UK firm plans solar powered gigawatt power plant

A UK firm is considering the possibility of using its solar combined heat and power technology to create a one gigawatt power plant.

Using technology which harnesses both the sun's light and heat, HelioDynamics hopes that a recent takeover by renewable energy firm EnergyMixx will give it a chance to deploy its technology on a large scale.

According to Low Carbon Accelerator, which owned an early stake in Cambridge-based HelioDynamics, when EnergyMixx raised its stake in the firm from 30 per cent to 100 per cent, it opened HelioDynamics to a new scale.

LCA told Business Weekly that the parent firm's industrialisation plan would help HelioDynamics technology become competitive by bringing its cost per MW down.

And the Swiss-based EnergyMixx also has a portfolio of 550MW of renewable energy concessions, which will allow HelioDynamics to deploy on a large scale.

The Cambridge company's chief executive and co-founder Graham Ford said the scale of the demand brought interesting challenges.

He told Business Weekly: "To meet all the concessions we may need to raise in excess of ?1 billion (£787 million), which we could do through equity and debt. There is no shortage of money, you just need the right quality deals backed by quality management.

"There is a technology roadmap for it and we are looking for industrial partners. The idea is to have a gigawatt power plant producing energy from the sun."

Meanwhile MIT-spinoff Promethean Power Systems is to use the Emerging Technologies conference to showcase a solar powered refrigerator with no moving parts to help chill milk and medicines in India.

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