Michigan Technological University, in collaboration with professionals from NASA, the Naval Research Laboratory, and the Space Solar Power Institute, will host a Space Solar Power (SSP) workshop to clarify the challenges facing SSP implementation. Michigan Tech's Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics departments have been actively conducting SSP research. The workshop is being offered to academics, industry professionals, and members of professional associations related to renewable energy to focus on SSP’s challenges and opportunities.
Motivation: Thirty seven states and many countries have initiated Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and other initiatives to adopt improved energy alternatives, such as ground-based solar, bio-fuel, and wind. SSP satellites, however, appear to be the most attractive of these; large-scale, baseload, low CO2 emissions, near zero fuel and water use, among other key advantages.
SSP would be large-scale solar energy collection in space and its wireless transmission to Earth for use by the customers of existing major power grids. SSP development would take advantage of many advanced technologies and promote further advances; including wireless power transmission, microwave circuits, space transportation, new communication paradigms, light and smart space-based structures, telerobotic construction and operations, photovoltaics and electric propulsion.
The International Academy of Astronautics' SSP study advocated for the "coordination among various countries and between industry and government agencies." Japan's large SSP project and consortium is being emulated in China, Russia and elsewhere. This workshop intends to provide a forum for all relevant stakeholders, including energy developers and power industry representatives.