Solar Energy Company Heliogen ready for New Years Eve on NYSE


Heliogen’s solar panels can power carbon dioxide extraction.

As time is running out in 2021, LA County was on the verge of acquiring another publicly traded company: Pasadena-based solar technology company Heliogen Inc.

On December 31, Heliogen was scheduled to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol HLGN, the proceeds of a special purpose company acquisition deal that valued the company at $ 2 billion. Three days earlier, on December 28, the board of directors of PSPC, based in Kennesaw, Ga., Athena Technology Acquisition Corp., approved the merger with Heliogen.


The commercial launch was to cap a busy December for Heliogen, another tech company launched in 2013 by serial entrepreneur and founder of startup accelerator Idealab, Bill Gross. Early investors included Microsoft founder Bill Gates and local billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong through his investment firm Nant Capital.


Earlier in December, Heliogen announced that it had received a $ 39 million grant from the Department of Energy to deploy a commercial-scale version of its concentrated solar panel technology in California.


“The broad and ambitious reach of this DOE award gives new impetus to the deployment of Heliogen’s innovative concentrated modular solar solution for carbon-free energy at scale,” Gross said in the announcement.


Heliogen’s technology uses an array of solar panels that are tilted to focus and direct the sun’s energy to the top of a central tower that houses a thermal storage tank. The energy can reach a temperature of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit, significantly higher than most other methods of concentrating solar energy. Inside the tank, heat is stored in rocks which, over time, release heat to an engine that produces energy through a carbon dioxide cycle. The heat also powers a separate electrolyser which produces hydrogen.


Heliogen’s technology of storing energy in rocks helps delay the release of electricity into the grid long after sunset and most other solar production for the day has ended.


On December 22, Heliogen announced a collaboration with another Idealab company founded by Gross, CarbonCapture Inc., which uses chemical catalysts to extract carbon dioxide from the air; the carbon dioxide is then stored underground. The catalytic process also produces water which can be used to irrigate surrounding land or used in consumer products.


The goal of the collaboration is to use the heat generated by Heliogen’s concentrated solar panels to power CarbonCapture’s catalytic process, which extracts carbon dioxide from the air.

“Heliogen’s revolutionary concentrated solar systems pair well with our revolutionary technology (direct air capture) – they are both modular, so they can be quickly implemented and quickly scaled up,” said Adrian Corless , Managing Director of CarbonCapture, in the announcement.

As for the PSPC deal, originally announced on July 7, the combined company is expected to bring in $ 415 million in cash from the deal, including $ 165 million from a private investment in public stocks, which includes investors. such as the steel and mining company ArcelorMittal. and the Morgan Stanley Counterpoint Global investment fund.

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