Devens Sustainable Business Spotlight: Commonwealth Fusion Systems

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Devens Forward  

Sustainable Business Spotlight Blog: Commonwealth Fusion Systems.


Devens is known for its commitment to innovation and sustainability, and our business community plays an important role in helping us meet our sustainability goals. This month, we are highlighting Commonwealth Fusion Systems as a model for sustainability in Devens. Commonwealth Fusion Systems will be home to a compact fusion device that will prove fusion can work as a commercial energy source and pave the way for a fusion power plant that will help power communities like Devens worldwide with clean energy and help combat climate change. 

Devens is a growing commercial hub that is home to over 100 businesses employing more than 6,000 workers. Embedding sustainable business practices into our community identity brings positive benefits for our local economy as we continue to grow. 

As a mission-driven company, CFS is committed to a high standard of sustainability and development at their Devens site. Our own Environmental Planner Neil Angus sat down with Kristen Cullen, Head of Public Affairs for Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), to discuss CFS’s sustainable business practices and operations in Devens. The following is a summary of their conversation:

What is your company’s mission and who does your company serve?

CFS is working to develop a fundamentally new clean energy source that will help meet our global climate change goals. Our campus at Devens will support our efforts to commercialize fusion energy and prove that fusion can work as a clean energy source for the first time in history. Fusion does not release harmful emissions that contribute to climate change and is the exact opposite process of nuclear fission. Because of the nature of the fusion process, it has no possibility of meltdown, does not create any long-lasting radioactive waste, and cannot be used for proliferation. CFS will have a manufacturing facility that will construct fusion power plant components, corporate offices, and a tokomak - our fusion energy prototype device. Our mission is to bring limitless, clean fusion power to the world.

Commonwealth Fusion Systems spun out of MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center leveraging decades of fusion research, combined with the innovation and speed of the private sector. CFS has assembled a world-class team to design and build fusion machines. This team includes experts in magnets, manufacturing, supply chain, operations, and fusion dedicated to the mission. 

What sustainability actions is your company currently taking? 

Our team is driven by addressing climate change. The goal is to develop a new clean energy source with fusion energy. One step in this goal is to make our fusion device operational by 2025. The team is also working to ensure that we have a sustainable campus with elements such as recycling, low-impact development techniques for managing stormwater, EV charging stations, carpooling options, and energy efficient HVAC systems. 

What is the biggest driver for change in your company?

We are driven to combat climate change with clean, limitless fusion energy. We often say that our timelines are not driven by our competition, but by the growing realities of climate change. 

What is one thing you have done at your company to drive sustainability that others could replicate as best practice?

Our climate change-focused mission, along with sustainability issues, are important values company-wide. We’ve also hired a team that is aligned with our mission and cares deeply about these issues that drives us on our path to bring clean energy to the world.    

What sets you apart from other fusion projects around the world?

There are lots of fusion devices around the world but none that have been able to demonstrate net positive energy. CFS’s design uses high temperature superconducting magnets to contain the reaction. These magnets are the strongest in the world (20 tesla - a measure of field intensity, which is the equivalent to almost 500,000 times the strength of the earth’s magnetic field). This is the key to unlocking nuclear fusion, and providing clean, carbon-free energy to the world. These magnets allow for smaller fusion machines to enable net-positive energy in a commercially viable manner.

To learn more about Commonwealth Fusion Systems and their Devens project, reach out to Kristen Cullen at: kristen@cfs.energy 

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How can you contribute to Devens sustainability goals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase efficiencies? 

Clean energy is a critical tool for combating climate change and we are very excited to be a part of Commonwealth Fusion’s mission to create clean energy globally.  But we also need to be more efficient in how we manage and use energy. Here are some steps you can take to make your business more energy efficient and climate-conscious:  

    Navigate energy efficiency and renewable energy pathways by reaching out to OTA.  

    Explore Mass.gov and the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency for energy rebates to switch to renewable energy and become more energy efficient. 

    Connect with Devens Utilities at jmoore@massdevelopment.com to discuss renewable energy options for your home or business.

    Learn more about greening your home and business with Devens Forward.  


Check out the Devens Forward dashboard and Business Climate Action Toolkit for more ways to get involved and to stay tuned for future blog posts