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Hyperlight Energy Launches Tectonic Sun to Decarbonize Oil Wells

2022.03.08     From: energetica-india


Hyperlight Energy, announced the launch of Tectonic Sun™, a technology for electricity generation that is being paired with its flagship solar thermal solution, Hylux™.

Tectonic Sun is capable of providing emissions-free power with 80 percent capacity factor for use at any time of day or night throughout the year. The combination of Hylux and Tectonic Sun turns existing oil wells into clean energy generators, providing zero carbon electricity while reducing emissions during the extraction process at Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) sites.

The application of CSP thermal energy for this dual benefit is an industry first. Hyperlight estimates the statewide potential storage capacity of its technology to exceed the output of all the natural gas power plants in California, combined.


Hyperlight is building its first pilot installation, called Tectonic Sun Alpha, in Bakersfield, California. This demonstration builds on groundbreaking analysis work on geological thermal energy storage (GeoTES) performed by Hyperlight partner, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The analysis showed the energy capacity of a typical GeoTES installation to be about 146,000 MWhe with a storage duration of 4,000 hours – approximately six months of energy storage – at a fraction of the cost of any other approach.

Unlike other emerging technologies that offer only hours or days of storage based on one or two years of data and modeling, EOR has six decades of operation at scale by the world’s largest energy companies, with existing study data showing breakthrough round-trip thermal efficiency.


“Tectonic Sun Alpha reshapes the way we think about long duration storage and has transformative potential not just for California’s grid, but for the oil and gas industry throughout the state,” said John King, co-founder and CEO of Hyperlight. “Unlike oil and gas projects which eventually run dry, a GeoTES project will never run out of sunlight.  We believe Tectonic Sun Alpha can offer a blueprint to retrofit the tens of thousands of existing oil wells in California with solar thermal energy to produce a significant new source of cost effective, non-intermittent clean power.”


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