The Trump Administration’s Department of Energy announced $64 million in federal funding Friday to help prospective coal-fired power plants become smaller, less expensive and more environmentally friendly.
DOE Secretary Dan Brouillette touted the funding for cost-shared research and development projects for the Coal FIRST Power Plants of the Future program. Coal currently generates about 27 percent of the nation’s electricity mix but utilities are retiring plants–and not building new ones–amidst concerns over economic viability and carbon emissions.
“Coal is a critical resource for grid stability that will be used in developing countries around the world well into the future as they build their economies,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “Investing in R&D for cleaner coal technologies will allow us to develop the next generation of coal plants for countries to use this valuable natural resource in an environmentally responsible manner.”
DOE’s Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, Transformative) initiative will develop the potential coal plant of the future for the U.S. grid. DOE will solicit cost-shared projects focused on developing the critical components required by Coal FIRST and transformational coal-fired systems.
“The evolving U.S. energy mix requires cleaner, more reliable, and highly efficient plants,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg. “Technologies developed for the Coal FIRST initiative will lead to just that—reliable, highly efficient plants with zero or near-zero emissions.”
The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the projects supporting Coal FIRST, which is a joint initiative among the Office of Fossil Energy’s Transformative Power Generation, Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Technology, Advanced Turbines, Gasification Systems, and Carbon Capture research programs.
The FOA focuses on seven areas of interest (AOIs):
AOI 1: Pressurized Fluidized Bed Combustor with Supercritical Steam Cycle Power Plant System
Projects developed under this AOI will support a system based on pressurized fluidized bed combustion within a supercritical steam power plant that operates at an elevated pressure to enhance combustion with the capability of co-firing with natural gas or biomass. Specific critical components of interest include projects pertaining to the pressurized post-combustion capture sub-system and integrated energy storage sub-system.
AOI 2: Indirect Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Power Plant System
Projects under this AOI will support the commercialization of the indirect supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power plant system, which delivers compactness, efficiency, modular construction, and operational flexibility. This combination has the potential to allow better competitiveness in the future energy market. Specific critical components of interest include the coal-fired primary heater sub-system, sCO2 turbine seals and bearings, and the integrated energy storage sub-system.
AOI 3: Direct-Fired Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Power Plant System
Projects under this AOI will support the commercialization of the direct-fired sCO2 power plant system, which has the potential to produce electricity at a lower cost than current state-of-the-art natural gas- and coal-fired systems. Specific critical components of interest include the syngas oxy-combustor and the sCO2 turbine.
AOI 4: Gasification-Based Poly-Generation
Projects under this AOI will support the commercialization of critical components for a gasification-based, poly-generation system, which leverages an innovative application of largely established technology components to design and develop a coal-based, poly-generation system that contributes to the modern bulk power system. Specific critical components of interest include the pre-combustion capture sub-system and the devolatilizer/gasification subsystem.
AOI 5: Coal-Fired Direct Injection Combustion Engine & Gas Turbine Compound Reheat Combined Cycle Power Plant System
Projects under this AOI will support the commercialization of critical components for a coal-fired direct injection combustion engine and gas turbine compound reheat combined cycle power plant system. Specific critical components of interest include the micronized refined coal production subsystem and the direct injection combustion engine.
AOI 6: Modular Staged Pressurized Oxy-Combustion Power Plant System
Projects under this AOI will support the commercialization of critical components for a modular staged pressurized oxy-combustion power plant system, which is a near-zero emissions source of coal-fired power with high efficiency and flexibility. Specific critical components of interest include the integrated staged pressurized oxy-combustion subsystem and direct contact coolers.
AOI 7: Flameless Pressurized Oxy-Combustion Power Plant System
Projects under this AOI will support the commercialization of critical components for a flameless pressurized oxy-combustion (FPO) power plant system. DOE seeks R&D to design and test the operability and performance of the integrated FPO system.
DOE anticipates selecting up to 14 projects under this FOA. Read more details HERE.
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The Future of Coal-fired Generation will be one of the content tracks offered at POWERGEN International happening December 8-10 in Orlando. The POWERGEN 2020 call for abstracts is now open and seeking submissions on new coal-fired and clean coal technologies.
Former U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry will be one of the keynote speakers at POWERGEN 2020.