The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $64 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects under the funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0002057), “Critical Components for Coal FIRST Power Plants of the Future.”
DOE’s Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, Transformative) initiative is intended to develop the coal plant of the future needed to provide secure and reliable power to the US grid. Major attributes of Coal FIRST plants must include:
High overall plant efficiency (40% HHV or higher at full load without carbon capture, with minimal reductions in efficiency over the required generation range).
Modular (unit sizes of approximately 50 to 350 MW), maximizing the benefits of high-quality, low-cost shop fabrication to minimize field construction costs and project cycle time.
Near-zero emissions, including plant designs that inherently emit no or low amounts of carbon dioxide (designed as close as possible to the DOE goal of 90%, or higher, CO2 capture efficiency).
Capable of high ramp rates and minimum loads commensurate with estimates of renewable energy market penetration by 2050.
Evaluation of potential future power plant concept designs assisted in defining the R&D sought under this FOA. DOE will solicit cost-shared projects focused on developing the critical components required by Coal FIRST and transformational coal-fired systems.
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.—Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg
The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the projects supporting Coal FIRST, which is a joint initiative among the Office of Fossil Energy’s Transformative Power Generation, Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Technology, Advanced Turbines, Gasification Systems, and Carbon Capture research programs.
The FOA focuses on seven areas of interest (AOIs):
AOI 1: Pressurized Fluidized Bed Combustor with Supercritical Steam Cycle Power Plant System.
Projects developed under this AOI will support a system based on pressurized fluidized bed combustion within a supercritical steam power plant that operates at an elevated pressure to enhance combustion with the capability of co-firing with natural gas or biomass. Specific critical components of interest include projects pertaining to the pressurized post-combustion capture sub-system and integrated energy storage sub-system.
AOI 2: Indirect Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Power Plant System.
Projects under this AOI will support the commercialization of the indirect supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power plant system, which delivers compactness, efficiency, modular construction, and operational flexibility. This combination has the potential to allow better competitiveness in the future energy market. Specific critical components of interest include the coal-fired primary heater sub-system, sCO2 turbine seals and bearings, and the integrated energy storage sub-system.
AOI 3: Direct-Fired Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Power Plant System.
Projects under this AOI will support the commercialization of the direct-fired sCO2 power plant system, which has the potential to produce electricity at a lower cost than current state-of-the-art natural gas- and coal-fired systems. Specific critical components of interest include the syngas oxy-combustor and the sCO2 turbine.
AOI 4: Gasification-Based Poly-Generation.Projects under this AOI will support the commercialization of critical components for a gasification-based, poly-generation system, which leverages an innovative application of largely established technology components to design and develop a coal-based, poly-generation system that contributes to the modern bulk power system. Specific critical components of interest include the pre-combustion capture sub-system and the devolatilizer/gasification subsystem.
AOI 5: Coal-Fired Direct Injection Combustion Engine & Gas Turbine Compound Reheat Combined Cycle Power Plant System.
Projects under this AOI will support the commercialization of critical components for a coal-fired direct injection combustion engine and gas turbine compound reheat combined cycle power plant system. Specific critical components of interest include the micronized refined coal production subsystem and the direct injection combustion engine.
AOI 6: Modular Staged Pressurized Oxy-Combustion Power Plant System.
Projects under this AOI will support the commercialization of critical components for a modular staged pressurized oxy-combustion power plant system, which is a near-zero emissions source of coal-fired power with high efficiency and flexibility. Specific critical components of interest include the integrated staged pressurized oxy-combustion subsystem and direct contact coolers.
AOI 7: Flameless Pressurized Oxy-Combustion Power Plant System.
Projects under this AOI will support the commercialization of critical components for a flameless pressurized oxy-combustion (FPO) power plant system. DOE seeks R&D to design and test the operability and performance of the integrated FPO system.
DOE anticipates selecting up to 14 projects under this FOA.