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Briggs White
NETL’s Briggs White to Discuss Challenges Facing Fossil Energy Power Plants

NETL Technology Manager Briggs White, Ph.D., will share his expertise about challenges facing the nation’s fleet of fossil fuel-burning power plants and how energy storage can address them during an ELECTRIC POWER Expo 2020 webinar at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 24, 2020.

White will discuss the current state of the nation’s fleet of fossil energy (coal and natural gas) electric generating stations and highlight U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) projects that aim to resolve challenges facing the fleet. He also will explain the benefits of integrating energy storage technologies with these fossil assets as part of the Advanced Energy Storage Program, an initiative of DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy.

Most of the nation’s fossil fuel-fired plants are designed to generate power while operating at continuous maximum capacity and efficiency. However, with more variable renewables (solar and wind power) on the grid, these conventional fossil energy plants are required to cycle and operate at minimum loads for longer periods of time. Such deviations from maximum efficiency increase fuel consumption and emissions. Additionally, reduced downturn of fossil energy plants causes stress and wear to steam-raising equipment.

Energy storage offers a viable strategy to use both renewables and fossil fuels to improve flexibility and overall efficiency. During off-peak hours, plants could continue to operate at full load and redirect steam from the steam cycle to an on-site storage system. During peak hours, the stored energy could be discharged back to the plant to raise additional steam for electricity generation. This creates firm power capacity that enhances grid reliability while enabling additional deployments of renewable energy and generating cost savings for fossil asset owners.

A question-and-answer session will follow White’s presentation. The webinar is free but registration is required. To register, visit

The energy storage program is designed to make the United States a world leader in the field by the end of the decade. NETL is managing the program for the Office of Fossil Energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory develops and commercializes advanced technologies that provide reliable and affordable solutions to America’s energy challenges. NETL’s work supports DOE’s mission to advance the national, economic and energy security of the United States.