[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 33 (Tuesday, February 19, 2013)]
[Pages 11622-11625]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-03768]

                                                Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.


Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 33 / Tuesday, February 19, 2013 / 

[[Page 11622]]


Forest Service

Request for Proposals: 2013 Hazardous Fuels Woody Biomass 
Utilization Grant Program

AGENCY: U.S. Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Request for Proposals.


SUMMARY: The Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service, State 
and Private Forestry (S&PF), Technology Marketing Unit, located at the 
Forest Products Laboratory, requests proposals for wood energy projects 
that require engineering services. These projects will use woody 
biomass, such as material removed from forest restoration activities, 
wildfire hazardous fuel treatments, insect and disease mitigation, 
forest management due to catastrophic weather events, and/or thinning 
overstocked stands. The woody biomass shall be used in a bioenergy 
facility that uses commercially proven technologies to produce thermal, 
electrical or liquid/gaseous bioenergy. The funds from the Hazardous 
Fuels Woody Biomass Utilization Grant program (WBU) must be used to 
further the planning of such facilities by funding the engineering 
services necessary for final design and cost analysis. Examples of 
projects might include engineering design of a woody biomass boiler for 
steam at a sawmill, hospital or school; non-pressurized hot water 
system for various applications; and biomass power generation facility. 
To join in support of the public interest and general welfare, to 
protect communities and critical infrastructure, the applicants 
applying to this program seek assistance to complete the necessary 
engineering design work required to secure public and/or private 
funding for construction for developing local enterprises to better 
utilize woody biomass. An example of public funding is the USDA Rural 
Development grants and loan programs that might help fund construction 
of such facilities. The lack of a professional engineering design often 
limits the ability of an applicant or business to secure Federal, State 
or private funding.

DATES: Monday, April 8, 2013, Application Deadline.

ADDRESSES: All applications must be sent to the respective Forest 
Service Regional Office listed below for initial review. These offices 
will be the point of contact for final awards.

Forest Service Region 1, (MT, ND,    Forest Service Region 2, (CO, KS,
 Northern ID & Northwestern SD),      NE, SD, & WY), ATT: Sherry
 ATT: Angela Farr, USDA Forest        Hazelhurst, USDA Forest Service,
 Service, Northern Region (R1),       Rocky Mountain Region (R2), 740
 Federal Building, 200 East           Simms St. Golden, CO 80401-4702,
 Broadway, Missoula, MT 59807,        [email protected], (303) 275-
 [email protected], (406) 329-3521.     5750.
Forest Service Region 3, (AZ & NM),  Forest Service Region 4, (Southern
 ATT: Dennis Dwyer, USDA Forest       ID, NV, UT, & Western WY), ATT:
 Service, Southwestern Region (R3),   Scott Bell, USDA Forest Service,
 333 Broadway Blvd. SE.,              Intermountain Region (R4), Federal
 Albuquerque, NM 87102,               Building, 324 25th St., Ogden, UT
 [email protected], (505) 842-3480.    84401, [email protected], (801) 625-
Forest Service Region 5, (CA, HI,    Forest Service Region 6, (OR & WA),
 Guam and Trust Territories of the    ATT: Ron Saranich, USDA Forest
 Pacific Islands), ATT: Larry Swan,   Service, Pacific Northwest Region
 USDA Forest Service, Pacific         (R6), 333 SW 1st Ave., Portland,
 Southwest Region (R5), 1323 Club     OR 97204, [email protected],
 Drive, Vallejo, CA 95492-1110,       (503) 808-2346.
 [email protected], (707) 562-8917.
Forest Service Region 8, (AL, AR,    Forest Service Region 9, (CT, DL,
 FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC,      IL, IN, IA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN,
 TN, TX, VA, Virgin Islands &         MO, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT,
 Puerto Rico), ATT: Dan Len, USDA     WV, WI), ATT: Lew McCreery,
 Forest Service, Southern Region      Northeastern Area--S&PF, 180
 (R8), 1720 Peachtree Rd. NW.,        Canfield St., Morgantown, WV
 Atlanta, GA 30309, [email protected],   26505, [email protected], (304)
 (404) 347-4034.                      285-1538.
Forest Service Region 10, (Alaska),  ...................................
 ATT: Daniel Parrent, USDA Forest
 Service, Alaska Region (R10), 161
 East 1st Avenue, Door 8,
 Anchorage, AK 99501,
 [email protected], (907) 743-

    Detailed information regarding what to include in the application, 
definitions of terms, eligibility, and necessary prerequisites for 
consideration is available at www.fpl.fs.fed.us/tmu and at 
www.grants.gov. Paper copies of the information are also available by 
contacting the Forest Service, S&PF Technology Marketing Unit, One 
Gifford Pinchot Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53726-2398, 608-231-9504.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions regarding the grant 
application or administrative regulations, contact your appropriate 
Forest Service Regional Biomass Coordinator as listed in the addresses 
above or contact the Technology Marketing Unit, Madison, WI, (608) 231-
9504, [email protected]: Individuals who use telecommunication 
devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 
1-800-877-8339 twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year, 
including holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: To address the goals of Public Law 110-234, 
Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, Rural Revitalization 
Technologies (7 U.S.C. 6601), and the anticipated Department of the 
Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriation Act of 2013, 
the Agency is requesting proposals to address the

[[Page 11623]]

nationwide challenge of using low-value woody biomass material to 
create renewable energy and protect communities and critical 
infrastructure from wildfires.
    Goals of the grant program are to:
     Promote projects that target and help remove economic and 
market barriers to using woody biomass for renewable energy.
     Assist projects that produce renewable energy from woody 
biomass while protecting the public interest.
     Reduce the public's cost for forest restoration by 
increasing the value of biomass and other forest products generated 
from hazardous fuels reduction and forest health activities on forested 
     Create incentives and/or encourage business investment 
that uses woody biomass from our nation's forestlands for renewable 
energy projects.

Grant Requirements

1. Eligibility Information

    a. Eligible Applicants. Eligible applicants are businesses, 
companies, corporations, state, local and tribal governments, school 
districts, communities, non-profit organizations, or special purpose 
districts (e.g., public utilities districts, fire districts, 
conservation districts, or ports). Only one application per business or 
organization shall be accepted.
    b. Cost Sharing (Matching Requirement). Applicants shall 
demonstrate at least a 20% match of the total project cost. This match 
shall be from non-federal sources, which can include cash or in-kind 
    c. DUNS Number. All applicants shall include a Dun and Bradstreet, 
Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in their application. For 
this requirement, the applicant is the entity that meets the 
eligibility criteria and has the legal authority to apply for and 
receive a WBU grant. For assistance in obtaining a DUNS number at no 
cost, call the DUNS number request line (1-866-705-5711) or register 
on-line at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.
    d. System for Award Management (SAM). The applicant should be aware 
that prospective awardees shall be registered in the SAM database prior 
to award, during performance, and through final payment of any grant 
resulting from this solicitation. Further information can be found at 
www.sam.gov. For assistance, contact the SAM Assistance Center (1-866-

2. Award Information

    Total funding anticipated for awards is about $3.0 million for the 
2013 WBU program. Individual grants cannot exceed $250,000. The Federal 
government's obligation under this program is contingent upon the 
availability of 2013 appropriated funds. No legal liability on the part 
of the Government shall be incurred until appropriated funds are 
available and committed in writing through a grant award letter issued 
by the grant officer to the applicant. Grants can be for two years from 
the date of award. Written annual financial performance reports and 
semi-annual project performance reports are required and shall be 
submitted to the appropriate grant officer. A grant awarded under this 
program will generate an IRS Form 1099 Miscellaneous Income that will 
be filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and provided to the 
awardee. However, the USDA expresses no opinion on the taxability, if 
any, of the grant funds awarded. Awardees are expected to follow all 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements 
regarding safe working practices and all applicable Federal, State and 
local regulations pertinent to the proposed project.

3. Application Prerequisites

    This grant program requires that projects have had considerable 
advance work completed prior to submitting a grant application. Only 
applicants that have already completed and submitted with their 
applications: (a) A Comprehensive Feasibility Assessment of the project 
by qualified and credible parties, (b) a Woody Biomass Resource Supply 
Assessment and, (c) past three years of financial statements (balance 
sheets, income statements and cash flow analysis) shall be considered. 
Corporate annual reports will not be accepted as evidence of due 
diligence for a business. In addition, for-profit applicants, as well 
as non-profit organizations should have a Dun and Bradstreet rating 
that falls within the following categories:
    (1) Financial stress rating should be 1, 2 or 3;
    (2) Credit score should be 1, 2 or 3; and
    (3) Paydex score should be between 60 and 100 (0 being the lowest 
and 100 the highest).

For state, local and tribal governments and other governmental entities 
(school districts), appropriate sector ratings from Moody's should be 
in the range from Aaa to A. Entities with Municipal Bond rating Baa to 
Ba will be considered with reservations. Entities with Municipal Bond 
Ratings between B and C (including B, Caa, Ca, and C) will not qualify. 
The two assessments and three years of financial statements shall be 
included with the submission. The Dun and Bradstreet and Moody's 
financial ratings will be obtained by the Technology Marketing Unit for 
the review process as evidence of the financial capability of the 
applicant. Applicants will not be charged for the Dun and Bradstreet or 
Moody's reports. All financial information is kept confidential.
    a. The Comprehensive Feasibility Assessment shall address, at 
minimum, the following items:
     Economic feasibility analysis of site, labor force wages 
and availability, utilities, access and transportation systems, raw 
material feedstock needs, and overall economic impact, including job 
creation and retention, displayed by employment associated with 
operating the facility itself and supplying the facility (jobs created 
and jobs retained on a full-time equivalent basis). Also required in 
the economic analysis is a market feasibility study, including analysis 
of the market(s) for the power, heat, fuel, or other energy product 
produced, market area, marketing plans for projected output, if needed, 
extent of competition for the particular target market(s), extent of 
competition for supply and delivered costs and general characterization 
of supply availability (more detailed information is provided in the 
Woody Biomass Resource Supply Assessment section).
     Technical feasibility analysis shall include an assessment 
of the recommended renewable energy technology, what other technologies 
were considered, why the recommended renewable energy technology was 
chosen, assessment of site suitability given the recommended renewable 
energy technology, actions and costs necessary to mitigate 
environmental impacts sufficient to meet regulatory requirements, 
developmental costs, capital investment costs, operational costs, 
projected income, estimated accuracy of these costs and income 
projections, realistic sensitivity analysis with clear and explicit 
assumptions, and identification of project constraints or limitations.
     Financial feasibility analysis shall include projected 
income and cash flow for at least 36 months, description of cost 
accounting system, availability of short-term credit for operational 
phase, and pro forma financial statement with clear and explicit 
     List of personnel and teams undertaking project 
development, implementation and operations, including a clear 
description of how continuity between project phases will be 
maintained. Describe the qualification of each team member

[[Page 11624]]

including education and management experience with the same or similar 
projects, and how recently this experience occurred.
    b. The Woody Biomass Resource Supply Assessment shall provide a 
description of the available woody biomass resource supply. At a 
minimum the assessment should address the following items:
     Feedstock location and procurement area relative to the 
project site;
     Types of biomass fuel available and realistic pricing 
information based on fuel specifications required by the technology 
chosen, including explicit break-out of forest-sourced, agricultural-
sourced and urban-sourced biomass.
     Volume potentially available by ownership, fuel type and 
source of biomass supply, considering recovery rates and other factors, 
such as Federal, State and local policy and management practices;
     Volume realistically and economically available by 
ownership, fuel type and source of biomass supply, considering recovery 
rates and other factors, such as Federal, State and local policy and 
management practices;
     Detailed risk assessment of future biomass fuel supply 
including, but not limited to, impacts of potential Federal, State and 
local policy changes, availability of additional fuel types, increased 
competition for biomass resource supply and changes in transportation 
     Summary of total fuel realistically and economically 
available compared to projected annual fuel use (i.e., a ratio usually 
exceeding 2.0:1); and
     Minimum five-year biomass fuel pricing forecast for 
material or blend of material meeting fuel specifications delivered to 
project site (required for financial pro forma).
    c. Financial Statements: All applicants shall submit the last three 
years of historical financial statements (balance sheets, income 
statements, and cash flow analysis).

4. Application Evaluation

    Applications are evaluated against criteria discussed in Section 5. 
All applications shall be screened to ensure compliance with the 
administrative requirements as set forth in this Request for Proposals 
(RFP). Applicants not following the directions for submission shall be 
disqualified without appeal. Directions can be found at 
www.fpl.fs.fed.us/tmu under 2013 Woody Biomass Utilization Grant 
Program. The appropriate Forest Service region shall provide a 
preliminary review based on grant administrative requirements and 
regional priorities of environmental, social, and economic impacts. 
Each region may submit up to seven proposals for the nationwide 
competition. The nationwide competition will consist of a technical and 
financial review of the proposed project by Federal experts from 
different federal agencies, experienced in energy systems, financing 
projects, and/or forestry. Panel reviewers will independently evaluate 
each proposed project for technical and financial merit and assign a 
score using the criteria listed in Section 5. Technical and financial 
merits, along with the regional priorities, will be submitted to the 
Forest Service national leadership for final selection and 

5. Evaluation Criteria and Point System

    If a reviewer determines that a proposal meets basic requirements 
for a criterion, half the number of available points will be awarded. 
More points can be earned if the reviewer determines that a proposal 
exceeds the basic criteria and fewer if a proposal falls short of the 
basic criteria. A maximum of 225 total points can be earned by a 
    a. Required Comprehensive Feasibility Assessment is thorough and 
complete, conducted by a qualified and experienced professional team; 
and project is economically viable using relevant and accepted 
financial metrics. Total Points 30
    b. Required Woody Biomass Resource Supply Assessment conforms to 
professional standards for size and complexity of proposed facility, is 
suitable for appropriate lender or public financing review; and 
projected biomass quantity and sourcing arrangements from forested land 
management activities are clearly identified on an annual basis. Total 
Points 30
    c. Number of projected jobs created and/or retained (direct or 
indirect) when project goes in service is reasonable and substantiated. 
Total Points 15
    d. Amount and type of fossil fuel offset in therms/year and 
increased system fuel use efficiency (in percentage) once project is 
operational. Annualized fuel use efficiency for average annual system 
conditions is calculated as follows: Fuel Use efficiency = (Net BTUs 
used by processes + BTUs of electricity produced by generator) divided 
by (BTUs of inputted fuel to boiler (HHV)). Project provides impact in 
geographic area appropriate for size of projected facility and is 
reasonable and substantiated. (Note: 1 therm = 100,000 BTUs). Examples 
of typical energy efficiencies include: 1) Electricity only = 25%; 2) 
electricity plus low pressure steam for dry kilns = 45%; and 3) boiler 
processes that use backpressure turbine ahead of process = 65%. All 
calculations shall be shown. (See www.fpl.fs.fed.us/tmu under Woody 
Biomass Grant program for Btu content of wood at various moisture 
contents.) Total Points 30
    e. Documentation of collaborations and qualifications necessary for 
the development and operation of the proposed facility, including roles 
and directly relevant qualifications of Development, Engineering, 
Management, Construction, and Operations Teams or similar, are adequate 
and appropriate for project. Total Points 30
    f. Proposed engineering design components reflect accepted 
professional standards for type and complexity of proposed facility and 
are complete. Total Points 20
    g. Financial plan and sources of funding are described in detail 
for all phases of the project, including, but not limited to, 
development, construction and operations. Total Points 30
    h. Detailed description of federal, state and local environmental, 
health and safety regulatory and permitting requirements, and realistic 
projected timeline for completion are provided. Total Points 30
    i. Description of outreach efforts to maximize dissemination of 
project results and pass on lessons learned. Total Points 10

6. Application Information

    a. Application Submission. Applications shall be time stamped 
showing the time of sending by United States Postal Service or other 
commercial delivery company no later than midnight Monday, April 8, 
2013. No exceptions. If submitted through grants.gov, the date 
submitted shall be by midnight Monday, April 8, 2013. One paper copy 
and an electronic version shall be submitted to the Regional Biomass 
Coordinator of your Forest Service region, as listed previously in the 
ADDRESSES section even if submitted through grants.gov. Your Forest 
Service region is generally determined by the state in which the 
bioenergy facility is located. However, in a few instances, two Forest 
Service regions may exist in one state. Forest Service regions can be 
located at http://www.fs.fed.us/maps/products/guide-national-forests09.pdf. The electronic version submitted to the Regional Biomass 
Coordinator should be a single pdf file on a USB flash drive or compact 
disc (CD). No emails shall be accepted.

[[Page 11625]]

    Applications may also be submitted electronically through 
    b. Application Format and Content. Each submittal should be in PDF 
format. The application template form FPL-1500-4 is in word format and 
is recommended to be used. After completing the template, the document 
should be saved as a PDF format either using Adobe Acrobat or Word 
software. The template form FPL-1500-4 along with directions for 
completing can be found at the www.fpl.fs.fed.us/tmu. Paper copy shall 
be single sided on 8.5- by 11-inch plain white paper only (no colored 
paper, over-sized paper, or special covers). Do not staple. All forms 
and application template can be found at www.fpl.fs.fed.us/tmu 2013 
Hazardous Fuels Woody Biomass Utilization Grant Program.
    Outline of form FPL-1500-4 and mandatory appendices
    (1) Project Summary Sheet
    (2) Title Page
    (3) Project Narrative
    The project narrative shall provide a clear description of the work 
to be performed, impact on removing woody biomass and creating renewal 
energy (e.g., tons of biomass removed that would have otherwise been 
burned, cost savings to landowners, source of biomass removed from 
forested areas, broken-out by ownership), and how jobs will be created 
and/or retained, and sustained. Application narrative should address 
the 15 discussion areas listed on the form FPL-1500-4.
    (4) Budget Summary Justification in Support of SF 424A.
    (5) Qualifications and Summary Portfolio of Engineering Services
    For the engineering systems, the project usually consists of a 
system designer, project manager, equipment supplier, project engineer, 
construction contractor or system installer and a system operator and 
maintainer. One individual or entity may serve more than one role. The 
project team must have demonstrated expertise in similar bioenergy 
systems development, engineering, installation, and maintenance. 
Authoritative evidence that project team service providers have the 
necessary professional credentials or relevant experience to perform 
the required services must be provided. Authoritative evidence that 
vendors of proprietary components can provide necessary equipment and 
spare parts for the system to operate over its design life must also be 
provided. A list of the same or similar projects designed, installed 
and currently operating with references shall be provided along with 
appropriate contacts.
    (6) Community Benefit Statement.
    Provide a one page narrative on the social, environmental and 
economic impacts and the importance of the project to the community. 
Include substantiated facts and benefits, such as local employment 
rate, per capita income and fossil fuel impacts with and without the 
project. Include letters of support from community leaders 
demonstrating on-going community collaboration, where appropriate, in 
the appendix. Forest Service regions shall use this information to help 
evaluate regional impacts, particularly impact of job creation and 
retention as appropriate at the geographic scale for the region and how 
this grant award provides for the overall general welfare of the 
    (7) Appendices.
    The following information shall be included in the appendices and 
scanned into a single PDF file:
    a. Comprehensive Feasibility Assessment.
    b. Woody Biomass Resource Supply Assessment.
    c. Quotes for Professional Engineering Services considered (minimum 
of two quotes): Rationale for selection of engineering firm, if already 
    d. Letters of Support from Partners, Individuals, or Organizations: 
Letters of support shall be included in an appendix and are intended to 
display the degree of collaboration occurring between the different 
entities engaged in the project. These letters shall include partner 
commitments of cash or in-kind services from all those listed in the SF 
424 and SF 424A. Each letter of support is limited to one page in 
    e. Federal Funds: List all other Federal funds received for this 
project within the last three years. List agency, program name, and 
dollar amount.
    f. Miscellaneous, such as schematics.
    g. Last three years of financial statements (balance sheets, income 
statements, cash flow analysis).
    h. Administrative Forms: SF 424, SF 424A, SF 424B and AD 1047, 
1048, 1049 and certificate regarding lobbying activities are standard 
forms that shall be included in the application. These forms can be 
accessed at www.fpl.fs.fed.us/tmu under 2013 Woody Biomass Grant 

    Dated: November 2, 2012.
Victoria Christiansen,
Acting Associate Deputy Chief.
[FR Doc. 2013-03768 Filed 2-15-13; 8:45 am]