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Pasadena High-Tech Company Announces Potential Game Changer for Solar Industry and the Environment

Published on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 | 5:41 am

Recent breakthroughs in solar energy technology announced by a local high-tech company have the potential to revolutionize both industry and environmental conservation. 

Pasadena-based Heliogen said two significant milestones have been achieved in a project that aims to elevate solar energy to unprecedented levels. The company behind these innovations specializes in advanced solar energy technology. 

The first milestone of their Capella Project involves the deployment of a commercial-scale device capable of capturing and storing heat from the sun. This is not just a typical solar panel that produces electricity, but a supercharged version that can also store heat efficiently, paving the way for cleaner and more sustainable power generation.

The second milestone focuses on ensuring the readiness of this heat-capturing device’s prototype. While it may sound complex, it can be thought of as the final check to ensure the reliability and functionality of this new solar technology.

Heliogen said the Capella Project, in collaboration with Woodside Energy (USA) Inc. and supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, is the world’s first fully integrated Generation 3 Concentrating Solar Power (Gen3 CSP) commercial demonstration. 

Christie Obiaya, Heliogen CEO, said the project will save money for many industries and will benefit the planet by significantly reducing carbon emissions.

“By using Heliogen’s next-generation solar energy technology, industrial energy users will be able to improve their bottom line while doing their part to mitigate climate change,” Obiaya said. “Completing these two Capella milestones brings us one step closer to helping industries move into high-value, solar-powered processes and reduce dependence on volatile fossil fuels.”

In other words, businesses will be saving money, and the planet will be benefiting from reduced carbon emissions.

Heliogen said the completed project milestones move the project closer to harnessing heat from the sun and turning it into electrical power. The particle receiver as designed uses solid materials like ceramic particles to safely capture and store heat from the sun at temperatures up to 750° centigrade, then transfers that heat to a highly efficient power block to generate electricity.

“These milestones represent exciting progress in our collaboration to demonstrate the potential of Heliogen’s innovative, concentrated solar energy technology,” Jason Crusan, Vice President for New Energy Growth and Solutions at Woodside, said. “They also advance the development of a technology solution that supports our commitment to building a low-cost, lower-carbon, profitable, resilient and diversified portfolio.”

The company forecasts that front-end engineering design for the Capella Project will be completed in late 2023. Groundbreaking is planned for 2024, in line with previous guidance.

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