Skip to Content

Notice

Nationwide Categorical Waivers Under Section 1605 (Buy American) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act)

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

ACTION:

Notice of Limited Waivers.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is hereby granting a nationwide limited waiver of the Buy American requirements of section 1605 of the Recovery Act under the authority of Section 1605(b)(2), (iron, steel, and the relevant manufactured goods are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality), with respect to: (1) 400 to 750 watt micro hydro-turbines meeting the specifications detailed below; (2) Oil fired direct vent space heaters for use in buildings that do not have ducts or piping for boiler heating systems; (3) ENERGY STAR rated electric heat pump water heaters and ENERGY STAR rated through-the-wall air conditioners; (4) Grid tied solar inverters of 800W or less, for applications where the panels generate 139VDC or less (not including micro-inverters); (5) 50 hp TEFC inverter duty motors for use in an existing Marley cooling tower; (6) Geothermal heat pumps for demonstration scale waste heat geothermal systems that allow the direct use of untreated wastewater to heat and cool commercial buildings; (7) Point to point/point to multi-point electronic broadband microwave radio systems with alignment tone and IE browser interface; (8) LED luminaires for roadway illumination with customized filter application to meet specific lighting requirements of Mauna Kea observatory; (9) Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) compressors, able to provide 3600 psi (248 bar) temperature compensated CNG supply to fast fill storage and fueling dispensers, efficient and adaptable to a small fleet (approximately 5 vehicles), as well as the wireless remote shut down controls (transmitters and receivers) for those CNG systems; (10) 8000W solar inverters for use with U.S. manufactured 315W panels; (11) Electronically commutated motor (ECM) type inline pumps; and (12) Inverters that permit optimal output of four (4) or more types of modules per array connected to inverter that will be used on eligible EERE-Recovery Act funded projects.

DATES:

Effective April 15, 2011.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Benjamin Goldstein, Energy Technology Program Specialist, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), (202) 287-1553, Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Mailstop EE-2K, Washington, DC 20585.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under the authority of the Recovery Act, Public Law 111-5, section 1605(b)(2), the head of a federal department or agency may issue a “determination of inapplicability” (a waiver of the Buy Start Printed Page 30147American provision) if the iron, steel, or relevant manufactured good is not produced or manufactured in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality (“nonavailability”). On September 17, 2010, the authority of the Secretary of Energy to make all inapplicability determinations was re-delegated to the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), for EERE projects under the Recovery Act. Pursuant to this delegation the Assistant Secretary, EERE, has concluded that: (1) 400 to 750 watt micro hydro-turbines meeting the specifications detailed below; (2) Oil fired direct vent space heaters for use in buildings that do not have ducts or piping for boiler heating systems; (3) ENERGY STAR rated electric heat pump water heaters and ENERGY STAR rated through-the-wall air conditioners; (4) Grid tied solar inverters of 800W or less, for applications where the panels generate 139VDC or less (not including micro-inverters); (5) 50 hp TEFC inverter duty motors for use in an existing Marley cooling tower; (6) Geothermal heat pumps for demonstration scale waste heat geothermal systems that allow the direct use of untreated wastewater to heat and cool commercial buildings; (7) Point to point/point to multi-point electronic broadband microwave radio systems with alignment tone and IE browser interface; (8) LED luminaires for roadway illumination with customized filter application to meet specific lighting requirements of Mauna Kea observatory; (9) Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) compressors, able to provide 3600 psi (248 bar) temperature compensated CNG supply to fast fill storage and fueling dispensers, efficient and adaptable to a small fleet (approximately 5 vehicles), as well as the wireless remote shut down controls (transmitters and receivers) for those CNG systems; (10) 8000W solar inverters for use with U.S. manufactured 315W panels; (11) Electronically commutated motor (ECM) type inline pumps; and (12) Inverters that permit optimal output of four (4) or more types of modules per array connected to inverter that will be used on eligible EERE-Recovery Act funded projects qualify for the “nonavailability” waiver determination.

EERE has developed a rigorous process to ascertain in a systematic and expedient manner whether or not there is domestic manufacturing capacity for the items submitted for a waiver of the Recovery Act Buy American provision. This process involves a close collaboration with the United States Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), in order to scour the domestic manufacturing landscape in search of producers before making any nonavailability determination.

The MEP has 59 regional centers with substantial knowledge of, and connections to, the domestic manufacturing sector. MEP uses their regional centers to “scout” for current or potential manufacturers of the product(s) submitted in a waiver request. In the course of this interagency collaboration, MEP has been able to find exact or partial matches for manufactured goods that EERE grantees had been unable to locate. As a result, in those cases, EERE was able to work with the grantees to procure American-made products rather than granting a waiver.

Upon receipt of completed waiver requests for the twelve products in the current waiver, EERE reviewed the information provided and submitted the relevant technical information to the NIST MEP. The MEP then used their network of nationwide centers to scout for domestic manufacturers. The MEP reported that their scouting process did not locate any domestic manufacturers for the exact items needed to meet the product specifications required by the EERE grant recipient.

In addition to the MEP collaboration outlined above, the EERE Buy American Coordinator worked with labor unions, trade associations and other manufacturing stakeholders to scout for domestic manufacturing capacity or an equivalent product for each item contained in this waiver. EERE also conducted significant amounts of independent research to supplement MEP's scouting efforts, including utilizing technology experts employed by the Department of Energy or the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. EERE's research efforts confirmed the MEP findings that the goods included in this waiver are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality.

The nonavailability determination is also informed by the numerous inquiries to EERE from recipients of EERE Recovery Act funds, and from suppliers, distributors, retailers and trade associations—all stating that their individual efforts to locate domestic manufacturers have been unsuccessful.

Having established a proper justification based on domestic nonavailability, EERE hereby provides notice that on March 21, 2011, twelve nationwide categorical waivers of section 1605 of the Recovery Act were issued as detailed supra. This notice constitutes the detailed written justification required by Section 1605(c) for waivers based on a finding under subsection (b).

This waiver determination is pursuant to the delegation of authority by the Secretary of Energy to the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy with respect to expenditures within the purview of her responsibility. Consequently, this waiver applies to all EERE projects carried out under the Recovery Act.

Start Authority

Authority: Pub. L. 111-5, section 1605.

End Authority Start Signature

Issued in Washington, DC, on April 15, 2011.

Henry Kelly,

Acting Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2011-12719 Filed 5-23-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6450-01-P