ARPA-E Archived Funding Opportunities

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  DE-FOA-0001952 Support Grants for Participation in ARPA-E Grid Optimization (GO) Competition Challenge 1 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) 9/7/2018 09:30 AM ET

DE-FOA-0001952: Support Grants for Participation in ARPA-E Grid Optimization (GO) Competition Challenge 1

The purpose of this FOA is to fund research and development of solution techniques that will be used by awardees to compete in Challenge 1 of the Grid Optimization (GO) Competition. The GO Competition is a series of prize challenges to accelerate the development and comprehensive evaluation of grid software solutions.[1] The first GO Competition, Challenge 1, is an algorithm competition focused on the security-constrained optimal power flow (SCOPF) problem for the electric power sector. Awardees under this FOA will be required to participate in Challenge 1. As described in detail in Appendix A1 to this FOA and on the GO Competition website (, Challenge 1 is anticipated to launch in the Fall of 2018. Participation in the GO Competition Challenge 1 will be open to anyone that satisfies the applicable requirements in Rules Document specified on the GO Competition website (, not just those awarded under ARPA-E DE-FOA-0001952.

The purpose of this FOA is to provide grants: (i) to further incentivize and identify innovative research for solution methods applicable to Challenge 1, and (ii) to enable broader diversity in team domain expertise, i.e., to encourage teams to participate that do not traditionally focus on the particular problems that are targeted but otherwise have innovative approaches for this class of mathematical programs. While Challenge 1 focuses on a power systems problem, the Challenge and this FOA target a much broader audience (e.g., those specialized in operations research, applied mathematics, optimization methods and algorithms, controls etc.).

Existing grid software was designed for a power grid centered on conventional generation and transmission technologies. Recent years have seen major developments in new types of resources including distributed energy resources (DER), intermittent resources (wind and solar), and storage. Such emerging technologies have unique characteristics distinct from conventional resources. Emerging technologies face a prohibitive barrier within large-scale grid operations as the existing software support systems do not acknowledge these unique characteristics with the same level of accuracy and efficiency with which they capture conventional resources. As a consequence, this existing software paradigm does not allow for these assets to be used to their full potential. Furthermore, the ever-increasing emphasis on grid resilience demands innovative management of a more diverse resource portfolio, which existing grid software is not equipped to handle without overly simplifying assumptions. Simply put, in order to improve grid resiliency, the power industry must significantly advance grid software. Innovation is needed regarding the underlying simulation, optimization, and control methods in order to enable increased grid flexibility, reliability, and resilience while also substantially reducing the costs of integrating emerging technologies and resources into the electric power system.

To this end, ARPA-E has set a goal: new modern and innovative grid software to achieve a modern grid. ARPA-E is targeting key areas for innovation in grid software including, but not limited to, optimal utilization of conventional and emerging grid technologies, management of dynamic operations of the grid (including extreme event response and restoration), and management of millions of emerging distributed energy resources.

This broader effort begins with the launch of the Grid Optimization (GO) Competition. If successful, the GO Competition will accelerate the development of transformational and disruptive methods for solving problems related to the electric power grid and to provide a transparent, fair, and comprehensive evaluation of new solution methods. The GO Competition is aimed at overhauling and modernizing grid software and will be structured as multiple challenges, the first of which is expected to begin in the fall of 2018.

Each challenge in the GO Competition will culminate in a Final Event to evaluate the performance, speed, and efficiency of each Entrant’s approach on standardized, realistic datasets in a controlled environment. After each final event, winners will be announced and awards provided. Entrants can enter as “Open Entrants” and can register and submit their programs (i.e., algorithmic approaches) or “Proposal Entrants” who will be provided grants under this FOA to develop their algorithmic approach for submission to Challenge 1. The GO Competition will incentivize entrepreneurial efforts that align with ARPA-E’s mission to innovate in grid software. The algorithms and software solutions submitted to the GO Competition will supplement ARPA-E efforts to break down barriers to empower widespread, fast adoption of emerging grid technologies with the goal of saving billions of dollars in an energy sector with revenues reaching close to $400B per year.[2] In addition to introducing the GO Competition, this FOA provides details for potential Proposal Entrants (also referred to as “awardees” in this FOA) to apply for grants to prepare for and participate in the GO Competition Challenge 1 (see Appendix A1 for more information).

[1] See

[2] Energy Information Administration, “Revenue from Sales of Electricity to Ultimate Customers,”


  • Support Grants for Participation in ARPA-E GO Competition Challenge 1 FOA Document (Last Updated: 7/24/2018 03:07 PM ET)

Application Forms and Templates

The following forms and templates may be used as part of the application submission. Note that these forms and templates do not necessarily constitute all the documents required for a complete application. Please refer to the 'Application and Submission Information' of the published announcement to learn more about the required application content requirements.

View Application Forms and Templates

Full Application

  • GO Competition: Challenge 1 Technical Volume Template (Last Updated: 7/24/2018 10:52 AM ET)
  • SF-424 (Last Updated: 7/24/2018 10:46 AM ET)
  • SF-424A (Last Updated: 7/24/2018 10:46 AM ET)
  • Business Assurances & Disclosures Form - Template (Last Updated: 7/24/2018 10:47 AM ET)
  • Business Assurances & Disclosures Form - Sample (Last Updated: 7/24/2018 02:52 PM ET)

Contact Information

    Please contact the email address above for questions regarding ARPA-E’s online application portal, ARPA-E eXCHANGE.
    Please contact the email address above for questions regarding Funding Opportunity Announcements. ARPA-E will post responses on a weekly basis to any questions that are received. ARPA-E may re-phrase questions or consolidate similar questions for administrative purposes.

Submission Deadlines

  • Full Application Submission Deadline: 9/7/2018 9:30 AM ET