News & Events
Stay up-to-date on the new sCO2 power generation technology that will revolutionize future power generation.
October 2023—Mechanical Completion Ribbon-Cutting Event
In late October, the team celebrated the opening of the high-efficiency Supercritical Transformational Electric Power (STEP) Demo test facility in San Antonio. The project successfully achieved sCO2 fluid conditions in early 2023, has been commissioning components, and was mechanically completed in October. System commissioning is underway and full-scale testing is expected to begin in early 2024.
March 2023—DOE Visit to Facility
Bhima Sastri, Robert Schrecengost, P. E., and Reginald Mitchell of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) visited the STEP Demo facility in San Antonio to see first-hand the progress that has been made as the pilot plant successfully achieves supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) fluid conditions. Pictured left to right: Robert Schrecengost and Bhima Sastri, U.S. DOE; Jeff Moore, SwRI; Reginald Mitchell, DOE; Bill Follett, GTI Energy; and Tim Allison, SwRI.
February 2023—Significant Components Installed
The major components needed to complete piping have all been installed. These include the sCO₂ turbine, the turbine stop valve, and the high temperature recuperator. The team expects to begin commissioning of the full system in the Fall of 2023.
October 2022—Supercritical CO2 10 MW Demonstration Project Under Construction
Why is supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO₂) so valuable? For one, sCO₂ power cycles can offer higher cycle efficiencies due to their unique fluid and thermodynamic properties. Two, it reduces emissions and uses compact turbomachinery, resulting in lower cost. Learn more in the Sept/Oct 2022 article on page 30.
February 2022—JIP Meeting and Tour of STEP Demo
In February 2022, the STEP Demo team hosted a Joint Industry Program (JIP) meeting in conjunction with the 7th International Supercritical CO2 Power Cycles Symposium in San Antonio, Texas. See more
January 2022—STEP Demo Facility Continuing to Build
Significant progress has been made in the STEP Demo project with final equipment manufacturing, delivery, and installation. Commissioning is scheduled for late 2022, and testing is scheduled for early 2023. See more
Successful Supercritical Transformational Electric Power Demonstration (STEP Demo) Site Visit Oct 21
More than thirty-five people had the opportunity to visit the Supercritical Transformational Electric Power Project Demonstration (STEP Demo) site on October 21 and see the revolutionary new power generation technology first hand! See more
Proceedings Paper: The STEP 10 MWe sCO2 Pilot Demonstration Status Update
The paper from the conference is now available online. It was authored by John Marion, Brian Lariviere, Aaron McClung, Jason Mortzheim and presented at the virtual Turbo Expo 2021 Turbomachinery Technical Conference & Exposition June 7–11, 2021 online
Paper No: GT2021-58981, V010T30A011; 9 pages
Supercritical Transformational Electric Power Demonstration (STEP Demo) Site Visit Oct 21
RSVP deadline for site visit extended until Oct 14! Don’t miss this opportunity to visit the newly constructed 22,000 sq-ft building on SwRI’s campus in San Antonio as part of the Experience POWER conference. You will have the chance to see how things are coming together at this state-of-the-art demonstration site to advance sCO2 Brayton power cycles. Come see revolutionary new power generation technology first hand on Oct 21, 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. CST. Guests will also visit SwRI’s Turbomachinery Research Facility.
August 2021 Update: Process Heater Delivered
The STEP Demo project reached another important milestone with the delivery of the process heater coil module and completion of the mechanical assembly of the supercritical CO2 process heater for the facility. View the video
STEP Demo named finalist in the POWER Awards Emerging Technology Developer category
The STEP Demo team is honored to be considered among the innovative leaders from the power generation industry. We look forward to seeing our colleagues again in person and learning who the winner is at the Experience POWER Conference on October 18.
January 2021—New Global Partners
International collaboration is critically important to successfully address the worldwide need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the STEP Demo project has partners from around the globe to support this capital-intensive demonstration.
In 2020, Engie, a French multinational electric and gas company, Australia's national science research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), their leading state-owned power utility, joined the initiative as Joint Industry Partners. The project team is thrilled to have these world leading organizations as part of the STEP Demo project and their guidance and support to the commercialization of sCO2 power technology.
June 2020—Building Construction Complete
The Certificate of Occupancy for the new building recently constructed has been received, and component manufacturing and equipment installation is following along quickly. Find out more
Tour the STEP Demo Pilot Plant site during the 7th International SCO2 Power Cycles Symposium
The 7th International SCO2 Power Cycles Symposium on March 30-April 2, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas will include a tour of the STEP Demo site at Southwest Research Institute. In addition, GTI Energy’s Don Stevenson, Vice President and Managing Director, Energy Supply and Conversion, will present a Keynote on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. Visit the conference website for more details.
Proceedings Paper: The STEP 10 MWe sCO2 Pilot Plant Demonstration
The paper from the conference is now available online. It was authored by John Marion, Mike Kutin, Aaron McClung, Jason Mortzheim, and Robin Ames and presented at the Turbo Expo 2019 Turbomachinery Technical Conference & Exposition June 17–21, 2019, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Construction at STEP Demo San Antonio Site Progressing
STEP Demo customers from DOE along with the STEP Project team members from GTI Energy, SwRI, and GE recently attended a program review and toured the San Antonio facility site. Find out more
GTI Energy and KEPRI sCO2 Technology Status and Commercialization Workshop
On April 25, 2019, GTI Energy and Korea Electric Power Research Institute (KEPRI) hosted a stakeholder workshop covering progression of sCO2 technology to its current level of maturity and next steps towards commercialization. Find out more
STEP Demo Lunch and Learn at the Capitol in Austin, TX
Staff members representing Texas elected officials attended a luncheon on February 15, 2019, to learn more about the increased efficiency, reduction in costs, emissions, and water use plus other important benefits of the supercritical CO2 technology. Find out more
Academic Partner Added
The University of Houston has been added as an academic partner. UH Faculty and students will become familiar with the design criteria, operational constraints and specifications, and performance of the indirect-fired sCO2 power cycle. Find out more
STEP Demo Groundbreaking Ceremony
On October 15, 2018, GTI Energy joined with Southwest Research Institute, GE Global Research, and the U.S. Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL) to celebrate the groundbreaking of the $119 million first-of-its-kind 10MW Supercritical Transformational Electric Power (STEP) pilot plant known as STEP Demo. Find out more
- STEP Demo Team Pilots Innovative High-Efficiency Power Plant (10/27/23)
- GTI Energy and Partners Achieve Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Conditions in San Antonio Pilot Project (03/07/23)
- New International Partner from Thailand Joins Transformational STEP Demo Project to Reduce Costs and Environmental Impact of Power Generation (05/05/21)
- STEP Demo Team Welcomes CSIRO to Transformational sCO2-Based Power Generation Project (11/17/20)
- A STEP Closer to Transformational Electric Power (07/01/20)
- ENGIE Joins STEP Demo Project to Demonstrate How sCO2 Technology Can Create Clean, Low-Cost Power (06/18/20)
- TCEQ Funds UH Participation in STEP Demo Project to Reduce Emissions in Texas Using sCO2 Power Cycle Technology (03/03/20)
- GTI Energy, SwRI, and GE break ground on $119 million supercritical CO2 pilot power plant (10/15/18)
- Save the Date: STEP Demo Groundbreaking Ceremony will be on October 15, 2018 (9/2/18)
- Supercritical CO2 conditions achieved in San Antonio pilot
Modern Power Systems Magazine, (03/14/23)
- SUPERCRITICAL CO2: 10 MW Demonstration Project Under Construction
Turbomachinery International Magazine, September/October 2022
- The POWER Interview: Pioneering STEP Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Demonstration Readying for 2022 Commissioning
POWER Magazine, (10/27/21)
- STEP Advances Supercritical CO2 Power Cycles for Gas-Fired Generation
Pipeline & Gas Journal, (07/01/21)
- CSIRO, GTI Energy Partner on Supercritical CO2 Plant
Mining Magazine, (11/23/20)
- A Step Toward Transformational Energy
Advanced Supercritical CO2 Power Cycles to Improve Efficiencies, Lower Emissions
Southwest Research Institute Technology Today, Fall 2020 issue
- Making Strides in High-Efficiency Power Generation With the STEP 10 MWe Pilot Project
Shale Magazine, (10/05/20)
- Supercritical CO2 Pilot Power Plant Gearing Up for 2021 Demonstration
- NETL Researchers Make Strides to Prepare Step Plant
- A Step Toward Supercritical-Carbon-Dioxide Power Generation
Chemical Engineering Magazine, (08/01/20)
- STEP Pilot Plant Advances Supercritical CO2 Power Cycles for Gas-Fired Power Generation
Pipeline and Gas Journal, (07/01/20)
Subscribers can log in to view the article in the July 2020 issue of Pipeline and Gas Journal (free trial subscription available)
- sCO2 step change in Texas
Modern Power Systems, (07/01/19)
- Making the STEP up
- Supercritical CO2 Power Cycle Technology Partnership Announced
GTI Energy, (05/01/19)
- Construction underway on sCO2 Brayton cycle demo plant
Modern Power Systems, (01/03/2019)
- Game-Changing Coal Power Technologies
Power Magazine Online, (01/01/2019)
Over 100 online and print mentions in mainstream media and trade publications on the STEP Demo Groundbreaking by the next day.
- Southwest Research Institute takes a leap forward in power generation OpEd by State Senator José Menéndez, D-26 San Antonio
My San Antonio, (10/18/2018)
- 10-MW Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Demonstration Project Breaks Ground
Power Magazine, (10/17/2018)
- Groundbreaking supercritical carbon dioxide pilot power plant set for Texas