Beyer Statement On Historic Commercial Fusion Contract
Washington, May 12, 2023
Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Fusion Energy Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, today hailed the announcement of an historic purchase agreement between Microsoft and Helion Energy to provide electricity generated by a fusion energy plant in 2028.
“Helion’s agreement to power Microsoft on fusion energy in 2028 demonstrates the promise of historic steps forward on fusion,” said Rep. Beyer. “As a policymaker heavily involved in promoting the development and deployment of fusion energy, one of the most important objectives I see in fusion energy is moving the incredible potential of fusion energy from the research stage to actually supplying power to the grid. For decades, fusion energy was said to be ‘just a decade away.’ Now, a leading fusion developer has signed a contract to power one of America’s premier tech companies in just five years. Time will tell whether this ambitious goal is achievable, but the broader effort to commercialize fusion is moving forward, and I will be working with my colleagues in both parties to help sustain that progress.”
Rep. Beyer recently organized a fusion energy CoDel, which included visits to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and research facilities of private fusion energy developers.
Beyer is the founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Fusion Energy Caucus. He was a leading governmental voice in celebrating the historic announcement of a net energy gain from a human-controlled fusion energy reaction late last year. He has continuously advocated for fusion energy research and funding as a long time member of the House Science Committee, with his colleagues in Congress, at the White House, in the pages of Scientific American, and elsewhere.
The bipartisan Fusion Energy Caucus, which Beyer founded in 2021, has helped secure increased funding for investments in the Department of Energy’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences through the annual congressional appropriations process, as well as in the Inflation Reduction Act, and authorized major expansions of the U.S. funding for fusion research in the CHIPS and Science Act. The Caucus has over forty members in the House, with a mission to educate Congress about the research and increasing potential of fusion energy, and to build support for research and development.