Heliogen secures DOE funds for AI-powered solar technology

Heliostats and solar tower at the early-generation Ivanpah Solar Project. Over 300,000 software-controlled mirrors track the sun in two dimensions and reflect the sunlight to boilers that sit atop three 459 foot tall power towers. Image: Dennis Schroeder / NREL

The U.S. Department of Energy is finalizing a $39 million award to Heliogen, Inc. for the California-based company to roll out its artificial intelligence-powered solar technology.

It comes on the heels of the DOE’s announcement of the award in November.

Heliogen will build and operate a supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power cycle integrated with thermal energy storage, heated by concentrated solar thermal energy supplied by an AI-powered heliostat field. The company said this process will generate higher temperatures than traditional solar to enable a more efficient and cost-effective power cycle. The DOE and Heliogen said it will serve as a test site for the commercialization of low-cost solar plants.

Heliogen Founder and CEO, Bill Gross said the DOE award “adds momentum to deployment” of the company’s concentrated solar solution for carbon-free energy at scale.”

The DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office supports projects expected to improve the affordability, reliability, and value of solar technologies on the U.S. grid. In February, the department announced it would provide a total of $130 million for as many as 80 projects in this program.

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