Jun 6, 2024 - News

OpenAI in talks with local fusion startup Helion

Illustration of a road leading to a glowing atom on the horizon

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Everett-based fusion startup Helion is reportedly in talks to sell electricity to OpenAI, the AI startup and ChatGPT developer, to power its data centers.

Why it matters: The Seattle region has emerged as a global leader in the race for fusion energy, with multiple major companies looking to crack the code on the clean, sustainable power source.

  • Sam Altman, the co-founder and CEO of OpenAI, has invested $375 million into Helion, his largest personal investment.

Zoom in: The Wall Street Journal reported the potential deal Monday and said Altman recused himself from the deal talks between OpenAI and Helion.

Catch up quick: Helion is working on its seventh fusion prototype and expects it to provide the key step of producing electricity sometime this year.

  • Helion is building fusion power plants to sell electricity to Nucor, America's largest steel producer, and Microsoft.

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