The projects, spreading from Washington state to New Jersey, are valued at $41 million during the next three years. Each will focus on ways to improve existing carbon capture technology by finding ways to reduce energy and cost penalties.
The Energy Department said existing technology isn't efficient for larger power plants because current capture systems require large amounts of energy.
The goal of the program is to reduce energy loss while finding ways to develop carbon capture technology that can achieve at least 90 percent carbon dioxide removal, the department said.
"Charting a path toward clean coal is essential to achieving our goals of providing clean energy, creating American jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement. "It will also help position the United States as a leader in the global clean energy race."
U.S. President Barack Obama has set a goal of having as many as 10 pilot projects online by 2016 as part of a plan to develop an efficient carbon capture technology within the next 10 years.