I’ll bet you never thought you would hear the word “space” and “solar power” in the same context! You read it right folks, the May 2009 issue of Electrical Wholesaling mentioned that PG&E, California’s utility, has worked out a deal for the world’s first space-based solar power plant.

What sounds even more sci-fi is just how they plan to harvest solar power in space and be able to use it on earth. Solar panels in the earth’s orbit will convert power to radio frequency to transmit to Fresno County’s receiving station. Radio frequency! Then it will be converted to electricity and linked into PG&E’s grid. You can find more information on this project on PG&E’s blog site, http://www.next100.com/.

Back down on earth, this EW issue also noted Florida Power & Light plans to build the world’s largest solar photovoltaic power plant at the 17,000-acre city of Babcock Ranch, FL. The city will also integrate a smart grid system to aid residents and businesses in controlling their energy consumption. Maybe they will take notes on Spain’s solar power tower which “leads the world in grid-connected solar photovoltaic capacity” as said by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21).
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Tina Lamanna

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