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Department of Energy Announces $100M in Investments in Coal FIRST

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:

  • Are capable of flexible operations to meet the needs of the grid
  • Use innovative and cutting-edge components that enable improved efficiency and have near zero emissions with carbon dioxide (CO2) capture
  • Provide resilient power to Americans; are small compared to today’s conventional utility-scale coal
  • Be small compared to today’s conventional utility-scale coal
  • Transform how coal power plant technologies are designed and manufactured. 

DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has issued a Notice of Intent for an upcoming Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), called Critical Components for Coal FIRST Power Plants of the Future.This anticipated FOA will make available up to approximately $100 million in federal funding for cost-shared R&D projects that focus on developing the critical components required by Coal FIRST systems. If needed, the R&D projects may include the development of advanced processes for manufacturing or fabricating components. FE anticipates issuing the FOA in August or September 2019.

Specific Areas of Interest in the FOA will be informed by conceptual studies and preliminary front end engineering and design (pre-FEED) studies that FE expects to be ongoing throughout FY19.

Read the full Notice of Intent here . All information contained in the Notice of Intent is subject to change.

“The Coal FIRST initiative will integrate early-stage R&D on power plant components with currently available technologies into a first-of-a-kind system,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg. “Through innovative technologies and advanced approaches to design and manufacturing, the initiative will look beyond today’s utility-scale power plant concepts (e.g., base-load units) in ways that integrate with the electrical grid in the United States and internationally.”

DOE also announced today that it has selected 13 projects to receive approximately $1.95M in federal funding for conceptual designs under the request for proposals for Coal-Based Power Plants of the Future. DOE has the option to request that any of the projects conduct pre-FEED studies to prove the technical and economic feasibility of the approach identified in the conceptual design.

The National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage the projects, performed by the following recipients:

  1. 8 Rivers Capital LLC (Durham, North Carolina) — DOE Funding: $149,147
  2. Allegheny Science & Technology (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) — DOE Funding: $149,998
  3. Barr Engineering Co. (Minneapolis, Minnesota) — Concept 1: DOE Funding: $150,000
  4. Barr Engineering Co. (Minneapolis, Minnesota) — Concept 2: DOE Funding: $150,000
  5. CONSOL Pennsylvania Coal Company (Canonsburg, Pennsylvania) — DOE Funding: $147,000
  6. Constantem Technologies (Pensacola, Florida) — DOE Funding: $150,000
  7. Echogen Power Systems (Akron, Ohio) — DOE Funding: $150,000
  8. Electric Power Research Institute (Palo Alto, California) — DOE Funding: $150,000
  9. Hydrogen Energy California (Concord, Massachusetts) — DOE Funding: $150,000
  10. Nexant Inc. (San Francisco, California) — DOE Funding: $150,000
  11. Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri) — DOE Funding: $150,000
  12. Wormser Energy Solutions Inc. (Lancaster, Massachusetts) — Concept 1: DOE Funding: $150,000
  13. Wormser Energy Solutions Inc. (Lancaster, Massachusetts) — Concept 2: DOE Funding: $150,000

More information about the National Energy Technology Laboratory is available HERE. To learn more about the programs within the Office of Fossil Energy, visit their website HERE.