Helion Announces World’s First Fusion Energy Purchase Agreement with Microsoft
Listen to this story:
New facility aims to deliver at least 50 MW and begin producing electricity by 2028, dramatically shortening the projected timeline for commercially viable fusion energy.
Helion Energy announced an agreement to provide Microsoft electricity from its first fusion power plant. Constellation will serve as the power marketer and will manage transmission for the project.
The plant is expected to be online by 2028 and will target power generation of 50 MW or greater after a 1-year ramp up period. The planned operational date for this first of its kind facility is significantly sooner than typical projections for deployment of commercial fusion power.
The development of a commercial fusion power facility is a crucial step in the transition to a sustainable energy future and will not only help Microsoft to achieve its goal of being carbon negative by 2030, but will also support the development of a new clean energy source for the world.
“This collaboration represents a significant milestone for Helion and the fusion industry as a whole,” said David Kirtley, CEO at Helion. “We are grateful for the support of a visionary company like Microsoft. We still have a lot of work to do, but we are confident in our ability to deliver the world’s first fusion power facility.”
See related article: Nasdaq and Microsoft Team to Expand Educational Sustainability Programming for Entrepreneurs
Helion, a privately held clean energy company committed to creating a new era of zero-carbon electricity through fusion, has been advancing its fusion technology for more than a decade. The company has previously built six working prototypes and was the first private fusion company to reach 100-million-degree plasma temperatures with its sixth fusion prototype. The company is currently building its seventh prototype, which is expected to demonstrate the ability to produce electricity in 2024.
“We are optimistic that fusion energy can be an important technology to help the world transition to clean energy,” said Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President at Microsoft. “Helion’s announcement supports our own long term clean energy goals and will advance the market to establish a new, efficient method for bringing more clean energy to the grid, faster.”
Fusion, the process that powers the sun and stars, has long been considered the Holy Grail of energy production. Fusion is capable of providing a nearly limitless source of energy without producing harmful carbon emissions or long-lived waste. The world’s first commercial facility would mark the dawn of a new era of energy.
This transformational next step builds on the sustainability goals previously announced between Microsoft and Constellation to lead the nation’s clean energy transition, allowing customers to reach their zero-emissions goals.
“Constellation is committed to innovation and supporting next-generation clean energy technologies to combat the climate crisis, and fusion would be a game-changer,” said Jim McHugh, Chief Commercial Officer at Constellation. “Combined with our hourly carbon-free energy matching solution, Helion and Microsoft are helping to build a future where carbon-free energy is the standard.”