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DOE invests in water management projects for thermal power generation

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U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has given out $3.3 million in Federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects under the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), Water Management for Thermal Power Generation.

The FOA seeks to support the design, construction, and operation of engineering-scale prototypes of water treatment technologies for the nation’s existing and future fleet of thermoelectric power plants.

It is envisioned that fossil asset owners or operators and technology developers will collaborate and advance near-term water treatment solutions that can be commercially deployed.

Water scarcity is a key consideration for managing current systems and planning for future investments. Efforts to decarbonize fossil fuel-based power plants may also contribute to water scarcity.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS); fuel switching to biomass or hydrogen; and the integration of intermittent renewables onto the electricity grid will be accompanied by increases in water intensity.

Treating water inside a power plant can give the asset a zero-liquid discharge (ZLD) footprint and provide the asset owner with flexibility when water is scarce.

The FOA seeks to advance near-term solutions to reduce the impact of traditional and non-traditional water uses associated with coal, gas, and hydrogen-based power plants. These include plant-effluent streams and brines associated with CCS.

Projects under this FOA will identify and treat alternative sources of water such as effluent streams, supporting DOE’s Water Security Grand Challenge Goal 3: “Achieve near-zero water impact for new thermoelectric power plants, and significantly lower freshwater use intensity within the existing fleet.”

Applications must be submitted by January 29, 2021. DOE anticipates selecting up to three projects for this FOA.

Anela Dokso

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