Sceye | June 20, 2022
Sceye, a manufacturer of High-Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS), announced today that it reached the stratosphere with the aim of demonstrating the ability to stay over an area of operation for months at a time using renewable energy sources. The milestone test launch, which is using patented solar and battery power, puts Sceye on track to expand internet access to remote populations, monitor greenhouse gasses down to individual emitters, and detect natural disasters as they begin. The company also announced additional test flights for Q3 and Q4 2022.
Sceye’s HAPS launched at 6:55 AM MDT from the company’s hangar at the Roswell International Airport.
“Today’s test flight holds extraordinary potential for stratospheric discovery,” said Sceye founder and CEO, Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen. “By maintaining position in the stratosphere for extended periods of time, we can begin realizing the promises of the stratosphere for life on Earth. Universal internet access, methane monitoring, and wildfire detection are all at our fingertips.”
Today’s launch objectives were to:
Test durability and performance of renewable power systems in the stratosphere
Demonstrate the ability to stay over an area of operation
Maintain a constant float altitude in the stratosphere
Sceye’s HAPS design, in the form of an enhanced balloon, can lift a variety of payloads for connectivity, earth observation, and scientific research. Its hull fabric can manage the extreme environment of the stratosphere, and optimizes strength, helium retention, and thermal management. High-performance batteries and solar panels close the power loop: enough power storage to last until sunrise, and efficient solar cells to collect energy during the day.
“We are thrilled to see years of research and development culminating in this milestone moment, It is the very best application of material science pushing the boundaries of near space.”
-David Kim, Sceye’s Chief Technology Officer.
“This launch is the second of six in our test program this year intended to verify payload and automated flight while ensuring safe operations. We’re excited to learn more from upcoming flight tests planned for late summer and fall.”
-Chief of Mission Operations, Stephanie Luongo
In October 2021, Sceye was the first to connect a Massive MIMO antenna with 3D beamforming from the stratosphere directly to smartphones on the ground over a 140 km distance — a world record in Open RAN. In March 2022, Sceye successfully validated its automated flight software which increases the reliability of its HAPS during its most critical phases of flight – launch and ascent.
Sceye has partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), New Mexico Economic Development Department, and New Mexico Environment Department on a five-year study to monitor air quality in the State of New Mexico. Sceye’s HAPS will track methane emissions with a sub 1-m resolution, allowing them to determine pollution levels as well as pinpoint individual emitters.
Sceye is a material science company founded in 2014 to unleash the possibilities in the stratosphere by uplifting and connecting all people, and protecting our planet. The company has developed a new generation of stratospheric platforms to provide universal and equitable connectivity, improve climate change monitoring, natural resource stewardship, forest fire monitoring and better detect and contain disasters before they spiral out of control. Sceye continues the humanitarian work of founder and CEO Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen. As owner and former CEO of the public health companies Vestergaard and LifeStraw, he led innovations in material science that have saved millions of lives. LifeStraw water filters have helped nearly eradicate Guinea worm disease, and PermaNet, bed nets made from innovative fibers that release microscopic doses of insecticide, have helped reduce global malaria deaths by more than half.
STRATEGY AND BEST PRACTICES
Johnson Matthey | May 25, 2022
Johnson Matthey, a global leader in sustainable technologies, and bp, an international energy company, have announced that their co-developed, ground-breaking Fischer Tropsch (FT) CANS™ technology and Johnson Matthey's innovative reverse water gas shift technology, HyCOgen™, have been selected for use by Aramco and Repsol at a new synthetic fuels plant in Bilbao, Spain.
The plant will be one of the world's first to use renewable (green) hydrogen and CO2 as its only raw materials. It is due to be commissioned in 2024, with a starting capacity of more than 2,100 tonnes per year. It will produce a sustainable synthetic drop-in fuel that can be blended for existing road vehicle engines, planes and ships.
It is the second licence signed for the FT CANS technology, which was jointly developed with bp to deliver significant environmental and operational benefits. It converts synthesis gas (syngas), generated from sources such as industrial emissions, direct air capture, municipal solid waste or other renewable biomass, into long-chain hydrocarbons suitable for the production of diesel and jet fuels.
It is the first licence signed for Johnson Matthey's recently launched HyCOgen technology, which uses a catalysed process to convert CO2 and green hydrogen into carbon monoxide (CO), which is then combined with additional hydrogen to form syngas. Coupling HyCOgen and FT CANS technologies provide an end-to-end, scalable process optimized for high conversion efficiency — enabling the production of premium quality synthetic crude oil.
Aramco Chief Technology Officer, Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, said: "This agreement supports our ongoing work to develop lower-emission transport solutions and we are thrilled by the opportunity it represents. Converting CO2 into synthetic, lower-carbon fuels can meaningfully contribute to the reduction of transport emissions and, through this strategic partnership, we aim to harness innovative technologies that can unlock the full potential of both sustainable fuels and chemicals — and demonstrate their competitiveness."
Adriana Orejas, Director Industrial Transformation and Deep Tech at Repsol said: "The development of Bilbao synthetic fuel, where sustainable synthetic fuel shall be produced, represents an important step on our commitment of being a Net Zero Emission company by 2050, aligned with the climate objectives set out in Paris by COP21. Coupling Johnson Matthey, a reliable and demonstrated global leader technologist, HyCOgen and FT CANS Technology allow us to demonstrate the whole value chain of producing sustainable fuel from CO2 and renewable hydrogen as unique raw materials, complementing Repsol´s portfolio of Low carbon fuels alternatives."
Noemie Turner, VP Technology development & commercialisation at bp, said: "Repsol and Aramco choosing to license our co-developed FT CANS technology recognises great science and engineering. This builds on the first license to Fulcrum Bioenergy, further demonstrating the key role of the technology in the production of sustainable fuels."
Jane Toogood, Sector Chief Executive at Johnson Matthey, said: "In licensing both the HyCOgen and FT CANS technologies for their Bilbao plant, Repsol and Aramco have recognised the potential of this pioneering solution — and shown that we're a trusted partner in sustainable fuel production technology."
The scalability of the combined HyCOgen and FT CANS solutions enables cost-effective deployment across a wide range of project sizes. Either technology can also be licensed independently.
About Johnson Matthey:
Johnson Matthey is a global leader in sustainable technologies that enable a cleaner and healthier world. With over 200 years of sustained commitment to innovation and technological breakthroughs, we improve the performance, function and safety of our customers' products. Our science has a global impact in areas such as low emission transport, pharmaceuticals, chemical processing and making the most efficient use of the planet's natural resources. Today about 15,000 Johnson Matthey professionals collaborate with our network of customers and partners to make a real difference to the world around us.
Onward Energy | July 06, 2022
Onward Energy today announced that it has entered into a binding agreement to purchase 100% of the cash equity interests in a 1,171 MW operating solar portfolio from Global Atlantic Financial Group ("Global Atlantic"). The portfolio includes 11 projects in 8 states and will be the largest renewable investment in Onward Energy's history, further expanding the company's portfolio to over 6 GW of diverse power generation assets.
"We believe that this acquisition of high quality solar assets is a strong fit with our existing portfolio, consistent with our view of the energy transition and complementary to our growth strategy. Working with Global Atlantic and their exemplary team, we were able to sign the agreement quickly and seamlessly."Anup Agarwal, Chief Investment Officer of Global Atlantic, said: "This portfolio is part of a diverse set of solar investments that we're proud to have built over the past seven years, and we believe that Onward Energy will be an excellent steward of these assets. We were pleased to reach an agreement and are committed to building our presence in this space as global demand for clean power continues to rise."
-Steve Doyon, Onward Energy's Chief Executive Officer
Onpeak Capital LLC served as financial advisor and Mayer Brown LLP served as legal advisor to Global Atlantic. Milbank LLP served as legal adviser to Onward.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.
About Onward Energy
Onward Energy is an independent power generator that currently owns and operates over 5 GW of solar, wind, and gas generation projects in the U.S. With 45 projects in 18 states, Onward Energy is a national leader in the clean energy transition, investing in the next generation of reliable, clean technologies that will enable our customers and communities to meet their decarbonization goals faster.
About Global Atlantic
Global Atlantic Financial Group is a leader in the U.S. life insurance and annuity industry, serving the needs of individuals and institutions. With differentiated investment and risk management capabilities, deep client relationships, and a strong financial foundation, the company has established a track record of delivering proven, value-added solutions and long-term growth. Global Atlantic is a majority-owned subsidiary of KKR, a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management across multiple strategies and capital markets solutions. KKR's parent company is KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR).
Clean Energy Systems, Inc. | July 15, 2022
Clean Energy Systems, Inc. (CES) announced that it entered into an agreement to acquire the idled Madera Biomass Power Plant (located in Madera County, California). CES intends to convert the existing facility into a Biomass Carbon Removal and Storage (BiCRS) Facility.
"We are excited for the opportunity to expand our efforts to address the challenges of climate change, improve air quality in the Central Valley and make a vital contribution to the local economy by converting an idled biomass plant into a BiCRS facility, We look forward to engaging and working with all neighboring landowners and other stakeholders as we progress this critical project in the coming months."
-Keith Pronske, CES' President and CEO
The facility, once converted into a BiCRS facility, will convert agricultural waste biomass from local farms, into a renewable synthesis gas that will be mixed with oxygen in a combustor to generate electricity and/or hydrogen. More than 99% of the carbon from the process is expected to be captured for permanent storage by safely injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) underground into nearby deep geologic formations. By using biomass fuel that consumes CO2 over its lifetime to produce energy and then safely and permanently storing the produced CO2, the process is designed to result in net-negative carbon emissions, effectively removing greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.
The new BiCRS facility, when completed, is expected to remove about 600,000 tons of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to the emissions from electricity use of more than 130,000 U.S. homes. It also will help improve air quality in the San Joaquin Valley by using approximately 400,000 tons of agricultural waste annually (which otherwise would have been burned), in line with the California Air Resources Control Board plan to begin phasing out agricultural burning in the San Joaquin Valley by 2025.
Working with its partners, CES plans to evaluate the Madera Biomass Power Plant for conversion to a BiCRS facility using CES' proprietary oxy-fuel technology that contributes to cost-effective carbon capture. BiCRS is identified as a low-cost form of engineered carbon removal, resulting in net energy production without routine emissions of nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide and particulates from combustion produced by conventional biomass plants.
The agriculture industry requires clean and effective disposal options as an alternative to open field burning," said Roger Isom, President/CEO of the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association and Western Agricultural Processors Association. Repurposing conventional biomass power plants into carbon removal projects is one of the solutions that also addresses air quality in the Central Valley.
The work builds upon the efforts of similar projects in Fresno and Kern Counties, which are under active development. The acquisition is subject to continued due diligence, with closing expected in early 2023.
About Clean Energy Systems
Clean Energy Systems is a California-based technology company and a global leader in the development and deployment of carbon reducing energy systems. The company has successfully transitioned proven, reliable rocket engine combustion principles into a flexible and economically attractive power generation system for the benefit of our planet. CES' proprietary oxy-combustion technologies enable cleaner and more efficient co-generation of power, steam, water, and captured CO2 and offers the world a new perspective on the way we assess the value of natural resources.