In 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) announced an initiative to fund competitive research and development (R&D) of next-generation coal facilities. This R&D program, called Coal FIRST (which stands for flexible, innovative, resilient, small, transformative), aims to advance first-of-their-kind coal generation technologies to provide secure, stable, and reliable power with near-zero emissions that can adapt to a changing electrical grid.
Barr teamed with Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction; Envergex, LLC; Microbeam Technologies, Inc.; the University of North Dakota – Institute of Energy Studies; and MLJ Consulting to respond to the DOE’s request for proposal for coal plant of the future concepts. We submitted two innovative coal-combustion concepts, complete with configurations, equipment features, performance characteristics, and cost implications for a future commercial coal plant.
The Barr team had evaluated multiple energy storage concepts including thermal storage from the feedwater system, hydrogen storage from gasification, and battery storage with lithium ion, vanadium flow, and a hybrid technology of lithium and vanadium. Barr worked with vendors to understand the technical and economical feasibility. This included concept design and material selection of storage components and evaluation of electrical and controls configuration.