STEP Demo replaces steam with supercritical CO2, producing power with smaller, more efficient power plants.
The sCO2 cycle represents a breakthrough clean, compact, and high-efficiency technology option for future power generation, particularly in a world where fossil fuel based power plants need to become more flexible to complement intermittent solar and wind power.
GTI Energy leads the Supercritical Transformational Electric Power Project (STEP Demo), funded with $84 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, to demonstrate a fully integrated functional pilot-scale power plant with 10 MW electric output based upon this transformational power cycle technology.
GTI Energy is joined by Southwest Research Institute and GE Global Research to design, build and operate this grid-connected, advanced power plant pilot that will be located in San Antonio, Texas. STEP Demo will be among the largest demonstration facilities for sCO2 technology in the world
STEP is being built as a multi-user facility, not limited to the current team members. The open project is welcoming new partners from around the world. Through a Joint Industry Program, current and new partners will provide guidance to the operation and will have access to proprietary project data to advance their sCO2-related technology development. In addition, they can have access to the reconfigurable facility to accommodate future testing of their own sCO2 components and system/cycle configurations and upgrades.
Because this sCO2 cycle works with a much smaller turbine, utilizing this technology results in smaller power generation plants — reducing costs while at the same time increasing efficiency. The project is slated to be completed in September 2022.