in Space

Space Solar and Thales Alenia Space in the UK to deliver SBSP

Posted 6 November 2023

Space Solar has announced an innovation partnership with Thales Alenia Space in the UK, a joint-venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), to continue their collaboration on the first commercial space-based solar power (SBSP) system.

© Space Solar

The agreement reflects the strategic alignment of the two companies toward SBSP and recognition of the opportunities it presents for space sector organisations around developing new, large infrastructure in space to support the needs of the planet. Both companies are committed to bringing this technology to life to create a completely new baseload energy technology for the benefit of humankind.

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.

The agreement today builds on that strong foundation, reflecting the rapid growth in interest in SBSP around the world and the need for strong partnerships. It also presents an opportunity for both companies to help shape the ecosystem for the technology and best-in-class delivery teams.

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.”

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.”

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.

In addition to the collaboration with Space Solar in the UK, 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 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 programme for the commercialisation of space-based solar energy, with the initial objective of designing a small-scale in-orbit demonstrator.





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