This article claims that Solar Power Beamed to Luna from orbit avoids the very difficult task of soft landing stuff on luna with which to generate solar power. Consider the difficulty of building the solar power station at L1. It should be about as easy to build an orbiting mass accelerator to decelerate cargo for Luna to stationary with respect to the surface from an orbital altitude of 40 kilometers. From there to the surface the drop only generates about 362 meters per second. That plus about 40 seconds gravity losses on Luna is not very difficult task, only about 427meters per second mission velocity. If 3000meters per second can be managed for the one way descent rocket to a robot base, that only adds about 17% to the mass of a 100kg payload dropped from orbit to Luna. If the mass accelerator can be orbited a little closer to the surface, perhaps 2 kilometers over a flat mountain peak, more can be shaved off of that.
--Farred 14:34, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
A large power supply during the night is not needed on Luna immediately. Check out the strategy that is suggested for maintaining warmth overnight in the First Base article. Work and power use could be relegated to daylight time until an extensive power grid and power storage facilities are manufactured largely from lunar materials.--Farred 14:50, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
The key to developing lunar resources on a budget is to use those resources themselves to produce the capital goods necessary to develop resources. That is Bootstrapping Industry. So the solar power used on Luna should be made from solar cells produced on Luna from as large a proportion of lunar materials as possible. If turbine generated electricity is produced, likewise the generator should be made on Luna. Remember: ten-thousand dollars a pound to low Earth orbit, twenty-thousand dollars a pound to Luna. Producing anything to use on Luna instead of importing it from Earth is like producing 1.2 times its weight in gold. So solar power on Luna must start small and build up. When Luna is shipping ten thousand tons a year to obit, a solar power generating plant at L1 beaming down power to Luna will make more sense.--Farred 20:00, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I corrected the factor comparing the cost of gold to stuff shipped to Luna, as is shown in the edit history. I got ounces and pounds confused when pricing gold.--Farred 16:34, 26 March 2009 (UTC)