Chevron Installing BrightSource Solar Steam Plant At California Oil Field

Chevron Corp. plans to build a solar steam plant at its Coalinga,Calif., oil field in order to boost production. The project wasannounced at a recent Coalinga city council meeting.

Theinstallation will collect sunlight from thousands of mirrors installedat a 323-foot tower, partially replacing natural gas-powered productioncurrently in place at the site, according to a Reuters report.

BrightSourceEnergy is teaming with Chevron on the project. Construction isscheduled to begin this year, and the plant will begin production bythe end of 2010.

Unlike at conventional solar plants of thistype, which typically drive turbines via steam to create electricity,the steam produced at this project will be injected into the field’soil wells, where it will heat the thick petroleum to encourage betterflow, notes a New York Times article.

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