Heliogen and Woodside announce Californian commercial-scale demonstration project

Heliogen's AI-enabled concentrated solar energy technology in a desert landscape (woodside)
Image: Heliogen

AI-enabled concentrated solar energy provider Heliogen and oil and gas giant Woodside Energy (USA) Inc—a wholly-owned subsidiary of leading Australian energy producer Woodside Petroleum Ltd—have announced a project agreement for the commercial-scale demonstration deployment of Heliogen’s AI-enabled concentrated solar energy technology proposed to be built in Mojave, California.

Woodside has given Heliogen notice to begin procurement of key equipment for the deployment of a commercial scale, single-module 5MWe facility. Under the project agreement, Heliogen will complete the engineering, procurement, and construction of the facility, with construction expected to begin once permits are approved.

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The two companies have agreed to include the scope and associated funding from Heliogen’s previously announced US$39 million award from the US Department of Energy to deploy Heliogen’s renewable energy technology in California. This means that in addition to commercial-scale demonstration of Heliogen’s 5MWe module, the project will also include the deployment and testing of an innovative approach to converting the thermal energy produced by Heliogen’s facility into power, which has the potential to deliver higher efficiencies with a smaller footprint than traditional steam turbines.

Heliogen and Woodside have also signed a collaboration agreement to jointly market Heliogen’s technology in Australia. Under this arrangement, the companies expect to define product offerings that use Heliogen’s modular technology for potential customers (including Woodside) in Australia and are establishing a roadmap to identify and engage with those customers.

The Australian Collaboration Agreement includes an objective to deploy further commercial-scale modules of Heliogen’s heat and power offerings which may be combined with a hydrogen offering, strengthening Woodside’s role in the energy transition to lower carbon energy sources. The companies are also in similar discussions in relation to Heliogen’s technology in the US.

“We are thrilled to be working with leading Australian energy producer Woodside. Our agreements represent a pivotal next step in the commercialisation of Heliogen’s breakthrough concentrated solar technology and the decarbonisation of heavy industry,” Heliogen CEO and founder Bill Gross said.

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“We are also pleased to share that, along with these agreements, our strategic alliance with Woodside includes Woodside taking an equity participation in Heliogen.

“The proposed Mojave facility will further advance our discussions with Woodside for additional opportunities aiming to produce carbon-free heat, power and hydrogen to help them achieve their sustainability goals.”

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