Saturday, December 12, 2009

Solar Power from Outer Space

Not to be out done by Japan, California has a plan to harvest solar energy from orbit. California’s state legislators have approved a space-based solar project. The system is estimated to generate 1.7 terawatt-hours annually, once it comes online in 2016.

Power will be collected by solar panels on orbiting satellites. The energy will then be converted into radio waves and transmitted to a collection station in Fresno, California. From there it will join the electrical grid where it will power an estimated 250,000 homes.

By having the panels in space, the solar energy can be collected nearly 24 hours per day, and collection is unaffected by weather, seasons, or atmospheric filtering.

Via ecofriend

California's legislature must be assuming that all rooftops and sunny spots in the state will be covered by solar panels by 2015.

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