Two boxes the size of your fist could soon power your entire house—at least according to Silicon Valley startup Bloom Energy. After 8 years toiling in secret, the well-funded firm is suddenly on a media blitz to show off its creation. The “Bloom Box” is a self-contained, silent, clean power plant the company wants to put in your backyard. Large versions of the device are already providing power for the likes of Google, eBay, FedEx, and Wal-Mart.
CEO KR Sridhar, who used to work at NASA, originally invented the device to produce oxygen on Mars. When NASA scrapped the Mars mission, he tried reversing the device, causing it to use oxygen to create a highly efficient fuel cell. “In five to ten years, we would like to be in every home.” Sridhar tells 60 Minutes. Skeptics doubt the price will drop far enough, but Sridhar projects the units will eventually sell for $3,000.