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Origin:Proceedings of 26th Inter-Society Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, American Nuclear Society, Vol 4, pp 99-104

Electric utilities have not yet begun to pay satellite solar power stations (SPS) serious attention as a possibly major new energy source. This is largely due to the fact that there is still very little firm information of the kind that utilities need in order to assess the SPS as a possible candidate for investment. The "SPS 2000" project is designed to provide such information at the lowest possible cost and at the earliest date. It comprises a space segment in low Earth equatorial orbit transmitting photovoltaic-generated microwave power to one or more rectifying antennas ("rectennas") on the equator. These will receive 1 - 10MW of power during each satellite pass, enabling utilities to perform several experiments each day on many different technical and economic aspects of the system's operation. The result will help utilities to calculate the prices that they could profitably offer to satellite operators for commercial supplies of microwave power delivered from space to given specifications.

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