Thales Alenia Space and Space Solar are working together to deliver the first commercial space-based solar power (SBSP) system.

The companies will explore the opportunities SBSP presents for space sector organisations and the development of new, large infrastructure in space to support the needs of the planet.

The agreement builds on a six-month partnership between the two companies on the UK Government’s Department of Energy Security and Net Zero’s ‘Net Zero Innovation Programme’ (NZIP), developing the concept and assessing mission architectures for Space Solar’s CASSIOPeiA system.

Sam Adlen, Co-CEO of Space Solar, said, “Delivering SBSP is predicated on great companies working together across the space and energy sectors and beyond. As we start work on our first products, partnership with committed organisations will be vital to success and this agreement will be a strong foundation for the journey ahead. We are delighted to be working with Thales Alenia Space and look forward to building our SBSP capabilities together.”

This agreement sets the groundwork for future collaborations between the two organisations, with Thales Alenia Space in the UK strongly placed to work as a potential space-segment delivery partner for Space Solar.

Andrew Stanniland, CEO of Thales Alenia Space in the UK, explained, “The challenge for a net-zero world is one that spans many industries and environments; success will depend on the ability to create successful projects that create bridges between multiple technologies and customers.

“Embarking on this partnership with Space Solar to develop ambitious new solutions for ‘harvesting’ solar energy in orbit and sending it back to Earth is a big and hugely exciting step in the journey. Our teams will bring a wide array of expertise and skills to help develop 24/7 renewable and sustainable sources of clean energy on Earth.”

SOLARIS initiative

Thales Alenia Space is also leading a feasibility study for the European Space Agency’s SOLARIS initiative, which will determine the viability of a project to provide clean energy from spaceborne solar power plants to meet the requirements down on Earth.

The SOLARIS studies aims to support Europe to make an informed decision by 2025 on whether or not to embark on a development program for the commercialization of space-based solar energy, with the initial objective of designing a small-scale in-orbit demonstrator.

Image: Space Solar

Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter

You may also be interested in

NASA chooses three companies to help advance solar array technology for Moon