42 U.S. Code § 18632 - Energy Innovation Hubs

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(a) DefinitionsIn this section:
(1) Advanced energy technologyThe term “advanced energy technology” means—
(A) an innovative technology—
(i)
that produces energy from solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, tidal, wave, ocean, or other renewable energy resources;
(ii)
that produces nuclear energy;
(iii)
for carbon capture and sequestration;
(iv)
that enables advanced vehicles, vehicle components, and related technologies that result in significant energy savings;
(v)
that generates, transmits, distributes, uses, or stores energy more efficiently than conventional technologies, including through Smart Grid technologies; or
(vi)
that enhances the energy independence and security of the United States by enabling improved or expanded supply and production of domestic energy resources, including coal, oil, and natural gas;
(B)
a research, development, demonstration, or commercial application activity necessary to ensure the long-term, secure, and sustainable supply of an energy-critical element; or
(C)
any other innovative energy technology area identified by the Secretary.
(2) Hub
(A) In general

The term “Hub” means an Energy Innovation Hub established under this section.

(B) Inclusion

The term “Hub” includes any Energy Innovation Hub in existence on September 28, 2018.

(3) Qualifying entityThe term “qualifying entity” means—
(A)
an institution of higher education;
(B)
an appropriate State or Federal entity, including a federally funded research and development center of the Department;
(C)
a nongovernmental organization with expertise in advanced energy technology research, development, demonstration, or commercial application; or
(D)
any other relevant entity the Secretary determines appropriate.
(b) Authorization of program
(1) In general

The Secretary shall carry out a program to enhance the economic, environmental, and energy security of the United States by making awards to consortia for establishing and operating hubs, to be known as “Energy Innovation Hubs”, to conduct and support, at, if practicable, one centralized location, multidisciplinary, collaborative research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of advanced energy technologies.

(2) Technology development focus

The Secretary shall designate for each Hub a unique advanced energy technology or basic research focus.

(3) CoordinationThe Secretary shall ensure the coordination of, and avoid unnecessary duplication of, the activities of each Hub with the activities of—
(A)
other research entities of the Department, including the National Laboratories, the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy, and Energy Frontier Research Centers; and
(B)
industry.
(c) Application process
(1) EligibilityTo be eligible to receive an award for the establishment and operation of a Hub under subsection (b)(1), a consortium shall—
(A)
be composed of not fewer than two qualifying entities;
(B) operate subject to a binding agreement, entered into by each member of the consortium, that documents—
(i)
the proposed partnership agreement, including the governance and management structure of the Hub;
(ii)
measures the consortium will undertake to enable cost-effective implementation of activities under the program described in subsection (b)(1); and
(iii)
a proposed budget, including financial contributions from non-Federal sources; and
(C)
operate as a nonprofit organization.
(2) Application
(A) In general

A consortium seeking to establish and operate a Hub under subsection (b)(1) shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including a detailed description of each element of the consortium agreement required under paragraph (1)(B).

(B) Requirement

If the consortium members will not be located at one centralized location, the application under subparagraph (A) shall include a communications plan that ensures close coordination and integration of Hub activities.

(3) Selection
(A) In general

The Secretary shall select consortia for awards for the establishment and operation of Hubs through a competitive selection process.

(B) ConsiderationsIn selecting consortia under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consider—
(i)
the information disclosed by the consortium under this subsection; and
(ii)
any existing facilities a consortium will provide for Hub activities.
(d) Term
(1) In general

An award made to a Hub under this section shall be for a period of not more than 5 years, subject to the availability of appropriations, after which the award may be renewed, subject to a rigorous merit review.

(2) Existing HubsA Hub already in existence on, or undergoing a renewal process on, September 28, 2018
(A)
may continue to receive support during the 5-year period beginning on the date of establishment of that Hub; and
(B)
shall be eligible for renewal of that support at the end of that 5-year period.
(e) Hub operations
(1) In general

Each Hub shall conduct or provide for multidisciplinary, collaborative research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of advanced energy technologies within the technology development focus designated under subsection (b)(2).

(2) ActivitiesEach Hub shall—
(A)
encourage collaboration and communication among the member qualifying entities of the consortium and awardees;
(B)
develop and publish proposed plans and programs on a publicly accessible website;
(C) submit an annual report to the Department summarizing the activities of the Hub, including—
(i)
detailing organizational expenditures; and
(ii)
describing each project undertaken by the Hub; and
(D)
monitor project implementation and coordination.
(3) Conflicts of interest

Each Hub shall maintain conflict of interest procedures, consistent with the conflict of interest procedures of the Department.

(4) Prohibition on construction
(A) In generalExcept as provided in subparagraph (B)—
(i)
no funds provided under this section may be used for construction of new buildings or facilities for Hubs; and
(ii)
construction of new buildings or facilities shall not be considered as part of the non-Federal share of a Hub cost-sharing agreement.
(B) Test bed and renovation exception

Nothing in this paragraph prohibits the use of funds provided under this section or non-Federal cost share funds for the construction of a test bed or renovations to existing buildings or facilities for the purposes of research if the Secretary determines that the test bed or renovations are limited to a scope and scale necessary for the research to be conducted.