The US Department of Energy (DOE) had a Funding Opportunity Announcement, releasing US$38 million for the nation’s existing coal-fired power plant fleet. The cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects are expected to to increase its overall performance, reliability and performance. The projects will additionally support DOE’s Transformative Power Generation Program and the Crosscutting Research Program.
Coal is currently supplying about 30% of power in the US. Although is has drastically dropped since 2007 because the availability of other safer electricity sources from natural gas, the DOE still believes that with this R&D, the efficacy of the coal-fired power plant can be improved, while decreasing its environment impacts. This will ensure that the production of electricity is stable and can support the entire country’s electricity demands.
“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,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes. “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.”
“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,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg.
The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage these projects.