Italian ENI and CFS sign cooperation agreement for the development of fusion energy
DEVENS, Mass., March 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Italian energy giant Eni and CFS (Commonwealth Fusion Systems), a spin-out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), thursday signed a cooperation agreement, with the aim of accelerating the industrialization of fusion energy. Eni invested for the first time in CFS in 2018 and is its strategic shareholder. This agreement strengthens the partnership between the two companies, combining Eni's engineering and project management experience with a series of projects in support of CFS, and the development and distribution of fusion energy on an industrial scale. CFS has taken the fastest path to commercialization of fusion energy. In September 2021, CFS reached an important milestone with the successful test of a magnet with HTS superconducting technology (High Temperature Superconductors), the most powerful magnet of its kind in the world, which will ensure plasma confinement in the magnetic fusion process and which could contribute to the achievement of net fusion energy in a future demonstration plant.
Eni's CEO, Claudio Descalzi, commented: “We will see the first CFS power plant based on magnetic confinement fusion built at the beginning of the next decade, then having almost twenty years ahead of us to spread the technology and achieve the energy transition objectives to 2050. This will mean having at an industrial level a technology capable of supplying large quantities of energy without any greenhouse gas emissions produced in a safe, clean and virtually inexhaustible way, providing a substantial contribution to the energy transition. This is why we are facing a potential epochal technological turning point.”
“The collaboration agreement between CFS and our long-standing partner, ENI, has the great potential to advance our efforts on key global challenges and transformative opportunities in the energy landscape through an unlimited supply of clean fusion energy,” said CFS's CEO Bob Mumgaard. “This agreement underscores the key role that existing energy companies play in accelerating the industrialization of fusion energy and the strength of partnerships with such companies,” he added.
The path taken by CFS with the support of ENI is characterized by a pragmatic and progressive approach aimed at obtaining the industrial application of magnetic confinement fusion technology in the next decade. SPARC, which aims to be the world's first net fusion energy producing magnetic confinement pilot plant, is under construction and will be operational by 2025. SPARC, in turn, is expected to serve as a test bed for development of ARC: the first industrial fusion power plant, capable of feeding electricity to the grid, which is expected to be operational in the early 2030s.
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