An MIT spinoff has secured massive funding for using fusion power tech to drill 12 miles into the Earth and harvest the immense amount of energy down there.
The startup is called Quaise, and it picked up $40 million in series A funding last month. It says the money is going toward its efforts to leverage fusion technology to drill one of the deepest holes of all time. If successful, it could give humans access to nearly limitless and clean geothermal energy.
“We need a massive amount of carbon-free energy in the coming decades,” Mark Cupta, managing director at Prelude Ventures and one of the investors in the company, said in a press release.
“Quaise Energy offers one of the most resource-efficient and nearly infinitely scalable solutions to power our planet,” he added. “It is the perfect complement to our current renewable solutions, allowing us to reach baseload sustainable power in a not-so-distant future.”
This can be a very beneficial project. The traditional drill bits are limited with how far they can go before the hot temperatures, gasses, and liquids prevent them from going further. Quaise would use a machine called a gyrotron, which is used to create millimeter electromagnetic waves to superheat plasma in fusion reactors. Instead of plasma, the startup would point at the ground and drill into it using energy beams.
If we are very ambitious, this can also allow people to access geothermal power from the Earth no matter where they are in the world.
Quaise is scheduled to launch its first full-scale demonstration machines in 2024, with its first commercial operation by 2026.