Venture Capital

Bill Gates’ Firm Invests in Terabase Energy

BERKELEY — Terabase Energy has announced a $44 million Series B financing co-led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures (founded by Bill Gates) and Prelude Ventures with additional participation by SJF Ventures and other existing investors. The round brings Terabase’s total funding to $52 million and will be used to support the company’s 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.

Terabase 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 the way 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 often 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 around the world. The new round of financing will enable full commercial deployment of the company’s integrated solution in 2023 and comes shortly after Terabase announced its first commercial project, the largest deployment of robotics in solar plant construction to date.

Breakthrough Energy was founded by Bill Gates and is backed by many of the world’s top business leaders. BEV has raised more than $2 billion in committed capital to support cutting-edge companies that are leading the world to net-zero emissions.

“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,” said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “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.”

“This investment is validation of our vision for rapidly deploying solar at the Terawatt scale,” said 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 decarbonization targets. This round of funding will allow us to continue to expand our team and make the investments necessary to achieve our mission.”