Heliogen, California city doubling up on future plans for Green Hydrogen

Nov. 8, 2022
Heliogen uses concentrating thermal solar to convert into steam, heat, power and green hydrogen. The company has sited a demonstration test facility in Lancaster since 2019

The city of Lancaster, California is working with a longtime corporate partner to focus on a future project using concentrating solar thermal (CST) energy to produce carbon-free hydrogen fuel at an industrial scale.

Heliogen Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding with Lancaster city officials to eventually build up a production site to produce 1,500 metric tons of green H2 per year. Green hydrogen is created from electrolyzers which are powered by carbon-free resources such as renewables.

Heliogen uses concentrating thermal solar to convert into steam, heat, power and green hydrogen. The company has sited a demonstration test facility in Lancaster since 2019. Some time ago, that facility achieved a temperature of more than 1,000 degrees Celsius using CST technology

The planned new commercial H2 production site would build off that original idea.

"I am thrilled we can continue our collaboration by helping to create a sustainable future and continue to combat climate extinction through shared leadership and development of renewable hydrogen,” said R. Rex Parris, mayor of the City of Lancaster. “Together, we will accelerate the city’s net-zero vision and expand our hydrogen capabilities throughout the greater Los Angeles region.”

Heliogen uses artificial intelligence and computer vision software to guide concentrated thermal solar to convert sunlight into power. Concentrating solar thermal uses a host of mirrors to concentrate solar to a receiver at a high temperature.

“We are extremely pleased to broaden our long-standing relationship with the City of Lancaster to help them achieve their visionary sustainability goals through the development of carbon-free green hydrogen,” said Bill Gross, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Heliogen. “This partnership further demonstrates that powering the planet with renewable energy is not only critical to fighting climate change – it is also a real economic opportunity for our cities.”

The city of Lancaster has about 175,000 residents and is one hour north of Los Angeles.

Last month, the city announced it was joining the state of California’s Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES). The public-private H2 consortium is intended to accelerate the scaling up of hydrogen for carbon-free industrial energy use.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]). 

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