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June 7, 2024

Commonwealth Fusion Systems inks $15M federal deal to accelerate energy tech

Photo | Courtesy of Commonwealth Fusion Systems (From left) Commonwealth Fusion Systems CEO Bob Mumgaard shows off the company's new campus to U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, and U.S. Senator Edward Markey in February 2023.

Devens-based Commonwealth Fusion Systems has reached a $15-million agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy which seeks to accelerate development of fusion-related technologies.

The company was one of eight fusion-related companies selected by the DOE to receive a total of $46 million, as part of the department’s Milestone-Based Fusion Development Program, according to a Thursday press release issued by CFS. The funding was announced at a White House summit on the topic of fusion energy. 

“The Milestone program is a key tool to accelerate the fusion industry’s growth from research projects to operating power plants,” CFS CEO and Co-founder Bob Mumgaard said in the press release.

“Its incentives can help us keep moving step by step toward our goal of building our first fusion power plant by the early 2030s,” Mumgaard said. “Clean, abundant fusion energy will help the country reach its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

Fusion technology, based on the same scientific process that powers the Sun and other stars, has the potential to be a long-term energy source that does not produce greenhouse gasses or long-lived radioactive waste, according to the DOE’s website. 

CFS is working on a machine, dubbed SPARC, to use electromagnetic technology to squeeze plasma composed of hydrogen ions until fusion occurs. The company is aiming for the technology to result in the company’s first power plant, which it hopes will begin delivering power to the grid by the early 2030s. The company is building a $2-billion facility in Devens and has major backers like Bill Gates among its investors.

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