Online Journal of Space Communication


When Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) entered into a May 2009 contract with Solaren Corp. to purchase power for 150,000 homes starting in 2016, public attention was abruptly focused on a potential major new source of energy: space based solar power (SBSP). First proposed in 1968 by Dr. Peter E. Glaser, Vice President for Advanced Technology at Arthur D. Little, SBSP is based on the simple facts that solar power, the most abundant source of energy on our planet, cannot be collected on the earth's surface at night, and that the sun's rays lose much of their energy while traveling through our atmosphere. As a result, the same solar collector located in a geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO) some 36,000 Km in space can produce between 5 and 10 times as much electric power as can be produced on the earth's surface. Solaren's innovative relationship with PG&E is based on a 40-year-old concept that a solar power satellite located in space can be designed to deliver a base load source of electrical power 24 hours of every day and night.



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