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Microsoft Partners with Helion Energy for Fusion Power Deal

Microsoft has signed a power purchase agreement with private U.S. nuclear fusion company Helion Energy, marking the first deal of its kind for the elusive power source. The partnership aims to provide Microsoft electricity from fusion energy within five years.

Microsoft building
Microsoft building

Fusion Energy: Aiming to Reduce Climate Change Emissions

Over 30 companies and government labs are working to harness fusion power, a potentially game-changing energy source that could help reduce emissions related to climate change. Unlike current fission reactors, fusion power wouldn't produce long-lasting radioactive waste.

Helion's Fusion Plant Targets 50 MW Generation by 2028

Helion's fusion power plant is anticipated to come online by 2028, with a target power generation of 50 megawatts or more after a one-year ramp-up period. The plant's successful implementation would mark a significant step towards commercial-scale fusion energy.

Helion's Innovative Approach to Fusion with Helium 3

Helion plans to utilize Helium 3, a rare gas type used in quantum computing, instead of tritium, a rare hydrogen isotope that many fusion companies are considering. Helion has raised over $570 million in private capital, with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman contributing $375 million in 2021.

Microsoft's Clean Energy Goals Supported by Helion's Fusion Work

Microsoft's partnership with Helion aligns with the tech giant's long-term clean energy objectives. The collaboration aims to establish a new, efficient method for quickly bringing clean energy to the grid. Financial and timing details of the power purchase agreement have yet to be disclosed.

Fusion Industry Encouraged by NRC's Decision on Regulation

Helion still requires design and construction approvals from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and local permits. However, the fusion industry is optimistic after the NRC decides to separate fusion regulation from fission, which could reduce timelines for license approvals.