US commits $64m for research into coal-fired power plants

10 February 2020 (Last Updated February 10th, 2020 11:37)

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has committed $64m in federal funding for the cost-shared research and development (R&D) into future coal-fired power plants.

US commits $64m for research into coal-fired power plants
Coal FIRST initiative will support the development of coal power plants. Credit: Viktor Kiryanov / Unsplash.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has committed $64m in federal funding for the cost-shared research and development (R&D) into future coal-fired power plants.

Funding for the projects is part of DOE’s Coal flexible, innovative, resilient, small, transformative (FIRST) initiative.

Funded by DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy, Coal FIRST is an R&D programme that has been created to advance coal generation technologies that offer secure, stable and reliable power.

The US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette said: “Coal is a critical resource for grid stability that will be used in developing countries around the world well into the future as they build their economies.

“Investing in R&D for cleaner coal technologies will allow us to develop the next generation of coal plants for countries to use this valuable natural resource in an environmentally responsible manner.”

The Coal FIRST initiative will see the development of coal power plants that will provide secure and reliable power to the US grid.

DOE will focus on the projects, which develop critical components essential for the transformational coal-fired systems and Coal FIRST.

To support Coal FIRST, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the projects.

Fossil Energy Assistant Secretary Steven Winberg said: “The evolving US energy mix requires cleaner, more reliable and highly efficient plants.

“Technologies developed for the Coal FIRST initiative will lead to just that, reliable, highly efficient plants with zero or near-zero emissions.”

The assessment of the potential future power plant concept designs assisted in defining the R&D sought under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA).

The FOA focuses on seven areas of interest (AOIs), including pressurised fluidised bed combustor with supercritical steam cycle power plant system, indirect supercritical carbon dioxide power plant system, direct-fired supercritical carbon dioxide power plant system and gasification-based poly-generation.

It will also focus on coal-fired direct injection combustion engine and gas turbine compound reheat combined cycle power plant system, as well as modular staged pressurised oxy-combustion power plant system and flameless pressurised oxy-combustion power plant system.

DOE is planning to select up to 14 projects under the FOA.