You probably read an Omni story, or "The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space" by Gerard K. O'Neil (also wrote a nice General Relativity book). There is a 2013 book, Spaced-Based Solar Power System Architecture by Brain C. Busch (Naval Postgraduate School). That might have some good stuff.
The numbers back then looked good to some experts and impossible to others. I have not seen much serious work in ages. I fiddled around once and found that an underground (undermoon?) habitat with 1 atmosphere of air pressure could hold up 30 feet of lunar regolith on the air pressure alone. So huge underground habitats are possible from a simple engineering point of view.
The power sat does not need laser or maser. Simple microwave arrays that maintain coherence from feed back from the receiver are fine. They could use robust tubes (without the tube) instead of semiconductors. The idea is that if the sat power wondered off the target area the coherence is lost and the beam spreads out enough to be harmless.
I always liked the idea. The Luddites and Greens won't because the power comes from off-Earth and will contribute to the total heat content of the atmosphere. On the other hand, if construction takes place in Lunar orbit, you save on all that. The trade-offs are many and depend on politics and the current thinking on warming/cooling, which is subject to change any time now.