The Secretary shall carry out a program, to be known as the Renewable Energy Innovation Manufacturing Partnership Program (referred to in this section as the “Program”), to make assistance awards to eligible entities for use in carrying out research, development, and demonstration relating to the manufacturing of renewable energy technologies.
To carry out the Program, the Secretary shall annually conduct a competitive solicitation for assistance awards for an eligible project described in subsection (e).
The Secretary shall establish criteria and guidelines for the submission, evaluation, and funding of proposed projects under the Program.
Section 16352 of this title shall apply to a project carried out under this section.
The Secretary may, for a period of up to 5 years after an award is granted under this section, exempt from mandatory disclosure under section 552 of title 5 (popularly known as the Freedom of Information Act) information that the Secretary determines would be a privileged or confidential trade secret or commercial or financial information under subsection (b)(4) of such section if the information had been obtained from a non-Government party.
It is the sense of the Congress that the Secretary should ensure that small businesses engaged in renewable manufacturing be given priority consideration for the assistance awards provided under this section.
There is authorized to be appropriated out of funds already authorized to carry out this section $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2013, to remain available until expended.