A $100 million (£72m) Space-based Solar Power Project (SSPP) has developed technology capable of generating solar power in space and transferring it back down to Earth.
Funded by Caltech Board member Donald Bren since 2013, SSPP will have its first test launch in 2023 of prototypes that collect sunlight, turn it into electrical energy and wirelessly transfer it using radio frequency electric power.
The SSPP aims to directly harness the power of the sun to produce global and affordable renewable energy every day – without intermittent supply due to the darkness of night or weather inconsistency.
Donald Bren has stated he has donated the $100 million (£72m) sum as a gift and will not profit or benefit financially from the technology.
Mr Bren commented: “I have been a student researching the possible applications of space-based solar energy for many years.
“My interest in supporting the world-class scientists at Caltech is driven by my belief in harnessing the natural power of the Sun for the benefit of everyone.”