Department of Energy Announces New Funding Opportunities on Coal Modernization, Smart Grid, Quantum

Feb 1, 2019

The Department of Energy recently announced $38 million available in funding for projects that will improve current technologies pertaining to the overall performance, reliability, and flexibility of coal-fired power plants in the U.S. The funding is available under the Office of Fossil Energy’s funding opportunity announcement (FOA) Improving Efficiency, Reliability, and Flexibility of Existing Coal-Based Power Plants. Awarded projects under this FOA will support both the DOE’s Transformative Power Generation Program and the Crosscutting Research Program.

“Utilizing all of our energy resources to ensure the reliability and resiliency of our nation’s electricity is a top priority for the Department of Energy,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes. “Modernizing and advancing the existing coal fleet is imperative to this mission. By improving the efficiency of our baseload generation, we are strengthening the reliability of all our electricity generation.” For further information and to apply for this FOA, visit: https://www.fedconnect.net/FedConnect/default.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fFedConnect%2f%3fdoc%3dDE-FOA-0001989%26agency%3dDOE&doc=DE-FOA-0001989&agency=DOE

DOE also recently announced $40 million in available funding for its crosscutting Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI). The goal of the GMI is to engage both public and private partners in collaboration to develop new tools and technologies that measure, analyze, predict, protect, and control the grid of the future. This new FOA will focus on supporting the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) and bolstering core competencies for the future. Specific topic areas include modeling; advanced sensors; energy storage; cyber security; and institutional support. Additional details of the FOA will be released in the coming month.

The GMI is a collaboration that spans all of DOE, including the national laboratories. GMI focuses on the development of new architectural concepts, tools, and technologies that measure, analyze, predict, protect, and control the grid of the future, and on enabling the institutional conditions that allow for more rapid development and widespread adoption of these tools and technologies The GMLC is a key component of the GMI. It was established as a strategic partnership between DOE and the national laboratories to bring together leading experts, technologies, and resources to collaborate on the goal of modernizing the nation’s grid.

For further information about the GMI, visit: https://www.energy.gov/grid-modernization-initiative

Additionally, DOE recently announced $45 million in funding available for research in chemical and materials sciences with the goal of advancing the field of Quantum Information Science (QIS). QIS has become a top priority across the administration. At the beginning of this year the president signed the National Quantum Initiative Act into law, a multi-agency initiative that calls for the implementation of a National Quantum Initiative Program establishing a set of goals and priorities for a 10-year plan that that will augment and ameliorate U.S. quantum information science and technology applications. Late last year the White House held a summit on Advancing American Leadership in QIS. Following this event the National Science Foundation announced $31 million in QIS research funding, and DOE announced $218 million in QIS funding.

DOE is soliciting proposals in two separate areas:

  • Chemical and materials sciences research aimed at the design and discovery of novel systems and materials relevant to the development of quantum information science;
  • The use of quantum computing to solve problems in chemical and materials science research.

“QIS will play a major role in shaping the future of computing and a range of other vitally important technologies,” said DOE Under Secretary of Science Paul Dabbar. “This initiative ensures that America will remain on the cutting edge of the chemical and materials science breakthroughs that will form the basis for future QIS systems.”

The award is funded by the Basic Energy Sciences program in the DOE’s Office of Science. Awards will be available for both single investigators and small groups, as well as larger teams. Pre-applications are February 13 at 5pm, final applications are due May 3 at 5pm.

The funding opportunity announcement for nonprofits and universities can be found here: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html?keywords=de-foa-0002054

And here: https://science.energy.gov/~/media/grants/pdf/foas/2019/SC_FOA_0002054.pdf

The FOA for National laboratories can be found here: https://science.energy.gov/~/media/grants/pdf/lab-announcements/2019/LAB_19-2054.pdf

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