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Oil and gas company Aera Energy is promoting what will become the largest solar power plant in the state of California. With the collaboration of the specialized firm GlassPoint, The installations planned on the Belridge field will take advantage of the collected solar energy to produce electricity and steam, which will be used for oil extraction.

“We are proud to be part of a low-carbon future for California and to be an industry leader in adopting bold solutions to deliver valuable energy more efficiently while protecting the environment,” says the maxim about the project. Head of Aera Energy, Christina Sistrunk.

Construction of the Belridge solar power plant, due to start in the first half of 2019, is expected to help avoid 376,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. This amount equals 80,000 vehicles, as shown Glasspoint it is a statement.

To do this, these installations will house a photovoltaic solar power plant with a capacity of 25.5 MW. Back then in Belridge an 850 MW solar thermal power plant will be activated.

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As planned, the electricity and steam produced will be used to reduce the amount of natural gas currently used at this location in petroleum operations. It is precisely in this area that GlassPoint specializes. Its participation in the project will allow Aera, which accounts for a quarter of California’s crude production, to do so, not by burning natural gas, but through a process known as enhanced thermal oil recovery (EOR).

Thus, with this system, the crude is produced by injecting water vapor into the reserve to heat it so that it is pumped to the surface. Although, generally, for this mechanism the water vapor is obtained by gas combustion, in this case the thermal energy generated by the future installation will be used. With this, not only will Belridge’s energy consumption be contained, but its carbon footprint will be reduced. “Our collaboration with Aera shows the growing convergence of energies, whereby renewable and traditional energy leaders work hand in hand to solve some of the greatest challenges of our time”GlassPoint vice president Sanjeev Kumar says of this project.

According to the information provided by the two companies involved in this project, the plant could start operations in 2020. By then, if no other project stands in the way, the Belridge oilfield will become California’s largest plant, as well as the most power-producing plant in the state; in addition to being a pioneer in the use of clean energy for oil extraction.

The world upside down, this story also reminds us of the Chinese shipping company that manufactured the world’s first fully electric cargo ship, which it will use to transport coal 🙁