Power company plans first orbital solar power satellite

Pacific Gas and Electric is reportedly seeking permission to test a solar power satellite, which would send energy generated in orbit to a radio receiver station in Fresno County, California.

the solar energy available in space is eight-to-ten times greater than on earth. There's no atmospheric or cloud interference, no loss of sun at night, and no seasons. That means space solar can be a baseload resource, not an intermittent source of power.

In addition, real estate in space is still free (if hard to reach). Solaren needs to acquire land only for an energy receiving station. It can locate the station near existing transmission lines, greatly reducing delays that face some renewable power projects sited far from existing facilities.

While the concept of space solar power makes sense, making it all work at an affordable cost is a major challenge, which Solaren says it can solve.

Unfortunately, despite the 200 megawatt output. the frequency used means that it's completely safe. Thinking meat that strays into the beam won't feel a thing.

Space Solar Power: The Next Frontier? [Next100 via jwz]

About Rob Beschizza

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