Press Release: Maana Electric Signed Another Multi-Million Contract to Build Solar Capacity on Earth and on the Moon
The team of Maana Electric in September 2020 at the company’s HQ in Luxembourg.
Maana Electric SA announced today the second extension of its contract with the European Space Agency as part of the Luxembourg National Space programme LuxIMPULSE. The multi million Euro contract, which is supported by the Luxembourg Space Agency, will allow the company to complete the production of its first deployable 1MW TerraBox system, as a demonstrator of Maana Electric’s radical technologies to transform terrestrial sand and Lunar regolith into solar panels.
“Maana Electric’s TerraBox is the perfect illustration of technological breakthrough which has both terrestrial and space applications. The startup’s project addresses a challenge which will definitely pave the way for the future of space exploration and will also set examples for a cleaner, more sustainable use of local resources on Earth!”, commented Marc Serres, Luxembourg Space Agency’s CEO.
The TerraBox is a mobile factory which fits into several shipping containers and can be deployed around the world. What makes the TerraBox unique is the capability to produce solar panels using only sand and electricity as inputs hereby allowing the TerraBox to produce solar panels from local sand resources in desert regions.
Joost van Oorschot, Maana Electric’s Founder and CEO, explained “This is a great milestone for the team at Maana Electric as we have been working extremely hard to get our proprietary In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) technologies to this stage. This contract allows us to take the next big step with commercializing the technologies in our first working and deployable system showcasing the benefits for both the energy and space industry. We would like to thank both the European Space Agency and the Luxembourg Space Agency for their continued trust and support. This is instrumental to be able to propose our solution to early adopters by the second half of this year.”
Maana Electric will be constructing its first TerraBox through the contract and plans to begin full operation of the machine in 2022. Recently, Maana Electric signed an agreement with ENGIE Cofely Luxembourg, Luxembourg-based subsidiary of the utility group Engie, to develop a first pilot project which will prove the validity of Maana Electric’s new solar photovoltaics production technologies. Several other pilot projects are planned in deserts across the world, showcasing the ability to produce solar panels using the local sand.
“The real benefits of the TerraBox are that it will allow local production of a critical energy resource in remote locations, something which is becoming increasingly important as we see increasing complexity and issues in global supply chains. Furthermore, Maana Electric’s production technologies are by far the cleanest way (using no water and no toxic chemicals) to manufacture solar panels. Besides that our produced solar panels are expected to be very cost effective!” added van Oorschot.
The TerraBox is just the first step in Maana Electric’s vision as the company has its eyes firmly set on using its technologies on the Moon. The entrepreneur explained “The TerraBox is truly an enabler and showcase of what is possible with ISRU technologies. It allows us to improve our complex system here on Earth where we can still do on-site interventions, something which will be almost impossible to do on the Moon”. Perfecting the technologies first here on Earth will help the company to get their LunaBox onto the Moon. The LunaBox is Maana Electric’s lunar production machine which plans to produce 1MW of solar panels, before the end of the decade in support of growing interest in the space industry to set up a permanent settlement on the Moon.