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Monday, Sep 25, 2023

Heliogen Raises $108 Million for Solar Energy Technology

Pasadena-based energy technology company Heliogen Inc. has raised a total of $108 million in two funding rounds to help develop its industrial solar energy technology, the company announced June 15.

Heliogen closed an $83 million round, which included investor participation from Rosemead-based utility Edison International, Luxembourg-based steel and mining company ArcelorMittal, and Jackson, Wyo.-based startup-focused firm venture capital firm Prime Movers Lab.

The funding follows a $25 million round raised by Heliogen in 2020.

The company said it will use the funding to accelerate deployment of its Sunlight Refinery project. Sunlight Refinery is a concentrated solar energy system designed to make carbon-free energy for high-temperature heat, electricity and green hydrogen more accessible and less costly than fossil fuels.

“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,” Heliogen Chief Executive Bill Gross said in a statement.

In 2019, Heliogen used concentrated solar energy to exceed temperatures greater than 1,000 degrees Celsius by using an array of mirrors to reflect sunlight to a single target at its Sunlight Refinery. The system provides carbon-free thermal energy that can replace fossil fuels in the production of cement, steel and petrochemicals, the company said.

Heliogen’s goal is to mitigate the climate crisis by expanding availability of its technology around the world. The company said it will use the new funding to develop Sunlight Refinery facilities in the U.S., Middle East-North Africa and Asia Pacific regions.

“Heliogen is providing steel producers with an exciting new technology which could make a valuable contribution to cutting carbon emissions,” Pinakin Chaubal, chief technology officer of ArcelorMittal, said in a statement.

Founded in 2013, Heliogen uses solar power to create solutions for power, heat and fuel generation in industrial settings. In November, Heliogen’s heat technology was included on Time’s Best Inventions of 2020 list.

Heliogen’s early backers include Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates and billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong through his investment firm, Nant Capital.

In March, Heliogen announced an agreement with its first customer, London-based Rio Tinto Group, the second-largest mining company in the world, which will use Heliogen’s technology for its borate mine in Boron.

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