The mission of the Supercritical Transformational Electric Power (STEP) program is to design, build, and operate a 10 MWe pilot scale facility using an indirect-fired sCO2 power cycle, demonstrate component performance and cycle operability over a range of operating conditions, and show progress towards a lower cost of electricity. The STEP facility will serve as an opportunity for industry and government to work together to develop and mature the technology at the pilot-scale to facilitate commercialization. The investment will spur the development of necessary designs, materials, components, operation and control systems, sensors, and understanding and characterization needed for commercial acceptance of large scale sCO2 power cycles. Where appropriate the facility will be used to address and resolve technology-specific issues relevant to the different heat source applications.

NETL Basis of Cost Estimate of STEP Facility
(click to enlarge)

Since the sCO2 power cycle has broad applicability to multiple heat sources, the STEP Program is an outcome of the DOE sCO2 collaboration within the DOE Offices of Fossil Energy (FE), Nuclear Energy (NE), and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), leveraging the capabilities of these organizations toward the development of the sCO2 power cycle as applied to fossil fuel, nuclear, and concentrated solar heat sources.

Thar Energy Microtubular Heat Exchanger Layout
(click to enlarge)