Microsoft Signs On to Make Datacenter Fusion a Reality

Posted on Friday, May 19, 2023 by Ned Bellavance

Featured in this episode of Chaos Lever

Microsoft has signed an agreement with Helion Energy to build a commercial fusion facility in Washington state, with an operational plant running by 2028. That’s… less than 10 years!

The thing about current fusion reactors across the world is not that they can’t produce fusion- most of them can and do on a regular basis- it’s that none of them have been able to produce more power than it takes to run the reactor. And that’s kind of a problem if you want fusion to be self-sustaining. Microsoft is also a little dubious, so they’ve agreed to buy power from Helion once the plant is producing said power.

Helion is just one of many fusion startups that have received increased attention over the last decade from venture capital. If you want a more in-depth look at how Helion is approaching fusion, check out the YouTube video from Real Engineering.

I’m cautiously optimistic about the state of fusion power, and as much as I like to lampoon it; it also seems like it could be an incredible fix for reducing carbon emissions.