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Solar CellsI [Marty Hoffert] write to propose a high-level briefing, perhaps at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Pre-Conference Workshop on March 1 at the Gaylord Convention Center in DC, on space-based solar power (SBSP); and, as a possible specific example, a near-term ARPA-E funded project to test it by laser beaming of solar energy collected in orbit from the International Space Station to collectors on Earth (see attached). Longer term, but soon, a laser SBSP demonstrator in geostationary orbit could be deployed. If successful, there are many plausible business plans for commercialization, at least as much as for terrestrial solar, with which space-based solar would logically can co-evolve. Even now, a California company, Solaren, has signed a proprietary agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric to deliver 200 megawatts of electricity from space to their grid by 2016. And whereas, for technical reasons relating to large space components needed for "first power," we don't think their microwave beaming approach is the way to go initially, the technology needs to be taken seriously.

To read the full, original article click on this link: Billion Year Plan: OPEN LETTER TO ARPA-E on Space Solar Power

Author: Marty Hoffert