AI-enabled concentrated solar energy startup inks SPAC deal

July 09, 2021 // By Rich Pell
AI-enabled concentrated solar energy startup inks SPAC deal
Renewable energy technology company Heliogen, a leading provider of AI-enabled concentrated solar power, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Athena Technology Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: ATHN).

Heliogen’s modular, AI-enabled, concentrated solar power plants with storage are designed to alleviate intermittency issues associated with renewable sources of power generation by flattening the power generation curve. The company's heliostat layout and control system, which uses AI and an array of 40,000 computer-vision-controlled mirrors, facilitate concentration of the sun's rays and has the ability to generate temperatures at the point of focus that can exceed 1,000 degrees centigrade.

This heat can then be captured and converted for industrial use, power generation, or to produce green hydrogen fuel, with the goal of providing near-24-hour renewable energy that could replace fossil fuels with concentrated sunlight. The company says that it is commencing the commercialization of its AI-enabled, concentrated solar power modules with internationally recognized customers in the industrial, mining, and energy sectors.

"We are excited to combine with Athena to leverage our collective expertise as we execute our strategy to accelerate Heliogen’s growth and scale our groundbreaking concentrated solar technology for the global energy market,” says Bill Gross, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Heliogen. "I have been building companies nearly my entire life, and the opportunity that Heliogen’s technology represents, to decarbonize power generation, replace other carbon-intensive sources of industrial heat, and contribute to the cost efficient production of alternative fuels such as green hydrogen, is at the head of the pack in terms of its potential to make a positive impact on society."

The merger transaction with Athena implies a pro forma enterprise value of the combined company of $2 billion and is estimated to provide gross proceeds at closing of up to approximately $415 million to the combined company, including estimated proceeds from a $165 million fully-committed Class A common stock private investment in public equity (PIPE), anchored by existing and new investors including funds and accounts managed by Counterpoint Global (Morgan Stanley), Salient Partners, Saba Capital, and the XCarb Innovation Fund of ArcelorMittal.

Phyllis Newhouse, Chief Executive

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