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U.S. DOE Announces $38 Million for Improving Existing Coal-Fired Power Plants

Coal provides around 30% of U.S. electricity

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to US$38 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects enhancing technologies that improve the overall performance, reliability, and flexibility of the nation’s existing coal-fired power plant fleet.

Coal is vital to the nation’s energy security, according to the DOE statement, and provides around 30% of U.S. electricity. DOE is funding research to modernize the grid and improve the existing coal-fired power plant fleet under the Office of Fossil Energy’s (FE) funding opportunity announcement Improving Efficiency, Reliability, and Flexibility of Existing Coal-Based Power Plants.

“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.

This FOA will develop advanced technologies that improve the overall performance, reliability, and flexibility of the nation’s existing coal-fired power plant fleet. Projects will support DOE’s Transformative Power Generation Program and Crosscutting Research Program. R&D funded under this FOA will also 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) will manage these projects.

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