POWER December 2021 - 11

GLOBAL MONITOR
the specific power of SBSP satellites-
which have a mass of several thousand
tons-and managing their components'
thermal aspects will also be crucial.
Finding an optimum choice of power
beaming frequency will also " require
a trade-off between the satellite orbit,
satellite sizing, power level transmitted,
power beaming efficiency, the transmitter
diameter and receiver diameter, the
thermal limits on the sandwich panel,
and the upper safe limit of Radio Frequency
(RF) intensity at the center of the
received beam, " the study acknowledges.
Keeping frequencies at 2.45 GHz for
larger (2 GW) systems, and 5.8 GHz for
lower-power, lower-mass systems, may
be a good guideline, it concluded.
The given technical challenges (and
scope of engineering risks), the relatively
low technical maturity of several technologies,
and the diversity of technical
concepts that have been proposed pose
a long list of methodology limitations
when assessing SBSP costs, the study
acknowledges. However, by developing
a " bespoke cost model " that addresses
uncertainty and focuses only on
the CASSIOPeiA design, the study concludes
that a typical SBSP could deliver a
PWR_HalfPgAd_Victory_CertifiedSolutions.pdf 1 7/8/2021 3:09:09 PM
levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of between
£35 ($47)/MWh and £79 ($107)/
MWh, assuming a successful development
program.
The cost analysis included " end-to-end
production, launch, assembly, operational
service life, and decommissioning, "
Soltau noted. " The LCOE we calculated
is for the nth of a kind, which would be
quickly reached in the fourth or fifth system, "
given the modularity and repeatability
of the design, he said. " Each solar
power satellite is highly modular, so you
reduce production costs when you've
got high production runs, " he said.
Assuming a system is commissioned
in 2040, the LCOE at the midpoint of
£50/MWh " includes this very high hurdle
rate of 20% " to account for estimate
uncertainty as required by institutional
investors, he noted. " And what you'd expect
is as the development proceeded,
and we matured the technology, and all
the development risk was retired, that
the hurdle rate is going to fall well under
10%. At a 10% hurdle rate, the LCOE is
only £26/MWh-that's cheaper than the
cheapest renewable technology in the
UK at the moment, " he said. " This is why
our government is excited, because it's
actually looking not only at the technology's
great characteristics, but it's actually
very affordable as well. "
Still, for now, to propel research and
development, the UK government is
looking at a net present value-a representation
of overall development costs-
of about £16.3 billion ($22.1 billion), the
study suggests. Another £1 billion will
also be necessary to support operating
expenditure over the life of the system.
In its policy roadmap, however, FrazerNash
suggests the public sector may
only need to fully fund Phase 1, totaling
£350 million ($474 million) over the
first five years. " Thereafter the private
sector could reasonably be expected to
start investing an increasing proportion
as shown, " it says. As an incrementally
valuable benefit, the program would potentially
provide " broader spillover economic
benefits, " including in areas that
span wireless power transmission, semiconductor
technology, PV technology,
space grade electronics, robotics, space
freight and transportation, and general
skill development to support space activities,
it said.
-Sonal Patel is a senior associate editor
for POWER.
M
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POWER December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of POWER December 2021

POWER December 2021 - Cover1
POWER December 2021 - Cover2
POWER December 2021 - 1
POWER December 2021 - 2
POWER December 2021 - 3
POWER December 2021 - 4
POWER December 2021 - 5
POWER December 2021 - 6
POWER December 2021 - 7
POWER December 2021 - 8
POWER December 2021 - 9
POWER December 2021 - 10
POWER December 2021 - 11
POWER December 2021 - 12
POWER December 2021 - 13
POWER December 2021 - 14
POWER December 2021 - 15
POWER December 2021 - 16
POWER December 2021 - 17
POWER December 2021 - 18
POWER December 2021 - 19
POWER December 2021 - 20
POWER December 2021 - SCover1
POWER December 2021 - SCover2
POWER December 2021 - S1
POWER December 2021 - S2
POWER December 2021 - S3
POWER December 2021 - S4
POWER December 2021 - S5
POWER December 2021 - S6
POWER December 2021 - S7
POWER December 2021 - S8
POWER December 2021 - S9
POWER December 2021 - S10
POWER December 2021 - S11
POWER December 2021 - S12
POWER December 2021 - S13
POWER December 2021 - S14
POWER December 2021 - S15
POWER December 2021 - S16
POWER December 2021 - SCover3
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POWER December 2021 - Cover3
POWER December 2021 - Cover4
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