Notice of Intent to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) on behalf of DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE) entitled "Water Management For Thermal Power Generation".

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Funding Opportunity ID: 329656
Opportunity Number: DE-FOA-0002430
Opportunity Title: Notice of Intent to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) on behalf of DOE's Office of Fossil Energy (FE) entitled "Water Management For Thermal Power Generation".
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Opportunity Category Explanation:
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Category of Funding Activity: Energy
Environment
Science and Technology and other Research and Development
Category Explanation:
CFDA Number(s): 81.089
Eligible Applicants: Unrestricted (i.e., open to any type of entity above), subject to any clarification in text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility”
Additional Information on Eligibility:
Agency Code: DOE-NETL
Agency Name: Department of Energy
National Energy Technology Laboratory
Posted Date: Oct 30, 2020
Close Date: Dec 15, 2020
Last Updated Date: Oct 30, 2020
Award Ceiling: $2
Award Floor: $1
Estimated Total Program Funding: $0
Expected Number of Awards: 0
Description: DE-FOA-0002430 is a Notice of Intent to issue full FOA no. DE-FOA-0002399 entitled “Water Management For Thermal Power Generation”. The Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) intends to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) on behalf of DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE) that will, through the Water Management For Thermal Power Generation FOA, form teams consisting of a fossil asset owner or operator and water treatment technology developer to facilitate the design, construction, and operation of engineering-scale prototypes of water treatment technologies to advance near-term water treatment solutions toward commercial deployment. This FOA, sponsored by FE’s Water Management program will support the reliability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness of coal, gas, and hydrogen-fueled power generation and the DOE-led 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”. The Energy-Water Nexus, the intersection of our energy economy with water availability and demand, affects nearly every aspect of our lives from energy availability and disruption to water availability for food, drinking, and industrial productivity. In many parts of the US, water scarcity already is a key consideration both for management of current systems as well as for planning of future investments. And water scarcity is expected to increase for the foresable future. In the US, a power generation energy transition is underway driving toward lower carbon intensity technologies. The latest EIA Annual Energy Outlook forcasts growth of electricity from renewable and gas-based power while coal and nuclear are expected to decrease and level off. For the coal and gas plants, they will increasingly pressured to decarbonize further while improving flexibility with increased non-dispatchable renewable generation on the electricity grid. This decarbonization may come in many forms, for example: carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS), fuel switching from coal to biomass or from natural gas to hydrogen (H2), and increasing asset utilization through water treatment and heat rate improvements. Both CCUS and fuel switching to biomass or H2 will increase water intensity of fossil power generation. For the H2 case, steam methane reforming currently accounts for more than 95% of US production. An alternative, fossil-based H2 production process is coal/biomass/waste gasification. Both of these can be decarbonized with the addition of CCUS; however, this will require power or heat to drive it, likely from a combustion source that will require cooling and water to do so. With the costs of solar and wind decreasing, there is increased interest also in renewable-based approach to H2 production. In this process, the renewable electricity drives an electrolysis unit that splits water into H2 and O2. This process would also require water as a significant input. CCUS viability depends on a number of factors from geological suitability and cost and permitting; nevertheless, one potential consideration is the production of water from the subsurface Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) waters that are pushed to the surface during the CO2 injection process. The TDS is dependent on the geologic formation in which the CO2 is being injected; however, FE solicited for projects to develop technologies that could treat waters with an average of 180,000 ppm TDS in FY14 (FOA DE-FOA-0001095) and FY15 (DE-FOA-0001238) in partnership with a FOA specifically on integrated Brine Extraction Storage Tests (BEST) through FOA DE-FOA-0001260. It found that while there were many innoviative technologies, it wasn’t possible to commercialize these technologies given a lack of market incentive. Nevertheless, treating CCUS brines could provide a source of treated water as CCUS becomes more prevalent that can be used at the plant or within a regional ecosystem for value-added purpose such as agriculture and municipal drinking water. Trends toward decarbonization forecast increases in electricity-associated water intensity. In many parts of the US, water scarcity already is a key consideration both for management of current systems as well as for planning of future investments. This motivates additional effort at reducing power plant water intensity through operation improvements, technology selection, and sourcing of non-traditional waters. This FOA will sponsor projects that reduce water intensity, reduce water-related environmental impacts and enable decarbonization of power generating infrastructure, improve asset flexibility/utilization, and create a business case for doing so through the production of saleable by-products. Significant synergy exists between the technical and process requirements of treating waters associated with fossil power plants both current and projected. Treating water internal to a power plant can provide the asset owner with flexibility in times of water scarcity and give the asset a zero liquid discharge (ZLD) footprint, if desired. Examples of plant effluents that might be treated consistent with a ZLD objective (and environmental compliance in many cases) include FGD wastewater, ash pond and landfill leachate. Integrating water treatment of non-traditional source waters (e.g. brakish groundwater, municipal, produced water, mining, agriculture) with fossil assets can provide additional process synergies; albiet frequently with subtanital business case hurdles. Low capacity factor assets may have energy available during off-peak hours that can be leveraged. Finally, integrated processes that generate a commodity chemcial or solids for industrial processes or resale or that address legacy environmental challenges can create an additional benefit stream to enhance the business case. Examples of value-added products include salts, rare-earth elements, acids and bases, and limestone. A variety of technology approaches are anticipated to show promise for achieve the FOA objectives. These include, but are not limited to membranes and other innovative technologies. As an example, a proposed concept may selectively remove species from the subject water stream and return the treated water back to the power plant or to other benefitial purpose (e.g. agriculture). This FOA scope includes both coal, gas, and hydrogen-based power plant applications. It also includes treating brines associated with CCUS. Both existing fleet retrofit and greenfield applications are desired. Freshwater treatment is not in-scope for this FOA. Applications should focus on treating any of the following source waters (only one of the following is required): 1. Effluents from coal, gas, and hydrogen power plants. These could include cooling tower blowdown, flue gas desulfurization wastewater, and other internal process water streams. 2. Non-traditional water integrated directly with a fossil asset. These include brackish groundwater, municipal wastewater, oil & gas produced water, mining water, ash ponds, and agricultural wastewater. For this FOA, applications must target integrating the treatment of these non-traditional waters with a fossil asset. 3. CCUS brines. These are high TDS waters that result from injecting CO2 for subsurface carbon storage into a geological formation. It is recognized that injection of CO2 may occur far from the originating power plant; therefome, applications do not require integration of processes between the water treatment unit and the power plant, although that is acceptable. For the purposes of this FOA, the intent of the phrase “integrated directly with a fossil asset” is to integrate water treatment technologies “within the fence” of a power plant or other fossil asset. One Area of Interest is anticipated, as follows: Water Treatment for Low-Carbon Fossil Power Generation Research will begin with a conceptual study of a water treatment technology integrated with a site-specific fossil asset and advance to include the design, construction, and operation of engineering-scale prototypes of water treatment technologies to advance near-term water treatment solutions toward commercial deployment. The prototypes should be at a sufficient scale that the fully-commercial embodiment of the technology can be understood. The integrated prototype will be tested under realistic conditions at a host site. A techno-economic analysis, technology gap assessment, technology maturation plan, and commercialization plan will also be required. Disclaimer: This Notice of Intent is for informational purposes only and the Department of Energy is not seeking comments on the information contained in the notice.
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