ImpactAlpha, April 25 — Fusion energy, considered the holy grail of clean energy, could be a scalable, zero-carbon source of power that avoids many of the drawbacks of other energy sources.
Seattle-based Avalanche Energy has raised $40 million to build modular fusion micro-reactors that cost tens of millions of dollars, not billions, and are small enough to fit on a desk. Avalanche says one of its two prototypes recently operated at 200 kilovolts, a key milestone.
The company will use the Series A funding to “scale up to run more tests at a faster pace,” said Avalanche’s Robin Langtry. Avalanche aims to reach 300 kilovolts in the next six to 12 months.
Chris Sacca’s Lowercarbon Capital led the round, with participation from Founders Fund, Toyota Ventures, Grantham Foundation, MCJ Collective and the Climate Capital Syndicate (Prime Impact Fund led the company’s 2021 seed round). If successful, Avalanche’s small reactors have “the potential to be stacked for endless power applications,” said Toyota’s Lisa Coca.
Fusion energy race
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory late last year achieved a net energy gain in a fusion reaction, a breakthrough 70-plus years in the making. Commercial fusion startups have raised billions to build demonstration plants and prove their technology, but have yet to create net energy.