The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue a funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOS-0003023) that will boost the domestic production of large metallic near net shape (NNS) components. This FOA will impact a broad cross-section of the US manufacturing sector including clean energy generation, transportation, industrial machinery, heavy equipment, and domestic infrastructure.
There are multiple processing routes for fabricating near net shape (NNS) metallic components, including casting, forging, powder metallurgy (PM), and additive manufacturing (AM). The physical scale of the components being fabricated often pose unique technical, logistical, and economic challenges.
At present, approximately 95% of US carbon-free power generation relies on complex systems comprising large (10+ ton) near net shape (NNS) metallic components. NNS manufacturing reduces the amount of raw materials and energy used to create these components, by creating components that are close to their final or ‘net’ shape, and reduces the amount of post-processing operations that follow the manufacturing process.
However, the U.S. domestic manufacturing base currently lacks the capacity and technical capabilities to competitively produce these large-scale components. This inability directly results in a continued reliance on foreign supply chains to produce critical systems.
EERE plans to issue the FOA in or around April 2023. EERE envisions awarding multiple financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements. The estimated period of performance for each award will be approximately two to three years.