SolAero Technologies Corp. (SolAero), a leading provider of high efficiency solar cells, solar panels, and composite structural products, announced a $10 million program investment to augment its existing solar panel production capabilities in support of the growing market for commercial satellite constellations. This significant commitment includes the construction of a new 40,000 square foot facility at its headquarters in Albuquerque, NM. Once complete, this facility will contain the world’s only vertically-integrated, end-to-end satellite solar panel production capability. The project will create more than 100 new jobs at SolAero and its partners and will represent the leading industry benchmark for space solar power technology.
In June, 2016, SolAero was selected by Airbus OneWeb Satellites (OneWeb) to supply solar panels for the OneWeb constellation of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites. OneWeb plans to create a global gateway by deploying a constellation of LEO satellites that will bring affordable Internet access to the world. SolAero’s proven space flight heritage, production capability and technology made it the clear choice to provide power in support of OneWeb’s mission. SolAero’s investment ensures its ability to support OneWeb’s objectives, now and in the future, while establishing an unparalleled production capability for satellite solar panels.
“SolAero is excited to partner with OneWeb on this truly groundbreaking endeavor. Our partnership further demonstrates that SolAero, the industry’s only vertically-integrated space solar panel provider, remains uniquely positioned to service the world’s most demanding satellite applications,” said Dr. Brad Clevenger, CEO of SolAero. Brian Holz, CEO of OneWeb said, “We are pleased to partner with SolAero on the OneWeb constellation. Their experience, high-volume production capability and proven track record made SolAero the right partner for us.”
SolAero’s prior successful experience designing and manufacturing power systems for satellite constellations such as Sierra Nevada’s Orbcomm Generation 2, Orbital ATK’s Commercial Resupply Services and SSL’s new class of imaging satellites provides OneWeb with the distinctive heritage SolAero has in meeting the demands of high volume production with demanding cost and schedule targets. “We recognize the opportunity that New Space business models present for suppliers to bring new technologies and novel approaches to market,” added Dr. Clevenger. “The OneWeb program provides a unique opportunity to do both while also quickly establishing manufacturing and flight heritage for the new capabilities we’re bringing to market with this additional investment in our Albuquerque campus.”