Air Force Offers $49M for Microgrids and Other Alternative Energy Technologies

May 14, 2018
The US Air Force is offering $49 million for research and development into microgrids and alternative energy technologies through a recently issued energy solicitation.

The US Air Force is offering $49 million for research and development into microgrids and alternative energy technologies through a recently issued energy solicitation.

Released by the Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials & Manufacturing Directorate, the solicitation offers individual awards of $100,000 to $5 million for new and emerging technologies.

Applications can be submitted any time until May 2, 2023. The Air Force anticipates making multiple awards. There is no limit to the number of awards an applicant can win.

While the funds are available for a wide range of energy projects – from air craft fuel to industrial processes – the Air Force specifically calls out microgrids and distributed energy resources that can offer energy assurance and resilience for military installations and forward operating bases.

More specifically, the Air Force seeks microgrids, microgrid optimization, energy efficiency, distributed power, energy storage, autonomous load switching, smart controllers, infrastructure enhancements, data center improvements, and modeling, monitoring and communications.

“These technologies must increase installation mission readiness by assuring power is available, being used efficiently, physically secure, cybersecure and/or can recover form incidents,” says the solicitation (Number FA8650-18-S-5008).

As a first step, applicants must submit six-page white papers that provide t a “rough order of magnitude” cost and the nature of the research. The Air Force anticipates responding to white papers within 30 days. If the paper is accepted, the applicant then provides more detailed technical and cost proposals.

Any business – whatever the size – may apply. The solicitation does not require that applicants share in costs. Contracts will generally be cost-plus fixed fee or firm-fixed price.

In addition to seeking proposals for installations and forward bases, the Air Force also is interested in alternative energy ideas for aviation, industry, expedition, ground support and security.

The solicitation is available on

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About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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