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Space-Based Solar Power Plants… We have lift off!

Image: ESA / European SPS Tower Concept

Space-based solar power in T minus 10 seconds…

That’s after the European Space Agency (ESA) has given the green light to two concept commercial-scale power plants that would use the power of the Sun in space to keep the lights on down on Earth.

These projects are expected to be finished by the end of this year, seeing how realistic taking the Sun’s energy from the Earth’s orbit truly is.

This type of technology has taken off recently after scientists revealed that having solar panels in space would mean that they are not impacted by dips in weather, clouds or darkness.

The constant stream of sunshine would allow an ongoing energy source all day and night; providing stability to the grid whilst not emitting carbon.

Named Project SOLARIS, the idea was originally approved by the ESA in November of last year.

The results of these concept facilities will be used to determine whether space-based solar is the answer for the future.

Energy firms ENGIE and ENEL are directly involved in the studies.

SOLARIS Lead Sanjay Vijendran said: “These contracts are for the first European concept studies of Space-Based Solar Power for more than 20 years, so today marks an important step.

“We are really starting from a blank sheet of paper to get an up-to-date design for what working solar power satellites could look like, sourcing promising ideas from everywhere we can, and leveraging the latest advancements in space and terrestrial technologies.”

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