- What has Solaren accomplished to advance it’s Space Solar Power (SSP) business?
Solaren has formed the core engineering and management team, raised millions of dollars, completed the SSP concept design and business case to include validation by outside experts, been issued key enabling SSP patents in all of the major space-faring countries, signed the world’s first power purchase agreement for space solar generated electricity, and established key relationships with government and industry.
- Has anything like this been built before?
This will be the world’s first SSP plant. While a system of this scale and exact configuration has not been built, the underlying technology is very mature and is based on existing satellite technology. For over 50 years, satellites have collected solar energy in earth orbit via solar cells and converted it to radio frequency (RF) energy for transmissions to earth receive stations. This is the same energy conversion process that Solaren uses for its SSP plant.
- Why is now the time for Solaren’s SSP system?
There are a number of factors that give us confidence that our SSP plant system development will be successful. Some of the major factors are: First, the Solaren team is highly experienced in developing first-of-a-kind space systems. Second, the power conversion technologies are extremely mature and efficient. No new power conversion devices have to be developed. Third, our financing plan is solid. Fourth, our conservative SSP plant risk reduction / development plan has been thoroughly vetted. Fifth, our aerospace and energy industry suppliers are highly experienced and capable. Sixth, existing launch vehicle programs will satisfy all launch requirements for our SSP Plant Development program.
- How will the system be launched into space?
The Solaren SSP Development Program requires a number of subsystem and system tests in space, and the 250 MW SSP plant requires that it be deployed in geostationary Earth orbit (GEO). Existing launch vehicles and those currently undergoing launch certification meet the launch requirements of our SSP Development program. No additional space launch vehicle capabilities need to be developed for Solaren to complete our space tests and SSP Plant deployment.
- Why Space Solar instead of sticking with more familiar terrestrial solar technology?
Solaren’s patented design and proprietary approaches result in a baseload power generation system that is competitive both in terms of cost and performance with other sources of baseload power generation. We believe terrestrial solar power will play an increasing role in satisfying peak electricity demand. Solaren SSP is fundamentally different from terrestrial solar in that we address baseload power.
- What is the potential of Space Solar Power?
Collecting solar energy in space and transmitting it to earth offers a significant untapped energy resource. The sun’s energy is almost continuously available to a satellite in geostationary-Earth-orbit (GEO). According to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), “A single kilometer wide band at GEO receives enough solar flux in one year (approximately 212 terawatt (TW)-years) to nearly equal the amount of energy contained within all known recoverable conventional oil reserves on Earth today (approximately 250 TW-yrs.).“
- What is the worldwide electricity market opportunity?
The US Department of Energy (DOE) projects that worldwide demand for electricity in 2045 will nearly double, and total market size will approach $4.0 trillion per year.