TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 15, 2013) - Solar Ship Inc. today announced that it has secured $2.2 million in funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to develop a hybrid aircraft technology that can move cargo to and from remote communities more cheaply than existing alternatives.
Around the world, moving cargo to and from remote communities can cost as much as 100 times more than in more accessible communities and is a disincentive to remote communities seeking to export natural resources. Solar Ship Inc. is developing a hybrid aircraft technology that addresses this problem. The aircraft uses a hybrid propulsion system: two electric motors powered by solar cells and a fuel powered combustion engine. Its unique wing-shaped design uses an aerofoil geometry and buoyant gas for aerodynamic lift, lessening the need for road and ground infrastructure.
"Our Government is doing its part to encourage innovation and the next wave of clean technologies to help protect our environment and create high-quality jobs," said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources. "Investment in projects such as these demonstrates our leadership in driving a vibrant clean technology industry in Canada."
"Solar Ship Inc. is pleased by SDTC's funding, which will allow us to continue developing our hybrid aircraft technology," said Jay Godsall, founder and CEO of Solar Ship. "Our aircraft will help drive down the high transportation costs of essential supplies such as fresh fruits vegetables and medicines that Canadians living in remote communities must pay. And our technology will reduce GHG emissions wherever this new form of transportation is used."
Current estimates show that the Solar Ship can move cargo to remote areas in Northern Ontario for $1.20/ton-km which is less than the current truck transportation costs to remote areas of $10/ton-km. The proposed project is targeting to achieve cumulative GHG reductions in Canada in excess of 5.3ktCO2e annually and 8.7ktCO2e in the rest of the world by 2020. Solar Ship Inc. has assembled a consortium consisting of Toronto Electric, Zenair Canada, Wasaya Airways and Sustainable.TO.
Solar Ship's funding was a part of a $61.8 million investment from the Government of Canada to support 23 clean technology projects across Canada
"SDTC is proud to add this project to its portfolio, now valued at more than $2 billion. When purchased and used by Canadian industry, the clean technologies developed by portfolio companies will enable a variety of sectors to increase their share of global markets," said Dr. Vicky Sharpe, President and CEO of SDTC. "As Canada works to diversify its export markets, working with new trading partners in emerging countries, these innovative technologies will help make Canadian natural resources and products more globally attractive and competitive."
About Solar Ship Inc.
Solar Ship builds aircraft to service remote areas. These areas have the most expensive transport costs in the world. Most of these areas do not have year round road service. The Solar Ship is a hybrid aircraft, gaining lift from both buoyant gas and aerodynamics. Its wing-ship design allows for short take-off and landing (STOL), in areas as small as a soccer field. This design also provides a large surface area for solar electric power, allowing long range, energy-efficient flight. This results in reliable transportation enabling remote communities to reduce dependency on things that often aren't available in remote areas - fossil fuels, roads and runways.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sustainable Development Technology Canada helps commercialize Canadian clean technologies, readying them for growth and export markets. With a portfolio of companies under management valued at more than $2 billion, SDTC is positioning cleantech as a driver of jobs, productivity and economic prosperity.
SDTC operates two funds aimed at the development and demonstration of innovative technological solutions. The $590 million SD Tech Fund™ supports projects that address climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil. The $500 million NextGen Biofuels Fund™ supports the establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels.
SDTC works with the private sector, the financial sector and all levels of government to meet the Government of Canada's commitment to create a healthy environment and a high quality of life for all Canadians. SDTC operates as a not-for-profit corporation.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Any information regarding the future performance of Solar Ship aircraft constitutes "forward-looking statements" in the context of developing this new technology.