The city of Lancaster on Monday, Nov. 7, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Heliogen, Inc., a California-based renewable energy technology company that uses concentrating solar thermal systems to convert sunlight into steam, heat, power, and green hydrogen fuel.

Under the terms of the MOU, Heliogen will serve as the technology provider, project developer, builder, operator, and equity partner for a green hydrogen generation facility that will support the city’s vision to become a model for hydrogen production in the U.S.

“Founder and CEO of Heliogen, Bill Gross, has been a longtime partner and friend. I am thrilled we can continue our collaboration by helping to create a sustainable future and continue to combat climate extinction through shared leadership and development of renewable hydrogen,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. 

“Together, we will accelerate the city’s net-zero vision and expand our hydrogen capabilities throughout the greater Los Angeles region, which could support the ARCHES hydrogen hub proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy.”

“We are extremely pleased to broaden our long-standing relationship with the city of Lancaster to help them achieve their visionary sustainability goals through the development of carbon-free green hydrogen,” Gross said. “This partnership further demonstrates that powering the planet with renewable energy is not only critical to fighting climate change – it is also a real economic opportunity for our cities.”

The facility is expected to leverage Heliogen’s patented technology to concentrate sunlight and could generate up to 1500 metric tons per year of carbon-free hydrogen, officials said in the news release. The Heliogen facility could help support other projects within Lancaster and the region, including sustainable aviation fuel for hydrogen-powered aircraft, fueling stations for hydrogen-powered vehicles, and sales and distribution of hydrogen fuel for industrial processes such as vertical agriculture, cement, and mining.

Heliogen expects to bring on additional equity partners to support the project’s construction costs. The city of Lancaster will assist with site identification, review by City Council and the community as required, support for permitting process, and evaluation of economic development potential.

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