Microsoft announced that it has entered into a power purchase agreement with Helion Energy, a startup in the field of nuclear fusion. As per the agreement, Microsoft will purchase electricity from Helion Energy in 2028. This agreement is a significant endorsement for fusion. While fusion has been regarded as the ultimate solution for clean energy for many years, it has been challenging to harness and commercialize it.
Under the terms of the power purchase agreement, Helion has committed to achieve its target power output of 50 megawatts within a one-year ramp-up period. Once the device is fully operational and generating 50 megawatts, it will have the capacity to power roughly 40,000 homes in Washington state. While the current deal with Microsoft is for 50 megawatts, Helion's long-term goal is to produce a gigawatt of electricity, which is equivalent to one billion watts or 20 million times the power being supplied to Microsoft.
Why it matters
With climate change action becoming a top priority for businesses and nations worldwide, private fusion companies have gained significant attention from investors, receiving a staggering $5 billion in funding. These companies aim to transform the elusive concept of fusion into a reliable source of electricity, making it a promising solution to combat the climate crisis.