This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites applications to be submitted for applied R&D to resolve scientific and technological issues toward the successful design of an FPP. The proposed FPP should demonstrate a significant amount of net-fusion electricity (e.g., >50 MWe) for more than three continuous hours with a timely path to one full-power year, at a total capital cost that can attract private funding.
Applications should propose a series of milestones toward realizing an FPP. Within 18 months of award, the initial project deliverables are FPP preconceptual designs and technology roadmaps. A conceptual design of an FPP leading to preliminary and final engineering designs will be required. A preconceptual design would need to address the same issues as the conceptual design but at lower levels of fidelity and with greater uncertainties. A technology roadmap identifies in detail the required critical-path R&D, including any intermediate test facilities, and focuses on the advances required for a particular FPP conceptual design.
Each application should select one of two tiers as described below. Applicants may submit a single application to one of the tiers, or a separate application to each tier, with the understanding that at most, one application per lead entity may be selected for award negotiations.
Tier 1: Applications shall articulate a plausible path and proposed milestones leading to a successful preliminary design review (PDR), by the late 2020s, of an FPP that can begin operations by the early 2030s. Significant commitment of non-federal resources is expected for all Tier 1 applications, i.e., a majority of the total project cost.
Tier 2: Applications shall articulate a plausible path and proposed milestones leading to a significant improvement, as defined quantitatively by the applicant, in the fusion performance (including the physics basis and required enabling materials/technologies) of their proposed FPP concept by the mid/late 2020s. Applications shall further describe how the improved performance may lead to a successful PDR, by the early 2030s, of an FPP that can begin operations by the late 2030s. Significant commitment of non-federal resources is expected, i.e., a majority of the total project cost, although lower fractions greater than or equal to 20% may be considered for awards made under an expenditure-based Technology Investment Agreement (TIA).
DOE anticipates awarding between three and five awards of between $5 million and $25 million as Other Transactions (OT) agreements via TIAs. Funding for subsequent milestones up to a total period of five years will be contingent upon meeting early milestones and the availability of appropriated funding to continue this program in FY 2024 and beyond.
A pre-application is required. The submission deadline for pre-applications is October 20, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. ET. The pre-application response date is November 3, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The submission deadline for applications is December 15, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. ET.