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The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and NETL have selected seven Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, Transformative) conceptual designs to receive $7 million and proceed with preliminary front-end engineering design (pre-FEED) studies. These designs have been selected from 13 conceptual design studies that were completed by 11 different recipients as part of the first phase of the effort. The DOE selected the designs as a part of its Coal FIRST initiative, which seeks to advance coal power generation beyond today’s state-of-the-art capabilities and make coal-fired power plants better adapted to the evolving electrical grid. Research and development resulting from this initiative will underpin coal-fired power plants that are capable of flexible operations to meet the needs of the evolving grid, use innovative cutting-edge components that improve efficiency and reduce emissions, provide resilient power to Americans, are small compared to today’s conventional utility-scale coal, and will transform how coal technologies are designed and manufactured.
FOA Announcement
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and NETL have selected 17 projects to receive approximately $39 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development under funding opportunity announcement Improving Efficiency, Reliability, and Flexibility of Existing Coal-Based Power Plants.
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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL have announced today investments for the Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, and Transformative) initiative, which aims to develop coal plants of the future that will provide secure, stable, reliable power with near zero emissions.  “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 Under Secretary 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.” Under the Coal FIRST initiative, DOE is supporting research and development (R&D) projects that will help develop plants that:
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has issued a request for proposal (RFP) seeking conceptual designs for coal-based power plants of the future, with an option to conduct preliminary front-end engineering design (Pre-FEED) studies.  This RFP is in support of the Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, Transformative) initiative, which will develop the coal plants of the future needed to provide secure, stable, and reliable power.  As previously announced, this RFP and subsequent competitively-awarded research and development (R&D) opportunities will develop technologies that underpin coal-fired power plants that:
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) announced its intent to fund competitive research and development (R&D) efforts in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 that will advance first-of-a-kind coal generation technologies.  This effort—the Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, Transformative) initiative—will develop the coal plant of the future needed to provide secure, stable, and reliable power.  This R&D will underpin coal-fired power plants that are capable of flexible operations to meet the needs of the grid; use innovative and cutting-edge components that improve efficiency and reduce emissions; provide resilient power to Americans; are small compared to today’s conventional utility-scale coal; and will transform how coal technologies are designed and manufactured. 
The eXtremeMAT team met Oct. 18, 2018, in Columbus, OH to review research plans and progress
Fossil energy transformational power technologies like ultra-supercritical steam plants and supercritical carbon-dioxide power have the potential to increase efficiencies and bolster clean coal efforts because they operate at higher temperatures and pressures. However, this leads to harsher and more corrosive conditions compared to traditional power plants. Furthermore, today’s current fleet of fossil power plants are increasingly being subjected to cycling conditions due to the penetration of renewable energy sources onto the electricity grid. These plants were designed for baseload operations, and the changing of plant temperature and pressures during cycling adds stress to the materials of construction, which may cause premature failure of components in service. Thus, the materials of construction are being subjected to more “extreme” operating environments. Accelerating the development of improved steels, superalloys and other advanced alloys is of paramount importance in deploying materials solutions to address materials challenges associated with both the existing fleet and future power systems.
NETL News
Two NETL Research Associates recently earned their Ph.Ds. as part of the Lab’s Science Education Research Programs, which are offered through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. Jarret Riley and William “Trey” Benincosa successfully defended doctoral theses that consisted of research performed entirely during their time at NETL, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Combustion Program. "Jarrett Riley, Ph.D. with his mentor Ranjani Siriwardane, Ph.D." “Defending a thesis is like the reveal of a sculpture,” said Riley. “You as the researcher and student have turned an arbitrary idea into a materialized, refined and polished product.”
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has selected three additional projects to receive approximately $3.3 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development. These projects are supported through the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001728, Advanced Combustion Systems: Existing Plant Improvements and Transformational Technologies. These projects, selected as part of FE’s Advanced Energy Systems program, will enable cost-competitive, coal-based power-generation systems. The selected projects will further the expanded use of coal, while also achieving near-zero pollutant emissions and improving the near- and long-term economics of these systems. The three new selections join nine other projects under this FOA that were chosen by FE in October 2017 to receive approximately $12 million. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage these additional projects described below:
NETL NEWS
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have selected nine projects to receive approximately $12 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects. These projects aim to address critical technology gaps and develop transformational advanced combustion system technologies that will improve the efficiency and reliability of existing power plants. These projects were selected as part of the Advanced Combustion Systems (ACS) Program through the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001728, Advanced Combustion Systems: Existing Plant Improvements and Transformational Technologies. By making substantial progress toward enabling cost-competitive, coal-based power-generation systems, the selected projects will enable the expanded use of coal, while also meeting the goal of achieving near-zero pollutant emissions and improving the near and long term economics of the systems. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the projects, which fall under two areas of interest and are described below.