U.S. Department of Energy Funds California Solar Technology - Smart Energy Decisions

Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  December 20, 2021

DOE Funds California AI-Enabled Solar

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will fund  a $39 million AI-enabled concentrated solar technology project in California. 

Heliogen, a provider of AI-enabled concentrated solar power, said it finalized a $39 million award from the DOE and will apply the funds towards a commercial-scale facility leveraging its AI-enabled concentrated solar technology. 

The DOE funds will support the implementation of Heliogen’s concentrated solar technology which couples its AI-powered heliostat field with a supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power cycle. The company’s AI-powered heliostat field will efficiently generate higher temperatures than traditional concentrated solar, enabling the cost-effective integration of a sCO2 power cycle. Steam-based power cycles are typically used in thermal energy plants to convert heat into electricity, but advanced sCO2 cycles will reach higher efficiencies at lower cost with a smaller footprint and reduced water use. 

The Heliogen system is expected to unlock the production of low-cost, near 24/7 carbon-free electricity.

“We’re proud to lead the way for clean energy through the deployment of breakthrough technologies that utilize sunlight to displace fossil fuels,” said Heliogen founder and CEO, Bill Gross, in a statement. "The large and ambitious scope of this DOE award adds momentum to deployment of Heliogen’s breakthrough AI-enabled, modular concentrated solar solution for carbon-free energy at scale.”


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