Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures invests in automated solar construction company Terabase Energy
U.S. startup Terabase Energy has secured $44 million in a Series B funding round co-led by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and venture capital firm Prelude Ventures, among others, to boost the commercialization of its technology for the construction of automated solar parks.
The increase sees the company’s total accumulated amount climb to US$52m – it pocketed US$6m in 2020 – and will be specifically used to support ‘solar scalability by building a platform for digital automation and robotics for the development, construction and operation of large-scale photovoltaic power plants.
The California-based company said the increase would allow for a “full commercial rollout” of its product in 2023.
Terabase said it has “built the first digital platform to manage the full life cycle of utility-scale solar project”, combining it with a building automation system to “transform the way solar power plants are deployed “.
The company said its “automated field factory” was capable of round-the-clock operations and could significantly shorten project construction times, reduce costs and ensure better construction quality, adding that the process ” would improve worker health and safety” by removing manual lifting of steel modules and components.
“In recent years, the solar industry has focused on technological improvements in solar panels and other hardware components, while engineering and construction means and methods have remained largely unchanged,” said Carmichael Roberts. of Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
“This investment validates our vision for rapid deployment of solar power at the terawatt scale,” said Matt Campbell, co-founder and CEO of Terabase Energy, which purchased a predictive energy modeling tool called PlantPredict from American thin-film module maker First Solar in August last year.
“It took the world fifty years to build the first solar terawatt, but we need at least 50 more terawatts built as soon as possible to meet global decarbonization goals,” he added.