PG&E Wants to Beam Solar Energy from Space to State

Signs contract with Solaren Corp. to send satellite-generated solar power over radio waves

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Who knew energy beamed from space would go to Fresno and not, say, Esalen or Ojai?

    With a  time-traveling, Mars-exploring, alien-fighting, android/barbarian governor, is it any wonder that California is looking to harness the power of the Final Frontier?

    A Manhattan Beach-based company has signed a contract with Pacific Gas and Electric to supply 200 megawatts of solar power -- from space.

    Solaren Corp. plans to launch three satellites that would unfurl solar panels and then transmit electricity over electromagnetic waves to Earth a site near Fresno

    PG&E says that the company will only pay for electricity delivered, so ratepayers aren't at risk if the idea never leaves the ground.

    EM transmission of electricity isn't a new idea, though it's found few practical applications in decades of research.

    The benefits to collecting solar energy in orbit include near-constant exposure and solar energy unfiltered by the atmosphere.

    It's all very safe, we're assured, though the choice of Fresno is interesting.

    After all, in the minds of many Californians, if there was any town that accidentally got wiped off the map by a power beam from space... well, let's just say they aren't planning an installation near Santa Barbara or Carmel.

    Photo from Great Valley Center Image Bank.

    Jackson West figures tinfoil hats will be a popular fashion item in Fresno if this goes forward.