Commonwealth Fusion Systems last week announced that a recent financing round had raised $1.8 billion in capital, making the company far and away the funding leader among a host of commercial fusion rivals. The previous leader, TAE Technologies, has announced investments totaling $880 million.
Commonwealth, which spun off from research at MIT, says the new investments will finance the construction, commissioning, and operation of its demonstration reactor, called SPARC. In 2018 Commonwealth estimated SPARC would cost $400 million. The funds will also pay for design and other preliminary work on a planned commercial fusion energy plant. Commonwealth has now raised a total of $2 billion since its founding in 2018.
The news follows the successful performance in September of Commonwealth’s full-scale prototype magnet. Made with yttrium barium copper oxide coils, the magnet exceeded 20 tesla, which the company says is the highest field ever recorded in a magnet made with high-temperature superconductors. The prototype is similar in size and construction to the 18 torroidal field magnets that will be components of SPARC, which is under construction in Devens, Massachusetts. The company predicts SPARC will achieve net fusion power in deuterium–tritium fuel in 2025.
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