on fuel costs by harvesting energy from the sun. The challenges its planners had to overcome hold valuable lessons for managers of similar projects elsewhere.

Funded by the Recovery Act, a Midwestern city has worked with EERE to install and demonstrate a solar thermal district heating system that will serve as a model for using solar energy in regions not exactly known for their sunny skies, such as the Northwest, the Midwest, and much of the East Coast. [More]

Integrating Project Results to Save Time and Money

clock April 8, 2011 17:01 by author Bulletin Board
Sometimes, a program selects a particularly reliable company for multiple awards due to its unique capabilities. One such recipient is a solar research, development, and manufacturing company that received five separate awards. While each of its five awards is stand-alone in nature, technology development efforts can complement and overlap. The complexity created by so many employees with different roles and overseeing different processes can require additional review to identify when and where these overlapped efforts can occur. [More]

Recovery Act: Saving and Creating American Jobs in Solar Research

clock April 3, 2011 21:26 by author Bulletin Board
The fast pace and dynamic nature of both business and technology present a host of challenges for project officers working in EERE’s financial assistance portfolio. Often, these challenges require project officers to dive in and apply their creativity, technical expertise, and knowledge of federal regulations to keep projects on track. [More]

Expediting the Decision Process for Awards with Stage Gate Requirements

clock March 18, 2011 11:22 by author Bulletin Board
Monitoring EERE’s financial assistance awards requires Federal Program Managers to make complex technical and financial decisions. They must do so in a way that is both deliberative yet at a pace conducive to the development and commercialization of new technologies. This is particularly challenging for Recovery Act-funded awards with stage gates – key points in a project when reviewers make decisions on whether to continue or to terminate. [More]

Reviewing Projects’ Potential to Impact the Environment

clock March 16, 2011 16:56 by author Bulletin Board
Sometimes overseeing an EERE financial assistance award means taking part in technological innovation, and sometimes it means helping the recipient navigate a complex landscape of people, technology, and regulations

An important project working to transform the market for hydrogen fuel cells in the telecommunications industry involved the installation of backup power systems at 189 different sites—which traditionally would have required 189 separate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews! This massive effort could have stalled the project. [More]

Improving Invoice Review

clock March 11, 2011 10:37 by author Bulletin Board
With an unprecedented amount of funds being disbursed under the Recovery Act, and a Presidential mandate calling for high levels of transparency and accountability, EERE program officers have increased responsibilities in monitoring project performance, ensuring quality work, and promoting best practices.

During a monitoring site visit for the recipient of a financial assistance awards under the Weatherization Assistance Program, EERE’s Project Officer identified issues with one of the recipient’s billing processes. [More]

Helping grant recipients manage effectively

clock March 4, 2011 16:00 by author Bulletin Board
While EERE project officers lead monitoring activities, the recipients themselves serve an important role by providing the data and insights that are essential to an objective, transparent monitoring process. Key recipient staff have the most immediate exposure to project developments and acutely understand the everyday challenges of turning plans into reality. Each project’s success depends on having well-tuned teams on the government and recipient sides that recognize the value of communication, financial management, and good conduct. [More]

Providing oversight to ensure Recovery Act dollars are well-spent

clock February 25, 2011 16:18 by author Bulletin Board
EERE’s project officers work with the constant challenge of balancing financial risks with opportunities to develop useful new technologies. One financial assistance recipient under the Biomass Program expressed interest in using Recovery Act funds to develop a process to produce aviation fuel using biobutanol, or similar material. During the detailed independent reviews of the proposed fuel production technology, it became clear to EERE project officers that additional investigation was needed. [More]