Space travel may not seem the galaxy’s greenest industry, but The Spaceship Company, a joint venture of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and air vehicle design company Scaled Composites, is trying its best to change that. TSC has received a $290,206 incentive check for completing utility Southern California Edison’s Savings By Design energy-efficiency program.
The program incentivizes the construction of new buildings that exceed California’s Title 24 energy-efficiency standards by at least 10 percent, based on a whole-building performance analysis. The maximum incentive per project is $500,000.
TSC won the check with the design of its Final Assembly, Integration and Test Hangar, or FAITH, at the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, Calif.
FAITH, a 68,000-square-foot facility used primarily for the final assembly, integration and testing of TSC vehicles, exceeds Title 24 requirements by 55 percent. The company will save an annual 701,779 kWh of electricity, primarily due to the efficient design of the heat recovery variable refrigerant flow heat pump system. The lighting system, skylights and reflective flooring also contribute to the overall efficiency of the building.
In October, Branson discussed Virgin Atlantic’s development of a world-first low carbon aviation fuel with just half the carbon footprint of the standard fossil fuel alternative. A video of the discussion can be seen here.