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DOE and NETL announce US$87 million for R&D projects

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World Coal,

On 10 April, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL have announced up to US$87.3 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects for advanced coal technologies and research. DOE Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg announced this R&D funding at the Annual Project Review Meeting for Crosscutting, Rare Earth Elements, Gasification, and Transformative Power Generation at the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

“Coal-fuelled power plants are a significant source of electrical power generation in the United States. The goal with these projects is to ensure that the United States can have a fleet of coal-fired power plants that provides stable power generation with operational flexibility, high efficiency, low emissions, and lower costs for consumers,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg. “By investing in this R&D, we will enable the United States to continue maximising its domestic energy resources while protecting our supply of reliable and affordable electricity.”

In 2017, coal was the second-largest energy source for electricity generation in the United States.

The R&D projects for coal-fuelled power plants and technologies will fall under five separate funding opportunity announcements (FOAs):

  • Advancing Steam Turbine Performance for Coal Boilers: this FOA seeks to improve the performance of steam-based power cycles, resulting in a lower cost of electricity with reduced emissions per megawatt-hour for coal-fuelled boilers. This FOA also includes an area of interest for conceptual engineering design for steam turbines in the 50 - 350 MW range in support of DOE’s Coal FIRST initiative. DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy’s (FE) advanced turbines program will support these projects.
    • DOE Funding: up to US$22 million.
  • Transformational Sensing Systems for Monitoring the Deep Subsurface: this FOA seeks to reduce uncertainty and enable real-time decision making associated with subsurface carbon dioxide (CO2) storage. FE’s carbon storage research programme will support these projects.
    • DOE Funding: up to US$4.8 million.
  • Crosscutting Research for Coal-Fuelled Power Plants: this FOA aims to develop innovative technologies that will enhance the performance and economics of the existing and future coal fleet—thereby lowering electricity costs for consumers. FE’s crosscutting research programme will support these projects.
    • DOE Funding: up to US$14.5 million.
  • Advanced Materials for High-Efficiency, Flexible and Reliable Coal-Fuelled Power Plants: this FOA will reduce the cost and enhance the cyclic durability of materials used in advanced ultra-supercritical power plants. These advanced materials are critical to increasing the efficiency and reliability of coal-fuelled power plants. FE’s advanced materials programme will support these projects.
    • DOE Funding: up to US$26 million.
  • Process Scale-Up and Optimisation/Efficiency Improvements for Rare Earth Elements (REE) and Critical Materials (CM) Recovery from Coal-Based Resources: this FOA will support cooperative agreements to advance the development of technologies for recovery REEs and CMs from domestic coal-based resources through both novel and conventional extraction, separation, and recovery processes. FE’s feasibility of recovering REEs programme will support these projects.
    • DOE Funding: up to US$20 million.

NETL will manage all of the selected projects.

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