The US DOE selected the projects as part of its Transformative Power Generation Program and Crosscutting Research Program


Image: US Department of Energy (DOE) headquarters on Independence Avenue. Photo: courtesy of US Department of Energy/Wikipedia.

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE), Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced a funding of $39m (£31m) in 17 projects, which will improve, efficiency, reliability and flexibility of the existing coal-based power plants in the country.

The US DOE selected these projects as part of its Transformative Power Generation Program and Crosscutting Research Program. These projects are expected to develop, advanced technologies that can improve the overall performance, reliability and flexibility of the country’s existing coal-fired power fleet.

The research will also support the department’s goal of improving the average modeled efficiency (heat rate) for a typical plant in the existing fleet by 5% from the 2017 baseline of 31% by the end of fiscal year 2020.

The 17 projects will fall under three areas of interest. The first area of interest includes sensors, diagnostics and controls to improve prediction, performance and reliability.

The second area of interest is the improvement of power plant components and the third area of interest is in developing data analytics driven controls.

Assistant Secretary Fossil Energy Steven Winbergsaid: “Coal-fired power plants represent the second-largest energy source for electricity generation in the United States.

“The Trump Administration remains committed to ensuring a coal-fueled power plant fleet that provides stable energy to the power grid.”

In April, DOE announced £78.8 investment under Coal FIRST initiative

In April, the department announced $100m (£78.8m) investment for the Coal Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, and Transformative (FIRST) initiative, which aims to develop coal plants for the future to provide secure, stable and reliable power with near zero emissions.

Under the Coal FIRST initiative, the department will support research and development projects that are capable of flexible operations to meet the needs of the grid; use new technologies for improved efficiency and have near zero emissions with carbon dioxide (CO2) capture; and transform how coal power plant technologies are designed and manufactured.