Heliogen, Inc., a leading provider of AI-enabled concentrated solar energy technology, announced that the company has achieved a key development milestone, transitioning from design into testing and implementation of its supercritical CO2 (sCO2) power generation system to be utilized to generate carbon-free electricity for its previously announced 5 MWe commercial-scale demonstration deployment for Woodside in Mojave, California.
The deployment of Heliogen’s AI-enabled concentrated solar energy technology, including testing and deployment of the sCO2 power generation system, is being funded with up to $50M from Woodside, along with Heliogen’s previously announced $39 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy to deploy its renewable energy technology in California. Heliogen expects to recognize approximately $80 million in total revenue from Woodside and the U.S. Department of Energy for the project over a multi-year period.
In partnership with Hanwha Power Systems, a global leader in the development of eco-friendly power generation solutions, Heliogen has developed a modular, high-efficiency 5 MWe sCO2 power block integrated with high temperature solid media thermal energy storage, designed to meet the renewable power generation requirements for industrial customers in energy, mining and other heavy industries. Hanwha and Heliogen have entered into an agreement for the production and delivery of the power block for the Mojave, California demonstration project.
In addition to the power block, Heliogen is collaborating with Vacuum Process Engineering (VPE) and Solex Thermal Science to develop an advanced particle to sCO2 heat exchanger that will be used to transfer thermal energy from thermal storage to the power block. A test loop is being designed and fabricated by Combustion Associates Inc (CAI) based in Corona, California, to validate the performance of the heat exchanger.
When complete, Heliogen expects the sCO2 heat exchanger to be the largest of its type ever built, and the power block is expected to be the first and largest commercially-deployed integrally geared sCO2 recompression closed Brayton cycle. These innovations convert the thermal energy produced by Heliogen’s advanced concentrated solar energy technology into power with the goal of delivering higher efficiencies with a smaller footprint than traditional steam turbines.
“This development milestone further demonstrates Heliogen’s momentum through commercial, technological and governmental partnerships,” said Bill Gross, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Heliogen. “Bringing together the needs and expertise of world-class companies like Woodside, Hanwha, and others will accelerate the pace at which Heliogen is able to deploy our innovative technologies for providing clean energy to heavy industry. The support of the U.S. Department of Energy is also critical in moving technologies like ours into commercial deployment phase. I am incredibly excited at what our company can achieve in 2022 and beyond.”
“We are proud to transition out of the design phase and into testing and implementation of our advanced sCO2 power cycle,” said Steve Schell, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Engineer at Heliogen. “The innovative design we have developed is a testament to our world-class engineering capabilities and our partnership with Hanwha, which brings unparalleled expertise in designing, developing and commercializing sustainable power systems. Our collective teams have taken a significant step forward in developing the technology that will play a critical role in decarbonizing heavy industry to fight climate change.”
The implementation of Heliogen’s unique concentrated solar technology couples its AI-powered heliostat field with a sCO2 power cycle with the goal of enabling higher efficiency, lower cost power generation with a smaller footprint and reduced water use compared to traditional steam turbines. To do this, Heliogen’s AI-powered heliostat field will efficiently generate higher temperatures than traditional concentrated solar, enabling the cost-effective integration of thermal energy storage and a sCO2 power cycle. With its numerous advanced technologies, the Heliogen system is expected to unlock the production of low-cost, near 24/7 carbon-free electricity, highlighting the potential for concentrated solar technology to power industry and accelerate the clean energy transition in the United States and beyond.