Concentrated solar energy company Heliogen said that Woodside Energy (USA) gave it a Limited Notice to Proceed (LNTP) to begin procuring equipment for a 5 MW commercial-scale demonstration facility in California.
The proposed facility will use Heliogen’s artificial intelligence-enabled concentrated solar technology.
The LNTP follows a joint six-month feasibility study by Woodside and Heliogen and a front-end engineering and design contract that started earlier in 2021. The companies expect Full Notice to Proceed and construction to begin in 2022.
Heliogen said its baseline system will provide industrial-grade heat that will be capable of replacing fossil fuels in processes including the production of cement, steel, and petrochemicals. Its technology is also expected to enable power generation through the addition of a supercritical CO2 turbine and green hydrogen fuel production in combination with an electrolyzer.
The two companies also announced their intent to jointly market Heliogen’s technology in the U.S. and Australia. Under the proposed joint marketing arrangement, the companies will consider establishing a roadmap to work on additional potential renewable energy projects. Terms under discussion include a framework to design, optimize, and sell modular industrial-scale integrated renewable energy and hydrogen technology in the U.S., and marketing rights for Woodside in Australia.
In June, Heliogen said it raised $108 million in two funding rounds to back the deployment of its Sunlight Refinery. The company closed $83 million in funding, a round that was in addition to $25 million raised in the previous round. Among the new investors are steel and mining company ArcelorMittal, utility holding company Edison International, Prime Movers Lab, Ocgrow Ventures, A.T. Gekko, private investment partnership of industry-leading families 8090 Partners, Gordon Crawford, and technology, consumer, and media-focused investor Rashaun Williams.
Heliogen CEO and founder, Bill Gross, said that although costs of large-scale solar are falling, conventional solar technologies are “not yet cost-competitive with fossil fuels in most energy markets.” He said the company’s technology aims to close the gap through the use of AI, software, and thermal storage.
Heliogen was created at Idealab, the leading technology incubator founded by Bill Gross in 1996. Woodside is a unit of Australian energy producer Woodside Petroleum Ltd.