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Heliogen and Woodside to Collaborate on Solar Tech Project to Reduce Carbon Emissions

Published on Monday, October 18, 2021 | 6:38 pm
 
Heliogen Inc. via Instagram page

Heliogen, a renewable energy technology company based in Pasadena, said it is taking further significant steps toward deploying its new solar energy technology in collaboration with Woodside Energy (USA) Inc., a subsidiary of Australian energy producer Woodside Petroleum Ltd.

Woodside has granted Heliogen a limited notice to proceed (LNTP) to begin procurement of key equipment for a five-megawatt commercial-scale demonstration facility in California. The proposed facility will use Heliogen’s AI-enabled concentrated solar technology, a company statement said.

The LNTP grant marks a critical step in the collaboration and follows a joint six-month feasibility study by Woodside and Heliogen and a front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract that commenced earlier this year. Both companies expect construction to begin in 2022.

“This is a significant step toward the development of our first facility with Heliogen, which we hope will be just the start of our ongoing collaboration,” Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said. “Heliogen’s innovative technology could play a key supporting role in development of Woodside’s zero-carbon hydrogen and ammonia business, which would rely on access to abundant and reliable renewable power.”

O’Neill added they’re also excited about the marketing rights for Heliogen’s technology in Australia, where abundant solar energy resources support application of the technology in remote power generation and other industrial processes.

The demonstration facility in California will use advanced computer vision software that precisely aligns an array of mirrors to reflect sunlight to a single target on the top of a solar tower, enabling low-cost storage in the form of high-temperature thermal energy, the company statement said.

“Heliogen’s AI-enabled concentrated solar technology has the potential to transform heavy industry by turning sunlight into a zero-carbon source of heat, power and hydrogen that is nearly always available,” Bill Gross, Heliogen CEO and founder, said. “Although costs of large-scale solar are falling, conventional solar technologies are not yet cost-competitive with fossil fuels in most energy markets due to their intermittent availability. Heliogen’s technology aims to close this gap through the use of AI, software and thermal storage.”

The two companies also said they intend to jointly market Heliogen’s technology in the U.S. and Australia. Under the proposed joint marketing arrangement, Heliogen and Woodside plan to establish a roadmap to collaborate on additional potential renewable energy projects, including replicating and scaling Heliogen’s modular AI-enabled concentrated solar facility to support Woodside’s forecasted power requirements at its international locations.

Noting Woodside’s commitments to reduce net emissions from its existing and future businesses, Heliogen said they’re still organizing a framework to design, optimize and sell modular industrial-scale and cost-competitive renewable energy and hydrogen solutions in the U.S., and marketing rights for Woodside in Australia.

“We are excited to reach this important milestone in our relationship with Woodside and look forward to helping them to efficiently achieve their sustainability targets,” Gross said.

For more information about Heliogen, visit www.heliogen.com.

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