Microsoft signed a first of its kind agreement with Helion Energy to purchase electricity from a fusion power plant.
Helion, a start-up based near Seattle, has been developing 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. The first commercial 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.
“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.”
Constellation will serve as the power marketer and will manage transmission for the project.
“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.”