ARKANSAS, Nov 17 (Future Headlines)- California-based startup Terabase Energy achieved a significant breakthrough with its “Terafab” construction automation platform, completing a 17 MW installation as part of the 225 MW White Wing Ranch solar project in Arizona. Collaborating with developer Leeward Renewable Energy and EPC contractor RES, Terabase’s Terafab represents an automated field factory integrating a digital twin of the project site, advanced supply chain and inventory management systems, an onsite wireless digital command center, a field-deployed automated assembly line, and specialized installation rovers for continuous automated construction.
Terabase claims that Terafab has the potential to double installation productivity compared to traditional methods, leading to overall project cost reduction. The company is set to launch its robotic solar field construction solution commercially in 2024, with four Terafab units currently in production, collectively capable of producing 1 GW annually. Terabase is accepting orders for 2024 in the “low hundreds of megawatts,” according to CEO Matt Campbell, who revealed that the company has secured over $50 million in funding, including investments from Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Prelude Ventures.
The successful deployment of Terafab on the White Wing Ranch project has set new industry benchmarks at full production, providing workers with shaded and cooled working conditions in a hot desert environment. The system eliminates the manual lifting of heavy steel tubes and solar panels, showcasing a 25% improvement in labor productivity compared to manual installation. Notably, Terafab enables the 100% return of PV module packaging for reuse by the manufacturer. The deployment demonstrates the synergies of automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), digital twin technology, and data analytics to enhance solar construction management in challenging environmental conditions.
Terabase’s achievements extend beyond its technological advancements, with the company unveiling plans for the Terafab concept earlier this year. In addition to the product launch, Terabase has inaugurated a 10 GW Terafab manufacturing facility in Woodland, California, currently operational and slated to deploy Terafabs to various projects in 2023. In July, the company secured $25 million in funding through a round led by venture capital firm Fifth Wall, with participation from EDP Ventures and existing investors. The funding aims to support the commercial scale-up of the Terafab system, positioning Terabase as a key player in revolutionizing solar power plant deployment to meet future demands.
Reporting by Kevin Wood; Editing by Sarah White