The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has selected 17 projects to receive approximately $39 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development under funding opportunity announcement, Improving Efficiency, Reliability, and Flexibility of Existing Coal-Based Power Plants. DOE selected these projects as part of its Transformative Power Generation Program and Crosscutting Research Program.

The projects will develop, in the near term, advanced technologies that improve the overall performance, reliability, and flexibility of the nation’s existing coal-fired power fleet. This research will support DOE’s goal to improve the average modeled efficiency (i.e., heat rate) of a typical plant in the existing fleet by 5% from the 2017 baseline of 31% by the end of fiscal year 2020.

“Coal-fired power plants represent the second-largest energy source for electricity generation in the United States,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg. “The Trump Administration remains committed to ensuring a coal-fueled power plant fleet that provides stable energy to the power grid.”

The projects fall under three areas of interest: Sensors, Diagnostics, and Controls to Improve Prediction, Performance, and Reliability; Power Plant Component Improvement; and Data Analytics Driven Controls.

DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage all of the selected projects.