Two funding rounds accelerate global deployment of Heliogen’s breakthrough AI-assisted concentrated solar thermal technology
PASADENA, Calif., June15, 2021 – Heliogen, the renewable energy technology company unlocking the power of sunlight to replace fossil fuels, today announced that it has raised $108 million in two funding rounds to accelerate the global deployment of its Sunlight Refinery™, a turnkey concentrated solar energy system that aims to make carbon-free energy for high-temperature heat, power, and green hydrogen accessible and more cost-effective than fossil fuels for the first time. The company recently closed $83 million in funding, an oversubscribed round that is in addition to $25 million raised in the previous round. Among the new investors in Heliogen are ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company (NYSE: MT), Edison International, breakthrough scientific startup-focused venture capital firm Prime Movers Lab, Canada-based privately held venture capital fund Ocgrow Ventures, A.T. Gekko, a private investment group specializing in ESG Venture Capital, private investment partnership of industry-leading families 8090 Partners, Gordon Crawford, and technology, consumer, and media-focused investor Rashaun Williams.
In November 2019, Heliogen announced that it had successfully demonstrated the first commercial solution for utilizing concentrated solar energy to exceed temperatures greater than 1,000 degrees Celsius. The advanced computer vision software unique to the Sunlight Refinery precisely aligns an array of mirrors to reflect sunlight to a single target with unprecedented accuracy, delivering high-temperature, carbon-free thermal energy. The 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. Heliogen’s technology will also enable power generation through the addition of a supercritical CO2 turbine and green hydrogen fuel production in combination with an electrolyzer.
In March 2021, Heliogen and Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO) announced a Memorandum of Understanding under the terms of which Heliogen will deploy its proprietary, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered technology at Rio Tinto’s borates mine in Boron, California. Heliogen will use heat from the sun to generate and store carbon-free energy to power the mine’s industrial processes, significantly reducing carbon emissions at the site.
Among Heliogen’s existing investors are leading global figures in the fight against the climate crisis, including Bill Gates, Patrick Soon-Shiong, the Los Angeles-based investor and entrepreneur through his investment firm, Nant Capital, Steve Case through Revolution’s The Rise of the Rest® Seed Fund, and Neotribe Ventures.
“This infusion of new support for Heliogen comes at a time when the paradigm shift toward clean energy is even further accelerated by the new realities the world is facing,” said Bill Gross, CEO and founder, Heliogen. “We’re being granted the resources to do more projects that address the most carbon-intensive human activities and work toward our goals of lowering the price and emissions of energy for everyone on the planet. We thank all of our investors for enabling us to pursue our mission and offer the world technology that will allow it to achieve a post-carbon economy.”
This significant investment accelerates Heliogen’s mission to mitigate the climate crisis through rapid deployment of its decarbonization technology, with funds to be applied towards the development of multiple Sunlight Refinery facilities, initially in the United States and later expanding to other regions with strong solar resources.
“Heliogen is providing steel producers with an exciting new technology which could make a valuable contribution to cutting carbon emissions,” said Pinakin Chaubal, Chief Technology Officer, ArcelorMittal. “Its technology holds the potential to complement our existing decarbonisation initiatives and efforts to secure a more sustainable footprint for our company.”
“Heliogen is leading the increased focus to a carbon-free world for our future generations with exceptional innovation,” said Harish Consul, founder and CEO, Ocgrow Ventures. “The Heliogen team continues to scale their concentrated solar energy solution, which shall have significant positive impact globally, for decades to come.”
“Heliogen’s technology, which will deliver near 24/7 carbon-free energy in the form of heat, power, and green hydrogen fuel at scale, is transformative for industries that want to use renewable energy and to do so cost-effectively,” said Dakin Sloss, founder and general partner, Prime Movers Lab. “The Heliogen team has developed a breakthrough innovation that will change the energy landscape and pave the way for a zero-carbon economy. Prime Movers Lab is inspired by Heliogen’s work to empower a sustainable civilization for generations to come.”
Heliogen is a renewable energy technology company focused on eliminating the need for fossil fuels in all sectors of the economy and empowering a sustainable future. The company’s Sunlight Refinery™ aims to cost-effectively deliver near 24/7 carbon-free energy in the form of heat, power, and green hydrogen fuel at scale for the first time in history. Heliogen was created at Idealab, the leading technology incubator founded by Bill Gross in 1996.
In November 2020, TIME included Heliogen’s HelioHeat™ technology on its Best Inventions of 2020 list. In April 2020, Fast Company selected Heliogen as a recipient of a 2020 World Changing Ideas Award for its technology. The company won the Energy category.
Initial $10 million investment part of broader partnership established with Heliogen
ArcelorMittal (‘the Company’) today announces the completion of its first XCarb™ innovation fund investment since launching the initiative in March 2021. The Company has invested an initial $10 million in Heliogen, a renewable energy technology company which focuses on unlocking the power of sunlight to replace fossil fuels.
Heliogen’s technology will harness solar energy by using a field of mirrors which will act as a multi-acre magnifying glass to concentrate and capture sunlight. The sunlight will then be subsequently converted into heat (HelioHeat™), electricity (HelioPower™) or clean fuels (HelioFuel™).
All three Heliogen products have the potential to be applicable to the steelmaking process and support the steel industry’s transition to carbon-neutrality. HelioHeat™, for example, could be used to increase the temperature of air blown into a blast furnace, offsetting the use of fossil fuel. The Heliogen technology will also be capable of creating 100 per cent green hydrogen, which Heliogen is working to develop as its first HelioFuel™. Hydrogen sits at the heart of ArcelorMittal’s Innovative-DRI technology pathway, which involves using hydrogen instead of natural gas as the reductant in the production of direct reduced iron.
In addition to the $10 million investment, ArcelorMittal and Heliogen have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which aims to evaluate the potential of Heliogen’s products in several of ArcelorMittal’s steel plants.
“Developing and deploying breakthrough technologies is at the heart of our climate action strategy. While our own efforts are progressing well, the objective of our XCarb™ Innovation fund is to extend our reach and support companies developing technologies which could assist us on our decarbonisation journey. The technology Heliogen is developing has the potential to do exactly that.
“Moreover, the partnership we have established with Heliogen goes beyond investment. The MoU we have signed means we are actively exploring working with them to deploy their technologies in our steel plants, enhancing our ongoing programme of decarbonisation initiatives. Establishing partnerships of this kind has an important role to play in ensuring we succeed in our ambition to lead our industry’s efforts to decarbonise, and reach carbon-neutrality by 2050.”
Bill Gross, CEO and Founder, Heliogen, added:
“The future of our planet and civilization hinges on the global economy’s ability to shift from its reliance on fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. We founded Heliogen to eliminate the need for fossil fuels in all sectors of the economy and to empower a sustainable future. We’re thrilled to welcome ArcelorMittal as an investor in the company.”
“We’re also excited to begin working with ArcelorMittal to explore how our technology can support its significant decarbonization efforts. Heliogen’s Sunlight Refinery™, which will cost-effectively deliver 24/7 carbon-free energy in the form of heat, electricity, or hydrogen fuels at scale for the first time in history, was designed for use by a spectrum of industries, including steel. Together, ArcelorMittal and Heliogen can meaningfully help the world achieve carbon neutrality.”
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ArcelorMittal is the world’s leading steel and mining company, with a presence in 60 countries and primary steelmaking facilities in 17 countries. In 2020, ArcelorMittal had revenues of $53.3 billion and crude steel production of 71.5 million metric tonnes, while iron ore production reached 58.0 million metric tonnes.
Our goal is to help build a better world with smarter steels. Steels made using innovative processes which use less energy, emit significantly less carbon and reduce costs. Steels that are cleaner, stronger and reusable. Steels for electric vehicles and renewable energy infrastructure that will support societies as they transform through this century. With steel at our core, our inventive people and an entrepreneurial culture at heart, we will support the world in making that change. This is what we believe it takes to be the steel company of the future.
ArcelorMittal is listed on the stock exchanges of New York (MT), Amsterdam (MT), Paris (MT), Luxembourg (MT) and on the Spanish stock exchanges of Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia (MTS).
LONDON and PASADENA, Calif. – International mining and metals company Rio Tinto and renewable energy technology company Heliogen today announced an agreement to explore the deployment of Heliogen’s breakthrough solar technology at Rio Tinto’s borates mine in Boron, California.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding, Heliogen will deploy its proprietary, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered technology at the Boron operation, where it will use heat from the sun to generate and store carbon-free energy to power the mine’s industrial processes. The two companies will begin detailed planning and securing government permits for the project, with the aim of starting operations from 2022. The companies will also use the Boron installation to begin exploring the potential for deployments of Heliogen’s technology at Rio Tinto’s other operations around the world to supply process heat, which accounted for 14 percent of Scope 1 & 2 emissions from the Group’s managed operations in 2020.
Heliogen’s high-temperature solar technology is designed to cost-effectively replace fossil fuels with sunlight for a range of industrial processes, including those used in mining. At Rio Tinto’s Boron mine, the company’s proprietary technology will use AI to control a network of mirrors that concentrate sunlight to capture energy used to make steam. Heliogen’s system will also store the captured energy in the form of heat, allowing it to power nighttime operations and providing the same uninterrupted energy stream offered by legacy fuels.
The Boron operation mines and refines borates into products ranging from fertilizers to construction materials and is producing lithium carbonate from a demonstration plant. The site currently generates steam using a natural gas cogeneration plant and natural gas fired boilers. Heliogen’s installation will supplement these energy sources by generating up to 35,000 pounds per hour of steam to power operations, with the potential to reduce carbon emissions at the Boron site by around 7 percent – equivalent to taking more than 5,000 cars off the road. Rio Tinto will also be assessing the potential for larger scale use of the Heliogen technology at Boron to reduce the site’s carbon footprint by up to 24 percent.
Heliogen’s mission of slashing global carbon emissions by replacing fossil fuels with sunlight, as well as its focus on industrial sectors, made them an ideal partner for Rio Tinto, which is committed to decarbonizing its global operations.
Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jakob Stausholm said: “This partnership with Heliogen has the potential to significantly reduce our emissions at Boron by using this groundbreaking solar technology, and we look forward to exploring opportunities across our global portfolio.
“Addressing climate change effectively will require businesses, governments and society to work together through partnerships like this one, to explore innovative new solutions throughout the entire value chain. Our work with Heliogen is part of Rio Tinto’s commitment to spend approximately $1 billion on emissions reduction initiatives through to 2025 and our commitment to work with world-leading technology providers to achieve this goal.”
Heliogen CEO and Founder Bill Gross said: “Since its founding, Heliogen has been laser-focused on decarbonizing industrial sectors, including mining. As a result, this agreement with Rio Tinto is incredibly gratifying. We’re pleased to find a partner committed to cutting its contributions to climate change. We’re also pleased that Rio Tinto is exploring our technology to play an important role in helping reach its sustainability goals while dramatically reducing its energy costs. More broadly, we’re excited to take this important step as we pursue Heliogen’s goal of avoiding more than 1 gigaton of CO2 emissions – 3 percent of the world’s annual total – from the global economy by turning sunlight into an industrial energy source.”
About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto produces high-quality iron ore, copper, aluminium and minerals that have an essential role in enabling the low-carbon transition. We divested the last of our coal businesses in 2018 and no longer extract fossil fuels.
We have publicly acknowledged the reality of climate change for over two decades and have reduced our emissions footprint by over 30 per cent in the decade to 2020.
We have set 2030 targets to reduce our absolute emissions by 15% and our emissions intensity by 30% relative to our 2018 baseline. These targets are consistent with a 45% reduction in absolute emissions, relative to 2010 levels, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) pathways to 1.5°C. They are supported by our commitment to spend approximately $1 billion on emissions reduction initiatives over the first five years of the ten-year target period. In 2020 we set new Scope 3 emissions reduction goals to guide our partnership approach across our value chain.
Heliogen is a renewable energy technology company focused on eliminating the need for fossil fuels in all sectors of the economy and empowering a sustainable future. The company’s proprietary technology cost-effectively delivers near 24/7 carbon-free energy in the form of heat, electricity, and green hydrogen fuel at scale for the first time in history. Heliogen was created at Idealab, the leading technology incubator founded by Bill Gross in 1996.
In November 2020, TIME included Heliogen’s HelioHeat technology on its Best Inventions of 2020 list. In April 2020, Fast Company selected Heliogen as a recipient of a 2020 World Changing Ideas Award for its technology. The company won the Energy category.
The company’s concentrated solar technology for decarbonizing industrial processes is recognized as one of the year’s top innovations in the Sustainability category
PASADENA, Calif. and NEW YORK, November 19, 2020 – Heliogen, the clean energy company that is transforming sunlight to create and replace fuels, today announced the inclusion of its HelioHeat technology in TIME’s Best Inventions of 2020 list. Heliogen’s high-temperature solar technology – for the first time in history – can cost-effectively replace fossil fuels with sunlight in a range of industrial processes. HelioHeat, Heliogen’s carbon-free, ultra-high temperature process heat product, was recognized in the Sustainability category for its ability to decarbonize the production of cement, steel, 24/7 electricity, and hydrogen.
Heliogen has developed a concentrated solar solution utilizing unique advanced computer vision software to precisely align an array of mirrors, reflecting sunlight to a single target with unprecedented accuracy. Exactly one year ago, Heliogen announced that it had applied its technology at its Lancaster, California facility to achieve a record-breaking 1,000 degrees Celsius. This advancement enables Heliogen to generate carbon-free, ultra-high temperature heat (HelioHeat) that replaces the need for fossil fuel-generated heat in facilities for cement, mining, and other industrial processes. Although nearly all renewable energy innovation to date has only applied to electricity generation, the majority of the industrial sector’s energy use is for process heat, which often requires extremely high temperatures that solar photovoltaics and wind, for example, simply cannot achieve cost-effectively. With Heliogen’s technology, concentrated solar can commercially achieve those temperatures for the first time.
Bill Gates, an early investor in Heliogen, regards the “75% problem” as one of the world’s most pressing challenges, referring to greenhouse gas emissions created by the 75 percent of global energy consumed for non-electricity uses. Heliogen tackles this challenge head-on, opening many of the leadingsources of global emissions to the use of renewable energy for the first time, creating new opportunities for decarbonization.
“Given our mission to empower a sustainable civilization by arresting and reversing climate change, we’re honored for Heliogen’s technology to be recognized by TIME as one of the year’s most significant advances in sustainability,” said Bill Gross, CEO and founder, Heliogen. “Decarbonizing the processes that run our world is a pivotal part of our future, and at Heliogen we are inventing and deploying the technologies required to produce 24/7, low-carbon energy. Our ability to do this with unprecedented economics will accelerate the adoption of renewables across industries around the world.”
To assemble the 2020 TIME Best Inventions list, TIME solicited nominations across a variety of categories from editors and correspondents around the world, as well as through an online application process. Each contender was then evaluated on key factors, including originality, effectiveness, ambition and influence. The result: 100 groundbreaking inventions that are changing the way we live, work, play and think about what’s possible.
See the international cover of TIME featuring the 100 Best Inventions of 2020 here: bit.ly/3lJM8ss
Heliogen is a clean energy company focused on eliminating the need for fossil fuels in all sectors of the economy. Heliogen’s mission is to create the world’s first technology that can commercially replace fossil fuels in industrial processes with carbon-free, ultra-high temperature heat from the sun and to transform sunlight into fuels, including hydrogen, at scale. Heliogen was created at Idealab, the leading technology incubator. For more information about Heliogen, please visit heliogen.com.
TIME is a global media brand that reaches a combined audience of more than 100 million around the world, including over 40 million digital visitors each month and 45 million social followers. A trusted destination for reporting and insight, TIME’s mission is to tell the stories that matter most, to lead conversations that change the world and to deepen understanding of the ideas and events that define our time. With unparalleled access to the world’s most influential people, the immeasurable trust of consumers globally, an unrivaled power to convene, TIME is one of the world’s most recognizable media brands with renowned franchises that include the TIME 100 Most Influential People, Person of the Year, Firsts, Best Inventions, World’s Greatest Places and premium events including the TIME 100 Summit and Gala, TIME 100 Health Summit, TIME 100 Next and more.
It’s no secret that we are in truly historic times. As the world battles against health and racial injustice, it also faces serious climate injustice.
This month alone, record-setting temperatures struck California’s Death Valley and massive wildfires in northern parts of the state have ravaged communities and threatened local wildlife. On the Gulf Coast, Hurricane Laura – one of the fastest-moving hurricanes on record – made landfall last Thursday, leaving widespread power outages and disrupting the nation’s energy-producing region.
Echoing this sentiment, Bill Gates, a Heliogen investor and backer, recently wrote in Gates Notes:
The pandemic has also reminded us how much innovation is needed to prevent a climate disaster. The best numbers I have seen estimate that the economic slowdown due to COVID-19 reduced global emissions by around 8 percent. That’s not nothing, but the austerity that got us there obviously isn’t sustainable. If we’re going to address climate change, we need to find new ways to do things that don’t release greenhouse gases, including how we move around.
The time to act is now, and Heliogen is among the companies and organizations leading the charge in creating breakthrough technology to answer the global call for innovation in the energy sector.
We are developing and deploying cost-effective solar thermal technologies that eliminate the use of fossil fuels in hard to decarbonize sectors. That same technology will also be capable of creating green fuels at scale such as hydrogen.
As we continue ramping operationally for Heliogen deployments, we are working with companies around the world that are intent on reducing their historic dependence on fossil fuels.
And we’re not alone.
Energy Vault, Heliogen’s sister company, is creating renewable energy storage products that are transforming the world’s approach to long duration energy storage. Its first utility-scale, commercial demonstration unit is under final commissioning now in Switzerland and will be connected to the Swiss national grid in order to demonstrate full charging and continuous power discharging capabilities. In June, the World Economic Forum selected Energy Vault as one of the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers of 2020.
We’re incredibly inspired by the younger generations stepping into the fight for health, racial, and climate justice. The future belongs to those who create it, and Heliogen is proud to be working towards a just future alongside the Greta Thunbergs and Vanessa Nakates of the world.
We welcome you to join us in our pursuit of a greener planet.
Heliogen is hiring! Come help us transform sunlight into fuels and empower sustainable civilization.
Industry: Decarbonize your industrial process with pure, abundant sunlight made by Heliogen’s award-winning solar concentration technology. Let us evaluate your facility to determine your potential cost savings and reduction in carbon emissions.