The US Department of Energy (DOE) has provided funding to 15 fossil fuel research projects that will help secure US energy from threats, such as that from hackers.
The DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory will oversee all of the projects that have received a total of $8.8 million in funding with a further $2.2 million of funding sourced from outside of the DOE.
Four of the technologies being developed are to help secure electricity power plants fed by coal, natural gas amongst other fossil fuels.
A subsidiary of Southern Co., based in Alabama, was one of the companies that received $250,000 of funding to install a real time system designed to remove abnormalities in its grid.
The funding comes as part of the DOE’s efforts to build on cyber security across the grid, which includes the creation of a stand-alone office specifically for the issue.
Furthermore, the Trump administration is looking into plans to support coal power plants to avoid relying too heavily on pipelines that are vulnerable to hackers.
Cooling Technologies Inc. received $750,000 of the DOE funding to look at streamlining it steam surface condenser, which is integral to many large coal power plants.
Meanwhile, a project through the University of Pittsburgh was also awarded $750,000 to investigate improvements to metal alloys used in fossil fuel plants, used to increase efficiency at high temperatures.
The programme also includes research into efficient heat transfer and water management used at coal plants, such as “biosorption” treatment for cleaning wastewater.