LONG BEACH, CA—Heliogen says it will build a full-scale facility here to develop, assemble and test heliostats (refelctive mirrors) and other components for its concentrated solar power (CSP) system. The facility will span 90,000 square feet and begin production in the third quarter of this year. It is expected to host 250 full-time local jobs by 2025.
Unlike a traditional CSP, which relies solely on concentrated sunlight, the Heliogen system leverages artificial intelligence (AI) so its heliostats more effectively direct sunlight into a receiver tower for heat, steam and electricity production. Available stored heat, in turn, reduces the intermittency of renewable energy generation.
Heliostats made at the facility are expected to be used in Heliogen’s first planned commercial project in California sometime next year.
Last December, the company rolled out ICARUS AI-backed robots that will deploy, position and clean the heliostats. This system uses GPS, ultrasonic rangefinders and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensors to operate autonomously. ICARUS is expected to be deployed across the Heliogen facility by 2023.