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US DOE to provide $38m funding to improve coal-fired power plants

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a federal funding up to $38m for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects to improve the overall performance, reliability, and flexibility of the nation’s existing coal-fired power plant fleet.

Coal provides around 30% of US electricity. DOE intends to modernize the grid and improve the existing coal-fired power plant fleet.

Under the Office of Fossil Energy’s (FE), funding  has been provided to improving efficiency, reliability, and flexibility of existing coal-based power plants.

US Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes said: “Utilizing all of our energy resources to ensure the reliability and resiliency of our nation’s electricity is a top priority for the Department of Energy. Modernizing and advancing the existing coal fleet is imperative to this mission. By improving the efficiency of our baseload generation, we are strengthening the reliability of all our electricity generation.”

The FOA is expected to develop advanced technologies to improve the overall performance, reliability, and flexibility of the existing coal-fired power plant fleet in the US.

Projects are supposed to support DOE’s Transformative Power Generation Program and Crosscutting Research Program.

R&D funded under this FOA is also expected to benefit FE’s efforts to advance the coal-fired plant of the future as part of the Coal FIRST initiative. The National Energy Technology Laboratory NETL is expected to manage these projects.

US Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg said: “Along with the Department’s Coal FIRST initiative, modernizing the existing coal-fired fleet is critical to our effort to allow existing coal plants to load, follow and operate more efficiently. This research and development will lower emissions and foster new technologies beneficial to our electric grid.”

Recently, the US DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy has announced a similar funding of up to $88m for oil and natural gas recovery research and development.

The funding will be offered to cost-shared research and development projects for enhancing technologies in oil and gas recovery.

The two separate funding opportunities (FOAs) are provided by the department. The first funding opportunity of $44m is for projects that develop advanced technologies for enhanced oil recovery and the second funding opportunity of the same amount for projects that develop advanced technologies for recovery of unconventional oil and gas resources.