TAE Technologies exceeds fusion reactor performance goals by 250% as company closes $250M round; $1.2B to date
After achieving temperatures greater than 75 million degrees Celsius and demonstrating unmatched real-time control of plasma with its fifth-generation fusion research reactor, Norman, TAE Technologies has secured strategic and institutional investments to fund the construction of its next research reactor, the sixth-generation Copernicus.
TAE says that its non-radioactive approach represents the fastest, most practical, and economically competitive solution to bring abundant carbon-free energy to the grid. TAE’s Copernicus reactor, which will be constructed in a 100,000-square-foot facility in Irvine, Calif., is designed to demonstrate the viability of achieving net energy generation with TAE’s advanced beam-driven field-reversed configuration (FRC)—the penultimate step on TAE’s path to commercialize clean fusion power.
TAE’s fifth-generation reactor, Norman, has proven capable of sustaining stable plasma at more than 75 million degrees Celsius, 250% higher than its original goal.
TAE’s fifth-generation reactor, Norman, was unveiled in 2017 and was designed to keep plasma stable at 30 million degrees Celsius. After five years of experiments to optimize Norman’s capabilities, the machine has proven capable of sustaining stable plasma at more than 75 million degrees Celsius, 250% higher than its original goal.
With a track record of over delivering on milestones and performance capacity, TAE has to date has raised a total of $1.2 billion for its commercial fusion development. In its recently closed Series G-2 financing round, TAE secured $250 million from investors in the energy, technology, and engineering sectors to support the company’s mission to deliver a long-term solution to rapidly growing electricity demand while providing global energy independence and security.
TAE’s safe, non-radioactive approach avoids carbon and particulate emissions, mitigating any impact on the environment or climate change.
Chevron, Google, Reimagined Ventures, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, and TIFF Investment Management are among the company’s most recent investors, along with a large US West-coast-based mutual fund manager and a big US pension fund. Goldman Sachs served as the exclusive financial advisor in connection with the Series G-2 financing round.
This investment follows TAE’s public-private partnership with Japan’s National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS).
Google continues to be an exceptional computational AI and machine learning partner for TAE. With a collaboration that began in 2014, Google’s investment follows the success of the jointly developed Optometrist Algorithm, which deploys Google’s machine learning to optimize the operation of TAE’s research reactors, substantially advancing the rate of progress and ultimate performance achieved. Programmatic steps that used to take well over a month can now be achieved within one day. In addition, the companies have developed breakthrough capabilities in holistically post-processing and integrating a large set of independent diagnostic measurements to produce high fidelity insights into experimental data at record-breaking scale.
What sets TAE apart from other fusion efforts is the company’s proprietary advanced beam-driven field-reversed configuration (FRC), a combination of plasma physics and accelerator physics, developed to integrate into the grid with TAE’s preferred fuel source, hydrogen-boron, also known as proton-boron or p-B11.
TAE’s sixth-generation fusion reactor Copernicus is expected to demonstrate the viability of achieving net energy generation from TAE fusion by mid-decade.
TAE’s sixth-generation fusion reactor Copernicus
TAE is committed to non-radioactive hydrogen-boron both for its abundance—in excess of 100,000 years supply globally—and because it is the cleanest, safest, most economical terrestrial fuel cycle for fusion, with no geopolitical concerns or proliferation risks. The company has worked toward delivering cost-competitive, environmentally benign hydrogen-boron fusion since its founding in 1998.