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Bill Gates invested $44 million in a project to save humanity: he uses robots to build huge solar farms

Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a climate change-focused venture capital firm backed by the likes of Bill Gates, has joined $44 million solar startup Terabase Energy, reports Interesting Engineering.

Photo: IStock

The venture capital firm, along with investor Prelude Ventures, spearheaded the Terabase deal and is known for its backing of Amp Robotics and Lime. The round brings Terabase Energy's total funding to $52 million.

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According to co-founder and CEO Matt Campbell, Terabase Energy's goal is to build "terawatt-scale" solar farms using robots.

Automation accelerates the construction of solar farms

The firm's automated factory uses robotic arms to lift and attach large solar panels to sun-tracking devices. This computerized facility can operate XNUMX/XNUMX, speeding up plant construction and reducing costs. Terabase also creates software tools to manage the design and construction of solar farms.

“This investment confirms our vision for the rapid deployment of solar power at the terawatt scale,” said Campbell. “It took the world fifty years to build the first terawatt (one million megawatts) of solar power, but we need to build at least 50 additional terawatts as quickly as possible to meet global decarburization targets.”

Until now, Terabase has been rather secretive about the details of its technology, although it has provided its services to paying customers.

The company's first commercial project reportedly installed 10 megawatt panels. There are one million megawatts in a terawatt, so the startup has a long way to go to reach its terawatt-scale goals. “Our only hope of truly resolving the climate crisis is to deploy clean technologies on a much larger scale to cover different areas of the economy than before. The Terabase platform is an exciting innovation to deploy more solar power faster and we are excited to partner with Terabase,” said Sheldon Kimber, CEO of Intersect Power, a Terabase customer.

Bill Gates climate change funding

Breakthrough Energy Ventures was founded by Bill Gates and has a wealthy and famous group of board members including Jeff Bezos and Masayoshi Son. The venture capital firm also recently backed Arizona-based startup Source Global, which takes water out of thin air. Source Global draws in ambient air with fans and collects water through condensation through a custom-made panel.

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