Aera Energy and GlassPoint Solar have announced plans to build a solar project on the Belridge oilfield in Bakersfield, California. The integrated solar project will be the first of its kind in the world to use solar steam and solar electricity to power oilfield operations, efficiently reducing the field’s carbon emissions. Once complete, the Belridge Solar project will deliver the largest peak energy output of any solar plant in California.
This project marks a major milestone for California's push to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of its millions of cars from an overlooked source: Production of transportation fuels.
“Our local energy producers continue to invest in cutting edge innovation and compete globally to provide needed energy resources for our nation in an environmentally responsible way,” said 34th District Assemblyman Vince Fong.
The project is expected to start producing steam and electricity as early as 2020.
Aera Energy President and CEO Christina Sistrunk, said, “ We are proud to be an active part of California’s low carbon future and lead the industry by adopting bold solutions to deliver valuable energy, more efficiently while protecting the environment.”
Belridge Solar will consist of an 850 MW solar thermal facility, producing 12 million barrels of steam per year, and a 26.5 MW photovoltaic facility that will generate electricity. The solar-generated steam and electricity will reduce natural gas currently used onsite in oilfield operations.
The facility is projected to save more than 376,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. The project is also projected to 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,” said Sanjeev Kumar, GlassPoint SVP, Americas.