Bill Gates Leads $44M Funding Round to Automate and Accelerate PV Solar Panel Construction

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Bill Gates’ multi-billion dollar clean energy fund, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, led a $44m (A$63m) Series B funding round to automate the development, construction and operation of large-scale solar power plants.

The recipient of the funding – solar technology company Terabase Energy – has built the first all-digital platform it claims can manage the lifecycle of large-scale solar power, from land acquisition to the construction of factories.

In an effort to reduce the labor-intensive construction process, Terabase combines this cloud-based software with automated technologies to eliminate manual lifting of panels and steel, improving health and safety outcomes for workers who frequently work in harsh conditions.

Terabase has announced that it has received second-round funding from a consortium of investors led by Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Prelude Ventures, bringing the solar company’s total valuation to $52 million.

According to Breakthrough Energy, although the industry pays considerable attention to improving solar technology, the “engineering means and methods [utility-scale plants] remained virtually unchanged.

“The way the industry designs and builds large-scale projects needs to be rethought if we are to achieve the very rapid growth needed to achieve net zero goals. Terabase’s solution has enormous potential to reduce costs and accelerate the deployment of large-scale solar energy,” said Carmichael Roberts, Business Lead of Breakthrough Energy.

Terabase CEO and co-founder Matt Campell called the investment “a validation of [Terabase’s] vision for rapid deployment of solar energy at the terawatt scale”.

“It took the world fifty years to build the first terawatt (one million megawatts) of solar power, but we need at least 50 more terawatts built as quickly as possible to meet global decarbonization goals,” he said. he declared.

“This round of funding will allow us to continue to grow our team and make the necessary investments to achieve our mission.”

Gate’s latest cleantech investment was announced just days after Breakthrough Energy Ventures led $20 million funding in air conditioning startup Blue Frontier, which aims to eliminate the use of environmentally harmful refrigerants in everyday air conditioners.

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