Concentrated solar energy system manufacturing Heliogen has begun to set up a production facility in Long Beach, California.
The company said on Feb. 22 that its 90,000 sq. ft. Long Beach facility is expected to become operational in the third quarter of 2022. The facility is designed to feature assembly lines, a test facility, and what the company said is a rapid development center.
Heliostats produced at the facility are expected to be used in the company’s first commercial project in California. Heliogen CEO Bill Gross said that the production facility’s controlled conditions present manufacturing advantages over previous construction field production.
The new facility is expected to create 250 full-time jobs.
Founded in 1996, Heliogen aims to produce continuous carbon-free energy using modular concentrated solar technology, replacing fossil fuels in heavy industry. The company said that its technology is capable of producing around 100 MW of energy with 20 modules. A plant could deliver an 85% capacity factor at a cost of $0.05 a kilowatthour, including subsidies.
The U.S. Department of Energy is providing up to $30 million for CSP research, including demonstration projects in the industrial sector.
The industrial sector could gain the most from CSP thermal energy storage deployment. That’s particularly true if the technology replaces natural gas in heat-driven processes like the production of steel, cement, ammonia, and fuels, according to Craig Turchi, who leads the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s CSP program.