Zap Energy is developing a next-generation modular nuclear reactor using an innovative approach to advance cost-effective, flexible and commercially scalable fusion technology


Zap Energy develops a next-generation modular nuclear reactor. (Credit: Markus Distelrath from Pixabay.)

US-based energy company Chevron has invested in a nuclear fusion technology development start-up company, named Zap Energy.

The start-up company is developing a next-generation modular nuclear reactor using an innovative approach to advance cost-effective, flexible, and commercially scalable fusion technology.

Chevron believes that Series A investment by Technology Ventures team in Zap Energy is an opportunity to increase the company’s focus on a diverse portfolio of low-carbon energy resources.

It also can provide access to affordable, reliable, and ever-cleaner energy to the communities worldwide.

Chevron said that the conventional nuclear power uses nuclear fission which splits large unstable nucleus into smaller elements and releases energy with long-lived radioactive waste.

Chevron Technology Ventures president Barbara Burger said: “We see fusion technology as a promising low-carbon future energy source.

“Our Future Energy Fund investment in Zap Energy adds to Chevron’s portfolio of companies we believe are likely to have a role in the energy transition.

“Our Future Energy Fund investments provide us with strategic insight into power generation markets and potentially disruptive impacts of innovative approaches, like fusion, geothermal, wind, and solar, on the conventional power value chain.”

Zap Energy to use investment in technology development

Chevron’s invest in Zap Energy is marked as the 10th investment by its Future Energy Fund, launched in 2018 to explore advanced technologies that allow macro decarbonisation, the mobility-energy nexus, and energy decentralisation.

The company said that Zap Energy’s technology stabilises plasma by using sheared flows to confine and compress the plasma.

Furthermore, Zap Energy is planning to utilise the funds raised from its Series A financing to continue technology development and grow their development team.

Recently, Chevron USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chevron, has signed a four-year agreement with Canadian renewable energy and regulated utility Algonquin Power & Utilities (AQN) to co-develop renewable power projects.