What is an M&O Contractor and what is its role?
In general, DOE competes the management and operating (M&O) contracts for its national laboratories every five years as part of DOE’s policy to ensure the greatest possible benefit to DOE and the American taxpayers.
Many national laboratories have a 5-year M&O contract, with an option to extend another 5 years—resulting in an average 10-year contract period. Some laboratories are managed differently and have different contract periods.
NREL is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). As such, NREL is owned by DOE and managed by a third party, the M&O contractor (in this case, the Alliance). NREL’s M&O contractor will operate using a cost plus award fee contract. If NREL and the M&O contractor achieve DOE’s goals, the contractor is awarded a fee from DOE.
The Alliance's M&O contractor role at NREL is to:
- Act as a strategic partner for the planning, development, and execution of energy research, development, demonstration and deployment programs.
- Develop the vision to accelerate achievement of the lab’s goals.
- Provide leadership and management to achieve the laboratory’s vision.
- Assume full responsibility for the laboratory’s mission and operational performance.