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Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures backs $44M funding of Terabase solar farm

Terabase Energy
Image credits: Terabase Energy

Terabase Energy, a California-based solar tech energy company, raised $44M in a Series B round co-led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Prelude Ventures, with additional participation by SJF Ventures and other existing investors. The latest round brings Terabase’s total funding to $52M. 

How will the funds be used?

The fund will enable the US company to support its mission to reduce the cost and increase the scalability of solar by building a digital and robotic automation platform for the development, construction, and operation of utility-scale PV power plants.

“This investment is a validation of our vision for rapidly deploying solar at the Terawatt scale,” says Matt Campbell, co-founder and CEO of Terabase Energy. “It took fifty years for the world to build the first Terawatt (one million Megawatts) of solar, but we need at least 50 additional Terawatts built as quickly as possible to meet global decarbonisation targets. This round of funding will allow us to continue to expand our team and make the investments necessary to achieve our mission.”

Rapid deployment of solar plants

Founded in 2019 through a spin-out of the power plant technology group from SunPower Corporation, Terabase will enable rapid deployment of solar plants at more competitive costs.

Terabase’s existing software suite includes cloud-based apps for plant design, solar energy modeling (PlantPredict), and construction management. 

The company has built the first digital platform for managing the full project life cycle of utility-scale solar and combined it with a construction automation system to transform how solar power plants are deployed. 

Terabase’s automated field factory, capable of 24/7 operations, can significantly compress construction schedules and reduce costs while ensuring higher build quality. 

The robotics-assisted workflow will also improve worker health and safety by eliminating manual lifting of heavy panels and steel components under difficult outdoor weather conditions.

Terabase is working alongside project developers, owners, and engineering & construction firms to support the design, optimization, and deployment of large-scale solar projects worldwide. 

“In recent years, the solar industry has been focused on technological improvements of solar panels and other hardware components while the means and methods of engineering and construction have been largely unchanged. As a result, the industry designs and builds large-scale projects needs to be rethought if we are to reach the rapid growth required to meet net-zero goals,” says Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

He adds, “To enable the Terawatt-scale deployment of solar needed to decarbonize, we believe a breakthrough is needed to transform how PV power plants are built. Terabase’s solution has tremendous potential to reduce costs and accelerate the deployment of large-scale solar, and we look forward to working with them on that mission.”

Tim Woodward, Managing Director of Prelude Ventures, adds, “Terabase’s software and automation platform allows for developers and EPCs to effectively design and manage their projects from the point of land acquisition to rapid and high-quality construction through automation. This is an essential solution for solar to get to Gigawatt-scale projects worldwide.”

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