DOE announces funding opportunities for clean coal plants

Published on April 16, 2019 by Dave Kovaleski

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced new investments to develop coal plants of the future that will provide secure, stable, reliable power with near zero emissions.

Through its Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, and Transformative) initiative, the DOE is supporting research and development (R&D) projects that will help develop plants that are capable of flexible operations to meet the needs of the grid and have near zero emissions with carbon dioxide (CO2) capture.

“Coal is an abundant, affordable, resilient, and reliable energy source that, through innovation, will continue to be an important part of the U.S. portfolio for decades to come,” Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes said. “The Department’s Coal FIRST initiative is helping the Nation secure its domestic power supply by developing plants that are not only more reliable, resilient, efficient, and near zero emissions, but that can adapt to the changing electrical grid.”

The DOE will make available up to approximately $100 million in federal funding for cost-shared R&D projects that focus on developing the critical components required by Coal FIRST systems. The funding opportunity will be issued in August or September 2019.

“The Coal FIRST initiative will integrate early-stage R&D on power plant components with currently available technologies into a first-of-a-kind system,” Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg said. “Through innovative technologies and advanced approaches to design and manufacturing, the initiative will look beyond today’s utility-scale power plant concepts (e.g., base-load units) in ways that integrate with the electrical grid in the United States and internationally.”

DOE also selected 13 projects to receive approximately $1.95M in federal funding for conceptual designs under the request for proposals for Coal-Based Power Plants of the Future. The awards went to 8 Rivers Capital LLC (Durham, North Carolina); Allegheny Science & Technology (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania); Barr Engineering Co. (Minneapolis, Minnesota); CONSOL Pennsylvania Coal Company (Canonsburg, Pennsylvania); Constantem Technologies (Pensacola, Florida); Echogen Power Systems (Akron, Ohio); Electric Power Research Institute (Palo Alto, California); Hydrogen Energy California (Concord, Massachusetts); Nexant Inc. (San Francisco, California); Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri); and Wormser Energy Solutions Inc. (Lancaster, Massachusetts).