Bill Gates-led fund invests in automated solar deployment platform

Terabase has raised $44m in its latest funding round for its digital platform that manages the full project lifecycle of utility-scale solar, helping reduce cost and increase the scalability of plants

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Terabase Energy has secured financial backing from Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) to support its interconnected digital and automation platform that is expected to help reduce the cost and increase the scalability of utility-scale solar power plants.

The company’s latest $44 million (£36m) Series B financing was co-led by BEV and Prelude Ventures, bringing its total funding to $52 million (£42.8m).

Terabase has built a digital platform for managing the full project lifecycle of utility-scale solar and combined it with a construction automation system to transform the way solar plants are deployed.

It is expected to help to “significantly compress” construction schedules and reduce costs as well as improve worker health and safety by eliminating manual lifting of heavy panels and steel components under often difficult outdoor weather conditions.

Carmichael Roberts, Co-lead, Investment Committee, Breakthrough Energy Ventures said: “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. The way the industry designs and builds large-scale projects needs to be rethought if we are to reach the very rapid growth required to meet net zero goals.

“To enable the terawatt-scale deployment of solar needed to decarbonise, 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.”

The latest financing will enable full commercial deployment of Terabase’s integrated solution in 2023.

Matt Campbell, Co-founder and CEO of Terabase Energy added: “This investment is validation of our vision for rapidly deploying solar at the terawatt scale.

“It took 50 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.”