[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 236 (Thursday, December 9, 2010)]
[Pages 76695-76698]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-30974]

                                                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. 75, No. 236 / Thursday, December 9, 2010 / 

[[Page 76695]]


Forest Service

Request for Proposals for 2011 Woody Biomass Utilization Grant 

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Request for proposals.


SUMMARY: The Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, State and 
Private Forestry, 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 
material removed from forest restoration activities, such as 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 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 such projects 
include engineering design of a (1) woody biomass boiler for steam at a 
sawmill, (2) non-pressurized hot water system for various applications 
at a hospital or school, and (3) biomass power generation facility, or 
similar facilities. This program is aimed at helping applicants 
complete the necessary design work needed to secure public and/or 
private investment for construction. In particular, USDA Rural 
Development has established grants and loan programs that might help 
fund construction of such facilities. However, engineering design must 
be completed prior to submitting an application to this and other 
Federal, State, or private funding sources.

DATES: Tuesday, March 1, 2011.

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, Northern ID & Northwestern SD)
ATT: Dave Atkins, USDA Forest Service, Northern Region (R1), Federal 
Building, 200 East Broadway, Missoula, MT 59807, datkins@fs.fed.us, 
(406) 329-3134
Forest Service, Region 2, (CO, KS, NE, SD, & WY)
ATT: Susan Ford, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region (R2), 740 
Simms St., Golden, CO 80401-4720, sbford@fs.fed.us, (303) 275-5742
Forest Service, Region 3, (AZ & NM)
ATT: Jerry Payne, USDA Forest Service, Southwestern Region (R3), 333 
Broadway Blvd., SE., Albuquerque, NM 87102, jpayne01@fs.fed.us, (505) 
Forest Service, Region 4, (Southern ID, NV, UT, & Western WY)
ATT: Scott Bell, USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Region (R4), 
Federal Building, 324 25th St., Ogden, UT 84401-2300, sbell@fs.fed.us, 
(801) 625-5259
Forest Service, Region 5, (CA, HI, Guam and Trust Territories of the 
Pacific Islands)
ATT: Janice Gauthier, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region 
(R5), 1323 Club Drive, Vallejo, CA 95492-1110, jgauthier@fs.fed.us, 
(707) 562-8875
Forest Service, Region 6, (OR & WA)
ATT: Ron Saranich, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region (R6), 
333 SW 1st Ave., Portland, OR 97204, rsaranich@fs.fed.us, (503) 808-
Forest Service, Region 8, (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, 
TX, VA, Virgin Islands & Puerto Rico)
ATT: Tim Mersmann, USDA Forest Service, Southern Region (R8), 1720 
Peachtree Rd., NW., Atlanta, GA 30309, tmersmann@fs.fed.us, (404) 347-
Forest Service, Region 9, (CT, DL, IL, IN, IA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MO, NH, 
ATT: Lew McCreery, Northeastern Area--S&PF, 11 Campus Blvd., Suite 200, 
Newtown Square, PA 19073-3200, lmccreery@fs.fed.us, (304) 285-1538
Forest Service, Region 10, (Alaska)
ATT: Steve Patterson, USDA Forest Service, Alaska Region (R10), 3301 C 
Street, Suite 202, Anchorage, AK 99503-3956, spatterson@fs.fed.us, 
(907) 743-9451

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

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 Susan LeVan-Green, Program Manager of the Technology 
Marketing Unit, 608-231-9518, slevan@fs.fed.us.
    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 2011, 
the Agency is requesting proposals to address the nationwide challenge 
of using low-value woody biomass material to create renewable energy.
    Goals of the grant program are:
     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 
     Reduce forest management costs by increasing the value of 
biomass and other forest products generated from hazardous fuels 
reduction and forest health activities on forested lands.
     Create incentives and/or reduce business risk to increase 
use of woody biomass from our nation's forestlands for renewable energy 

[[Page 76696]]

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 percent match of the total project cost. This 
match shall be from non-Federal sources, which can include cash or in-
kind contributions.
    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 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 
    d. Central Contractor Registration (CCR). The applicant 
acknowledges the requirement that prospective awardees shall be 
registered in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database prior 
to award, during performance, and through final payment of any grant 
resulting from this solicitation. Further information can be found at 
http://www.ccr.gov. For assistance, contact the CCR Assistance Center 

2. Award Information

    Total funding anticipated for awards is $3.7 million for the 2011 
WBU program. Individual grants cannot exceed $250,000. The Federal 
government's obligation under this program is contingent upon the 
availability of 2011 appropriated funds. No legal liability on the part 
of the Government shall be incurred until funds are committed by the 
grant officer for this program to the applicant in writing. Grants can 
be for 2 years from the date of award. Written annual financial 
performance reports and semi-annual project performance reports shall 
be required and submitted to the appropriate grant officer. The grant 
funds are taxable income and a Form 1099 Miscellaneous Income will be 
sent by the U.S. Forest Service to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 
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 prior to the grant application. Only applications that 
have already completed, at minimum (a) a Comprehensive Feasibility 
Assessment of the project by qualified and credible parties, and (b) a 
Woody Biomass Resource Supply Assessment, shall be considered. These 
two reports shall be provided for evidence and demonstration of the 
viability of the project with the application in the Appendix.
    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 with clear and explicit assumptions.
     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 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 versus projected annual fuel use (i.e. a ratio usually 
exceeding 2.0:1); and
     Minimum 5-year biomass fuel pricing forecast for material 
or blend of material meeting fuel specifications delivered to project 
site (required for financial pro forma).

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). Applications not following the directions for submission shall 
be disqualified without appeal. Directions can be found at http://

[[Page 76697]]

www.fpl.fs.fed.us/tmu under Grants and Funding.
    The appropriate Forest Service region will provide a preliminary 
screen 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 or their designees. Panel 
reviewers 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, shall be submitted to the Forest Service national 
leadership, who make the final decision of the selected projects based 
on technical and financial merit and regional/national priorities.

5. Evaluation Criteria and Point System

    If a reviewer determines that a proposal meets minimum requirements 
for a criterion, half the number of points will be awarded. More points 
can be earned if the reviewer determines that a proposal exceeds the 
minimum and less if the opposite. A maximum of 200 total points can be 
earned by a proposal.


    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 once 
project is operational provides impact in geographic area appropriate 
for size of projected facility and is reasonable and substantiated. 
Total Points 15.
    e. Documentation of partnerships 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.

6. Application Information

    a. Application Submission. Applications shall be post marked by 
Tuesday, March 1, 2011, and received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, 
March 4, 2011. NO EXCEPTIONS. 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. Your 
Forest Service region is determined by the State or Forest Service 
region where the bioenergy facility will be sited. The electronic 
version submitted to the Regional Biomass Coordinator should be on a 
USB flash drive or compact disc (CD). No emails shall be accepted. 
Applications may also be submitted electronically through http://www.grants.gov.
    b. Application Format. Each submittal shall be in PDF format, with 
a minimum font size of 11 letters per inch. Top, bottom, and side 
margins shall be no less than three-quarters of an inch. All pages 
shall be clearly numbered. 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.
    c. Application Content. All forms can be found at http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/tmu under Grants and Funding.
    i. 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. The project narrative is limited to 10 
pages, and excludes Project Summary, SF 424 and SF 424A, budget summary 
justification, community benefit statement, and letters of support.
    The project narrative shall include, but is not limited to, the 
     Geographical location where project takes place, condition 
of the forestland(s), and consequences of not doing forest health 
     Current handling and disposal practices for material 
available for project.
     Proposed woody biomass bioenergy facility, markets and 
customers, amount of woody biomass that will be used on an annual 
basis, amount and type of fossil-based fuel offset and recommendations 
from the Comprehensive Feasibility Assessment.
     Various required elements of the engineering design 
analysis and bid process. The engineering design analysis shall ensure 
public safety, compliance with all relevant and applicable laws, 
regulations, agreements, permits, codes, and standards. Engineering 
services shall only be procured from qualified parties, usually 
professional engineering firms that assume responsibility and liability 
for system design. The engineering analysis must be complete, 
comprehensive, and include site selection, system and component 
selections, including emissions systems, and system monitoring 
equipment. Minimum analysis shall include: (1) Fuel specification; (2) 
equipment specification and design layout; (3) load and power analysis; 
(4) alternative scenarios with pros and cons of each and associated 
cost analysis; (5) siting requirements for each scenario; (6) 
agreements, permits and certifications necessary for each alternative; 
and (7) bid preparation.
     Brief discussion of qualifications of proposed engineering 
firm (full description of qualifications and portfolio of designs shall 
be included in Appendix 3).
     Explanation of how the project will improve efficiencies 
for harvesting or processing woody biomass into renewable energy.
     Detailed description of technologies that the engineering 
services will analyze (combustion, two-stage gasification, 
fermentation, etc.).
     Clear explanation of how the project will retain, create, 
or expand local jobs opportunities once the system is operational, how 
these jobs will be sustained, and how they will be documented for audit 
     Project work plan, including start and end dates, key 
tasks, previous

[[Page 76698]]

project feasibility studies (as appropriate), and timelines.
     Identification of individuals responsible for implementing 
and ensuring project success.
     Long-term benefits of project and the length of time the 
benefits and impacts are anticipated.
     Expansion capability, such as potential to expand the 
     Environmental documentation and permits, if applicable, 
and positive and negative environmental consequences to forested lands 
with and without project.
     Projected reduction in green house gases and water 
pollution, improvements in wildlife habitats, and adoption of new 
cleaner technologies.
     Explanation of evaluation and monitoring plans and how 
these would be implemented to evaluate degree of success.
     Description of accountability and reporting procedures to 
ensure all requirements of this grant are achieved.
    ii. Appendices.
    The following information shall be included in appendices to the 
application in addition to the Comprehensive Feasibility Assessment and 
Woody Biomass Resource Supply Assessment.
     Qualifications and Portfolio of Engineering Services: For 
the engineering systems, the project usually consists of a system 
designer, project manager, equipment supplier, project engineer, 
construction contractor of 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.
     Quotes for Professional Engineering Services Considered 
(minimum of two quotes): Rationale for selection of engineering firm, 
if already selected.
     Community Benefit Statement (maximum one page): One page 
narrative on social, environmental and economic impact and importance 
of project to community. Include substantiated facts and benefits, such 
as local employment rate, per capita income and fossil fuel impacts 
with and without the project. Letters of support from community leaders 
demonstrating on-going community collaboration, where appropriate. 
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. This information 
will not be sent forward to technical reviewers.
     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 length.
     Federal Funds: List all other Federal funds received for 
this project within the last 3 years. List agency, program name, and 
dollar amount.
     Administrative Forms: AD 1047, 1048, 1049, SF 424B and 
certificate regarding lobbying activities are standard forms that need 
to be included and are required before a grant can be awarded. These 
forms can be accessed at http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/tmu under Grants and 
    c. Application Order. Assemble information in the following order.
     Project Summary (one page limit)
     Application for Federal Assistance SF 424 and Budget 
Summary SF 424A
     Project Narrative (10 page limit)
     Budget Summary Justification in support of SF 424A (two 
page limit)
    (1) Comprehensive Feasibility Assessment.
    (2) Woody Biomass Resource Supply Assessment.
    (3) Qualifications and experience portfolio of engineering firm who 
will do engineering design work.
    (4) Quotes for professional engineering services (minimum of two 
    (5) Community Benefit Statement (maximum of one page).
    (6) Letters of support or commitment.
    (7) List of all other federal funds received for this project.
    (8) Administrative Forms (found at http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/tmu).
    (a) SF 424B Assurances.
    (b) AD 1047 Certification Regarding Debarment Primary Tier.
    (c) AD 1048 Certification Regarding Debarment Lower Tier.
    (d) AD 1049 Certification Regarding Drug Free Workplace.
    (e) Certification Regarding Lobbying.

    Dated: November 30, 2010.
Robin L. Thompson.
Associate Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry.
[FR Doc. 2010-30974 Filed 12-8-10; 8:45 am]