Path to Zero
Path to Zero
5.23 - Turning Flared Methane into Computing Power with Chase Lochmiller, CEO of Crusoe Energy

Tucker talks about climate innovation with the co-founder of an energy technology company that captures stranded energy (gas flaring) to power modular data centers. Chase Lochmiller was named by Goldman Sachs as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs. Crusoe Energy has become one of the largest privately held cryptocurrency mining businesses in North America and operates a cloud computing platform.

Before Crusoe Energy Systems, Chase Lochmiller was Polychain’s portfolio manager and head of trade execution. He holds bachelor’s degrees from MIT in Mathematics and Physics and a master’s degree from Stanford in Computer Science with a focus on Artificial Intelligence.

Away from work, Chase is a mountain climber and has reached the summit of five of the “seven summits,” including Mt. Everest.

Episode highlights:

Introduction and Background

  • Chase Lochmiller’s journey from MIT and Stanford to a physics researcher, a portfolio manager in the financial sector and eventually to co-founder of Crusoe Energy Systems.
  • His personal passion for reaching the summit of Mount Everest and how that mountain climbing experience inspired him in business.
  • How the company’s name was inspired by the fictional character Robinson Crusoe, who was stranded on a desert island and had to be innovative with resources to survive.

“We try to channel that same sense of innovation, in terms of innovating with stranded energy and try to unlock value in that stranded energy with computing,” says Chase Lochmiller.

Building a Business in Data and Computing Space

  • The impact of deep learning and the potential for foundational change.
  • Introduction to Crusoe: How Lochmiller and his partner developed the concept of building low-cost mobile and modular data centers utilizing natural gas flaring.
  • The equipment for the data centers fits on the back of a flatbed truck that can be quickly moved to different natural gas sites.

The Digital Pipeline and International Deployment

  • Overview of the digital pipeline concept and its utilization of wasted energy.
  • The first international deployment of Crusoe Energy mobile data centers in Argentina.

AI Data Centers and Computing Power

  • Exploring the growth and future of AI data centers.
  • Lochmiller describes AI as “the Internet on steroids” and it is going to take significant power capacity with a major impact on the grid and energy transition. Today data centers globally consume about 1.5% of global power consumption. Forecasts have that growing to 10% over the next decade.

“Our goal with that added demand is to power it with clean, stranded, wasted energy to help facilitate an effective energy transition,” Lochmiller tells Tucker.