Green energy (solar power) and brown energy (massive oil field) are not normally something that goes hand-in-hand. One of the country’s largest oilfields in Bakersfield, CA produces over 76,000 barrels of oil a day. It takes a lot of energy to operate an oil field and a lot of energy equals a lot of $$. The Belridge Oil Field is making moves to power future production in part by a massive solar energy project.
This is proof that no matter what industry or size of business you are, there can be massive benefits to going solar.
They plan to use an 850-megawatt solar thermal array to “evaporate the water that’s pumped into the ground to liberate more oil.” Traditionally they have used natural gas. This will offset the 4.87 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year and limit the amount of carbon emissions pushed into our atmosphere.
California’s cap-and-trade system for carbon dioxide emissions is the incentive for this project, according to the Washington Post. A recent extension allowed for the oilfield to be able to fund the project knowing that they would have stability and at least a decade to make it economic and expandable.
While this isn’t your typical solar array, the ability of solar power is incredible. This oilfield has taken a step that is amazing for the solar industry in the US, and we here at Diversegy are so excited to see other businesses follow suit.