The SBSP Competition Is ON!

WOW! My wish in the April 1st post has already started to come true! It was:

What we desperately need now is for American corporations and entrepreneurs to apply American ingenuity and start competitive efforts so that the free market forces can forge the best Space-Based Solar Power solutions for the entire planet.”

In an April 13th post on the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) blog NEXT100, they have announced their intent to sign a contract to purchase space-based solar power from an American startup company Solaren, starting in 2016. Here’s a quote from the post:

“Now PG&E is extending that approach to tap renewable energy at an entirely new level: solar power in space.

PG&E is seeking approval from state regulators for a power purchase agreement with Solaren Corp., a Southern California company that has contracted to deliver 200 megawatts of clean, renewable power over a 15 year period.

Solaren says it plans to generate the power using solar panels in earth orbit, then convert it to radio frequency energy for transmission to a receiving station in Fresno County. From there, the energy will be converted to electricity and fed into PG&E’s power grid.”

There is also an interview on PG&E’s NEXT100 blog with the Solaren CEO Gary Spirnak.

For a private startup company, Solaren has taken on quite a tall order to be delivering 200 megawatts of space-based solar power by 2016. Nonetheless, I am going to celebrate the PG&E announcement and keep a close eye on Solaren’s progress while looking out for more and more startup’s to get into the space-based solar power race.

While this may only be the first step of a 22,000 mile journey, we’ve got to start somewhere. Our current energy future is simply unsustainable.

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Author: Rob Mahan

Author of An Irish Miracle, husband, father, and dog lover.

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