EVERETT — TerraPower, an energy company that operates a 65,000-square-foot nuclear research facility near Paine Field, has secured $750 million in private funding.
The Bellevue company’s Everett facility supports research and development. The lab uses supercomputers to model, test and refine designs for nuclear generation systems and medical therapies.
TerraPower, which is developing nuclear energy and medical technologies, was launched by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in 2006.
The funding was led by SK Inc. and SK Innovation, subsidiaries of SK Group, a South Korean holding company.
With the close of the $250 million investment, SK “has become a large shareholder of TerraPower,” SK Group said in a news release.
Additional funding will come from other investors, TerraPower said.
The investment furthers TerraPower’s aim to advance nuclear energy technologies and nuclear medicine. A TerraPower program is developing a medical isotope that may aid drug developers in the development drugs that target and treat cancer.
TerraPower is building a prototype nuclear reactor in southwest Wyoming, which will test the power plant’s engineering, construction and function.
The company received an initial $80 million to build the company’s new Natrium reactor demonstration plant through a competitive grant offered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program.
Because nuclear power does not emit carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases, it is considered a carbon-free energy source. Nuclear reactors currently supply about 20% of the electricity consumed in the United States. Another 60% of America’s electrical power comes from fossil fuels — coal, natural gas and renewables. The remainder is generated by renewables, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
“TerraPower is committed to solving some of the toughest challenges that face this generation through innovation,” said Chris Levesque, president and CEO of TerraPower.
“Whether it’s addressing climate change with carbon-free advanced nuclear energy, or fighting cancer with nuclear isotopes, our team is deploying technology solutions and investors across the world are taking note,” Levesque said.
Moohwan Kim, executive vice president and head of Green Investment Center at SK Inc., said: “We are committed to supporting TerraPower’s global deployment of game changing products. We see important synergies in our businesses and this investment reinforces our strategic global carbon reduction goals.”
TerraPower is not the only energy company to receive funding.
Last year, Everett-based Helion Energy, which focuses on generating electricity from nuclear fusion, secured $500 million in funding with the promise of another $1.7 billion, should it reach certain milestones.