Growth5 Blog

Monday, June 22, 2009

Space Solar: 24 Hours A Day

Solaren Corp, a solar power start-up, has convinced California's Pacific, Gas & Electric to buy 200 megawatts of electricity when it is up and running in 2016. And by up, they mean way up... space.

Solaren's plan is to position mile(s)-wide stationary solar power satellites thousands of miles above the earth, to collect sunlight 24 hours a day with no cloud interference.

The sun's rays would be converted to radio waves beamed to receiving stations on the ground and converted to electricity. The radio beam would be spread over a wide enough area as to not be dangerous to people, airplanes or wildlife. They expect the project will cost US$2 billion.

Solaren CEO Gary Spirnak said, "While a system of this scale and exact configuration has not been built, the underlying technology is very mature and is based on communications satellite technology."

Japan's Space Agency, JAXA, has also begun testing a space-based solar array as well. They plan to launch an array of satellites that would provide enough solar energy to power approximately half a million homes.


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