DoE seeking applicants for third CCPI

IN HOPES of accelerating the commercial deployment of US clean energy coal technologies, the Department of Energy has issued its third request for applications for its Clean Coal Power Initiative.

Donna Schmidt

The final funding opportunity announcement, or FOA, will result in multiple awards. Depending on the 2009 fiscal budget allotment the program may be able to provide as much as $US340 million to those selected. Each recipient, it said, will receive at least 50% of funds for their respective projects.

Specifically, cooperative agreements between government and industry to commercially demonstrate new technologies for carbon dioxide emission capture from coal-fired power plants that will result in either the CO2’s sequestration or beneficial end use are looked at in the FOA.

“The Department of Energy is committed to increasing the nation's energy security and addressing global climate change by developing the technologies that will ensure coal can be used to meet our growing energy demand in an environmentally responsible way," said acting assistant secretary for fossil energy Jim Slutz on Tuesday.

“This announcement brings clean, coal-derived energy, with no greenhouse gas emissions, one step closer to the commercial market and to the consumer."

After a draft was released last October for comment and a public workshop on the project was held November 1, some changes to the final FOA were made. They include the following criteria for submitted projects:

Carbon capture technologies must operate at 90% carbon capture efficiency;

At least 300,000 tons per year of CO2 must be captured and sequestered or put to beneficial use;

Projects must show significant progress towards carbon capture and sequestration with less than 10% increase in electricity costs;

Projects must use domestic mined coal or coal refuse for at least 75% of energy input;

Projects must produce electricity as at least 50% of the gross energy output; and

Repayment of the government’s share of project costs is not required.

The DoE said it would make its selection announcements in July 2009; in the meantime, all applications are due to the agency on or before January 15 of next year.

The CCPI, established in 2002, currently has eight projects active from two previous rounds of competition.

“The goal of the initiative, which is being executed through a series of competitive solicitations, is to accelerate the readiness of advanced coal technologies for commercial deployment, ensuring that the United States has clean, reliable and affordable electricity and power,” the agency said.