Joule and Scatec Solar ASA to Align for Photovoltaic Powered Solar Fuel Production

Joule Plant
Joule Plant. Image courtesy of Joule.

Joule, the pioneer of the direct, solar conversion of CO2 into liquid fuels, today announced that it has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Scatec Solar ASA, a leading, independent solar power producer. In the MoU the parties have agreed to initiate a process to reach specific terms for a partnership, to support the roll-out of Joule production plants featuring photovoltaic power.

Joule’s proprietary, reverse-combustion process allows significant reductions in overall carbon footprint by using solar energy to convert waste CO2 directly into infrastructure-ready, carbon-neutral fuels. By closing the carbon cycle, Joule’s fuels enable a sustainable form of combustion. The use of photovoltaic power for plant operations is expected to reduce Joule’s system-level carbon footprint even further, netting more than a 90% improvement over conventional fuel production and setting the stage for truly sustainable mobility.

The terms of the MoU anticipate that Scatec Solar ASA will become preferred supplier and operator of photovoltaic power installations for Joule plants, with an initial deployment goal of up to 25,000 acres (~10,000 hectares) and a power requirement of 2 gigawatts. A deployment of this scale would generate up to 625 million gallons (~15 million barrels) of ethanol or 375 million gallons (~9 million barrels) of diesel per year, while consuming about 4 million tonnes of industrial waste CO2annually in the process.

“We have found an ideal strategic fit with Scatec Solar, who brings a turnkey solution for photovoltaic power along with a shared vision for sustainability,” said Paul Snaith, President and CEO of Joule. “With ever-increasing global attention on the consequences of climate change, we have an opportunity to produce transportation fuels with the lowest-known carbon footprint – using solar energy both as a feedstock and a power source. This relationship exemplifies our approach to building an ecosystem of like-minded partners with complementary expertise, which in turn will fast-track the availability of CO2-neutral fuels to a planet in urgent need of scalable solutions.”

“We continually seek to leverage our experience and know-how in developing new market applications for solar energy, and a partnership with Joule achieves just that,” said Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec Solar ASA. “This is a first-of-its-kind opportunity to merge the strengths of solar power and solar fuel, and we are excited to be among the first international supporters of this groundbreaking industry-changing production platform.”

Unlike fuels derived indirectly from algal or agricultural biomass, Joule’s process derives fuels directly from sunlight and waste CO2. The company’s engineered catalysts produce ethanol or hydrocarbons for diesel, gasoline and jet fuel in a continuous process – free of the feedstock constraints and complex processing that hinder biofuels, and without diverting vital food crops to fuel production. Moreover, the combination of Joule’s optimized catalysts and system efficiencies is designed to result in highly-competitive costs and land productivities up to 100X those of biomass-based approaches. The company is now scaling its process for Joule Sunflow®-E (sustainable ethanol) at its demonstration plant in Hobbs, New Mexico.

About Joule

Joule has pioneered a CO2-to-fuel production platform, effectively reversing combustion through the use of solar energy. The company’s platform applies engineered catalysts to continuously convert waste CO2 directly into renewable fuels such as ethanol or hydrocarbons for diesel, jet fuel and gasoline. Free of feedstock constraints and complex processing, Joule’s process can achieve unrivaled scalability, volumes and costs without the use of any agricultural land, fresh water or crops. Joule is privately held and has raised over $160 million in funding to date, led by Flagship Ventures. The company operates from Bedford, Massachusetts and The Hague, The Netherlands, with production operations in Hobbs, New Mexico.

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