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Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy and Joe Manchin, III, U.S. Senator of West Virginia, visit NETL on June 4, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm spoke to economic development and community leaders at today’s roundtable discussion at NETL in Morgantown, West Virginia, saying that energy communities in the Mountain State and other parts of the country will not be left behind as the nation undergoes a transformation to clean energy technologies. Secretary Granholm was joined at the Energy Communities and Economy Forum by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and nearly 50 stakeholders to discuss steps the Biden Administration is taking to support communities hard hit by declines in the use of fossil resources to generate power. 
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management today announced that it has selected the West Virginia University Research Corporation to receive $5 million for the research and development of an advanced component that can improve the ability of thermal power plants to generate highly-flexible, low-carbon power from traditional, renewable, and nuclear energy.   The component—an additively-manufactured graded composite transition joint (AM-GCTJ)—will aim to join different metals within thermal power plant parts so they can better withstand the numerous stresses and extreme changes in weather that come from cold and warm startups, fast-load ramping, and frequent shutdowns that are typically associated with thermal power  plant operations.
Director Anderson Speaks at Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference, which will be held June 7-8, 2021, in Morgantown, West Virginia.
NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., will outline plans for growth and revitalization in coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities as the nation shifts to a clean energy economy when he speaks at the 10th Annual Marcellus and Manufacturing Development Conference, which will be held June 7-8, 2021, in Morgantown, West Virginia. “Charting the path to a carbon-free energy sector is necessary to save our planet. However, it’s also imperative that no communities are left behind as we refine and discover technologies to eliminate carbon emissions,” said Anderson, who will deliver the presentation “Empowering Workers Through Revitalizing Energy Communities” at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 8.
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Learn about the latest developments in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)/NETL Carbon Capture Program in this month’s edition of the Carbon Capture Newsletter. The DOE/NETL Carbon Capture Program is developing the next generation of advanced carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technologies that can provide step-change reductions in both cost and energy requirements as compared to currently available technologies. The Carbon Capture Program focuses on the broad portfolio of NETL-managed carbon capture projects, including post- and pre-combustion capture to reduce carbon emissions across a wide spectrum of industries, from carbon-based power generation to manufacturing and heavy industry, as well as negative emissions technologies, such as direct capture of CO2 from the atmosphere and bioenergy with carbon capture.
Getting to Zero
NETL’s Brian Anderson, executive director of Biden Administration’s Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization, joined members of industry, academia and government agencies to address decarbonized energy and job opportunities for the state of West Virginia during the Getting to Zero virtual panel, hosted June 2-3. This virtual roundtable discussion event was organized by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank focused on advancing climate change and energy policy. C2ES works closely with companies across key sectors to advance policies that address climate change. Three years ago, C2ES launched the Climate Innovation 2050 initiative, which brought together more than three dozen leading companies to examine pathways toward decarbonizing the U.S. economy. In late 2019, this initiative produced Getting to Zero: A U.S. Climate Agenda, which outlines federal, state and local policies to put the U.S on the path to carbon neutrality.
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R&D Projects in Texas, New Mexico, and Ohio To Predict and Detect Seismic Disruptions At Underground Carbon Storage Facilities, Protecting Groundwater and Enhancing Carbon Capture Efforts  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced nearly $4 million for four research and development projects to design new methods to identify and reduce the risk of seismic disruptions and CO2 leakage in underground carbon dioxide storage facilities. Advancements in geologic sequestration of CO2 will help scale up carbon capture efforts, prevent contamination of U.S. groundwater supply, and draw the country closer to the ambitious goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Upcoming sessions of the NETL 2021 Crosscutting Research and Advanced Energy Systems Project Review Meeting will focus on Lab-supported research driving the development of new alloys and components to perform in extreme environments, allowing electric generation plants to operate more efficiently and emit fewer emissions, and for use in cutting-edge manufacturing processes. During four days in June, NETL researchers and engineers and their partners in academia, industry and other research organizations will present updates on their efforts to design durable, cost-effective materials that will enable equipment to perform in high-temperature, high-pressure, corrosive environments. Other presentations will explore projects dedicated to developing materials for advanced processes such as additive manufacturing. More than 45 project review sessions are planned for June. All sessions will be held virtually and are free and open to all interested parties. However, registration is required for attendance. Registration information, schedules and agendas for all sessions are posted on the NETL website.
NETL’s ongoing research activities to build a decarbonized economy and some of the Lab’s innovations were on display during the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Energy Innovation Summit. The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit (Summit) is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America's energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Taking place in a virtual format from May 24-May 27, 2021, this year’s event marked the eleventh Summit. The event offered a unique program aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market. This year’s Summit featured more than 1,700 attendees from across the globe with more than 300 transformational technologies detailed from 21 U.S. government agencies including NETL.
In support of NETL’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Other Minority Institutions (HBCU-OMI) program, the Lab consistently engages new organizations such as Morgan State University (MSU), which is developing robust high-temperature sensors that will unlock higher power plant efficiencies as part of their first‑ever collaboration with NETL. “Higher efficiencies are key to reducing carbon emissions,” said Maria Reidpath, who manages the MSU project. “As a result, accurate temperature monitoring is critical to achieving these goals. That is why the MSU work is so important — the team is developing much-needed temperature sensors and making sure they will survive in the extreme environments of advanced power generation systems.” The sensors under development at MSU are ceramic-based, super-high temperature thermocouples that are corrosion resistant and erosion resistant up to 1800 degrees Celsius and 1000 PSI. The ceramic thermocouples are as economical as traditional metal-based thermocouples while providing the ability to work under extreme conditions in the same ways as more expensive optical and acoustic sensors.
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After taking first place in their respective regional Science Bowl competitions, Princeton Senior High School (Princeton, West Virginia) and Franklin Regional High School (Murrysville, Pennsylvania) competed in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl® high school preliminary rounds Saturday, May 22. Unfortunately, neither team advanced to the elimination rounds. The National Science Bowl is a nationwide competition held annually to promote science and technology in education. High school students compete as teams in an action-packed quiz bowl format to answer questions on science, math and engineering. Across the country, 5,740 high school students competed on 1,184 teams from 796 schools over the weekend. First-place winners of regional competitions competed in three preliminary rounds, with the top 32 teams advancing to the elimination rounds. All events were held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.