Sam Altman invests in developer of modular solar power and heat unit

Updated:2024-04-29 15:36Source:renewablesnow

US start-up Exowatt has raised USD 20 million (EUR 18.8m) in seed funding to deliver its self-contained solar thermal and power product to first data centre customers and expand its team.

 A rendering of Exowatt P3 modules. Image source: Business Wire/Exowatt

Venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Atomic, alongside OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, contributed to the seed round, Exowatt said in a press release on Monday.

Exowatt developed a modular, 3-in-1 solution called Exowatt P3, consisting of a heat collector, a heat battery and a heat engine that can dispatch power and heat throughout the day.

The heat collector captures solar energy, which the P3 stores as heat in a thermal battery that can retain the energy for up to 24 hours. The P3's heat engine can convert the stored heat into electricity whenever needed, ensuring reliable power around the clock.

The P3 is designed to fit within a standard shipping container, enabling quick and easy deployment compared to traditional power plants, according to Exowatt.

The start-up is targeting data centres as its customers, to address their surging energy demand and costs fueled by the growth of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) development.

Exowatt expects its technology, once it scales, to generate electricity for as low as USD 0.01/kWh, potentially even less, making its solution cheaper than fossil fuels and other renewable energy sources.

The firm said that it already has a backlog of demand for over 500 MW for data centres across the US and plans to begin deployments later this year.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.938)

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