The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced US$11.5 million in funding for 12 projects as part of Phase 1 of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) FLExible Carbon Capture and Storage (FLECCS) program. FLECCS project teams will work to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) processes that better enable technologies such as natural gas power generators to be responsive to grid conditions in a high-variable renewable energy (VRE) penetration environment.
"The FLECCS projects will work to address critical CCS needs in our nation's power systems," said ARPA-E Director Lane Genatowski. "The FLECCS program is intended to enable the next generation of flexible, low-cost, and low-carbon electricity systems, and we are eager to work with these teams to innovate the grid of the future."
FLECCS project teams are developing CCS retrofits to existing power generators as well as greenfield systems that intake fossil carbon-containing fuel, like natural gas or bio-gas, and output electricity. FLECCS Phase 1 teams will design, model, and optimize CCS processes that enable flexibility on a high-VRE grid. Later in the program, teams that move to Phase 2 will focus on building components, unit operations, and prototype systems to reduce technical risks and costs.
In FLECCS Phase 2, up to US$31 million in additional funding will be available for teams. At the conclusion of the Phase 1 period, teams will be down-selected based on an engineering design review and the projected economic impact of their Phase 1 projects on a future electricity grid. Selected teams will move on to receive additional funding, further develop their technologies, and address Phase 2 challenges.
A sampling of FLECCS projects can be found below.
Linde Gas North America, Murray Hill, New Jersey
Process Integration and Optimization of an NGCC Power Plant with CO2 Capture, Hydrogen Production, and Storage: US$479,966
Linde Gas aims to develop such a system for natural gas-fired power plants using post-combustion carbon capture and hydrogen technologies. Integrating an electrolyzer for hydrogen production and tanks for hydrogen storage with a natural gas power plant that has carbon capture will enable the plant to operate under more steady-state conditions, improve its efficiency, and increase its capital utilization. Eliminating frequent starts and stops of these large power systems will also reduce fugitive carbon emissions during ramp-ups and ramp-downs. The value of this process design becomes greater as the differential in high and low prices of electricity increases and value for CO2 emissions improves.
Susteon Inc., Cary, North Carolina
A Rapid Temperature Swing Adsorption Carbon Capture Technology for Optimal Operation of a Fossil Power Plant: US$789,009
Susteon will evaluate a CO2 capture technology using solid sorbents based on thermal swing adsorption that enables power generators to operate the power plant in a "load following" mode in response to grid conditions in a high-VRE penetration environment. The proposed capture technology is currently being demonstrated with flue gas derived from natural gas combustion. Susteon plans to simulate the integration of this technology with an existing natural gas power plant in southern California, a region with a large amount of renewable electricity on the grid.
For the full list of projects, visit here.