DOE Invests $118 Million in 21st Century Technologies for Carbon-Neutral Electricity and Hydrogen Produced from Coal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $118 million in federal funding to support the Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, Transformative) Initiative. Under this cost shared research and development (R&D), DOE is awarding a total of $37 million to seven projects and releasing a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for $81 million. 

Coal FIRST power plants will convert coal, biomass, and waste plastics to generate clean and affordable carbon-neutral electricity and hydrogen. Coal FIRST power plants will be capable of flexible operations to meet the needs of the grid; use innovative components that improve efficiency and reduce emissions; provide resilient energy to Americans; are small compared to today’s conventional utility-scale coal-fired plants; and will transform how energy generation technologies are designed and manufactured.

“Coal is one of our Nation’s most abundant natural resources and has been providing well-paying jobs and powering the U.S. for decades,” said Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “That’s why, as the global energy mix evolves, we’re investing in the next-generation of coal technologies that will lay the groundwork for clean, reliable 21st century coal-to-energy plants. The Trump Administration sees a bright future for the new, next stage of coal.”

Coal FIRST energy plants will incorporate carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies and be able to generate carbon-neutral electricity or hydrogen.  Hydrogen can enable the transition of the electricity, manufacturing, and transportation sectors toward a low-carbon footprint. These plants will be flexible to provide affordable electricity and hydrogen to keep the United States competitive globally.

“Deploying new coal-to-energy plants requires a different way of thinking, and our Coal FIRST program is doing just that,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg. “Through this innovative R&D initiative, we’re transitioning from the large coal plants of the past to smaller, flexible, and more efficient power plants that will meet the needs of a changing electric grid.”

Under the first FOA, Critical Components for Coal FIRST Power Plants of the Future, DOE has selected seven projects to receive approximately $37 million in federal funding for cost-shared R&D. To view the full list of selected projects and their descriptions, click here.

Additionally, DOE is releasing a new FOA, Design Development and System Integration Design Studies for Coal FIRST Concepts. On a competitive basis, DOE intends to award $81 million in federal funding for cost-shared R&D projects. More details regarding the application for FOA 2180 are available here.

To learn more about the programs within the Office of Fossil Energy, visit the Office of Fossil Energy website. More information about the National Energy Technology Laboratory is available on the NETL website.


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