Oilfield to Hold California’s Largest Solar Project

Aera Energy and GlassPoint Solar will deliver the first-ever solar project to power oilfield operations. Located in the San Joaquin Valley, the 850-megawatt project is estimated to save more than 376,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Aera Energy and GlassPoint Solar announced plans to build California’s largest solar energy project. Located at the Belridge oilfield in the San Joaquin Valley, west of Bakersfield, the integrated solar project will be the first in the world to use solar steam and solar electricity to power oilfield operations. Upon completion, the Belridge Solar project will deliver the largest peak energy output of any solar plant in California.

Enhancing oil recovery

Belridge Solar will consist of an 850-megawatt solar thermal facility, capable of producing 12 million barrels of steam per year and a 26.5-megawatt photovoltaic facility that will generate electricity. Together, the project will reduce the amount of natural gas currently used onsite in oilfield operations.

The solar project is anticipated to save more than 376,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, offsetting the equivalent of 80,000 cars. Moreover, the project will create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs in California throughout the oil and gas supply chain and supporting industries.

“GlassPoint is thrilled to partner with Aera to scale our solar oilfield technology in California and deliver meaningful carbon reductions. By harnessing the power of the sun to produce oil, oil operators can efficiently reduce emissions using advanced technology, creating long-term benefits for the local economy and environment,” Sanjeev Kumar, GlassPoint senior vice president, Americas, said in prepared remarks. “Our partnership with Aera demonstrates the growing energy convergence where renewables and traditional energy leaders are working together to address some of the biggest challenges of our time.”

The project is scheduled to break ground in the first half of 2019, with completion anticipated for 2020.

Image and video courtesy of GlassPoint