The agreement, announced on October 30, 2023, aims to develop large infrastructure in space, with both companies stating their commitment to creating a completely new baseload technology and energy source for Earth.
Thales Alenia Space in the UK and Space Solar have been working together for over six months 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.
CASSIOPeiA is a new format microwave antenna suitable for wireless power transfer in space. According to Space Solar, when integrated with high efficiency photovoltaics (PV), CASSIOPeiA provides the basis of a utility-scale Solar Power Satellite (SPS) for clean, sustainable energy.
In a statement, Andrew Stanniland, CEO of Thales Alenia Space in the UK said: “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.”
Sam Adlen, Co-CEO of Space Solar added: “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.”
In addition, Thales Alenia Space has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to lead a feasibility study for the SOLARIS initiative, which will determine the viability of a project to provide clean energy from spaceborne solar power plants.
The SOLARIS studies aim to support Europe’s decision by 2025 on whether or not to embark on a development program for the commercialisation of space-based solar energy, with the initial objective of designing a small-scale in-orbit demonstrator.