DOE selects 13 developing cleaner coal-fired R&D projects for nearly $2M funding

Building on President Trump’s campaign promises to help the coal industry, the Energy Department announced Friday it would invest about $1.95 million in funding for 13 companies developing concepts around smarter, cleaner and smaller coal-fired plant innovations.

The Coal FIRST (an acronym for Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small and Transformative) initiative is a DOE mission to develop coal-fired plants of the future. The research and development must focus on smaller scale, technically advanced coal generation that utilizes carbon capture to limit emissions to near zero.

“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,” said Undersecretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “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 National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage the projects.Participants include: 8 Rivers Capital LLC (Durham, North Carolina) —$149,147; Allegheny Science & Technology (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) — $149,998; Barr Engineering Co. (Minneapolis, Minnesota) — Concept 1: $150,000; CONSOL Pennsylvania Coal Company (Canonsburg, Pennsylvania) —$147,000; Constantem Technologies (Pensacola, Florida) —$150,000; Echogen Power Systems (Akron, Ohio) —$150,000; Electric Power Research Institute (Palo Alto, California) —$150,000; Hydrogen Energy California (Concord, Massachusetts) —$150,000; Nexant Inc. (San Francisco, California) —$150,000; Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri) —$150,000; Wormser Energy Solutions Inc. (Lancaster, Massachusetts) —$150,000.

The DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy will issue a notice of intent for the new funding opportunity later this year. It includes close to $100 million available to selected, cost-shared R&D projects focused on the components required by Coal FIRST.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and

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The Future of Coal-Fired Generation will be one of the content tracks offered at POWERGEN International happening Nov. 19-21 in New Orleans. Subjects of sessions will include cycling and carbon capture, among others. 




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