Aera Energy to build CA’s largest solar farm in oil field
Since the Belridge oil field, located in the San Joaquin Valley of California, was discovered in 1911 it has produce 1.7bn barrels of heavy crude oil.
Aera Energy, the operator of Belridge, will now use the field to build California’s largest solar power farm, according to Forbes.
The 22-mile long oil field will feature 630 acres of glass houses, with solar collectors suspended in the centres made from aluminium.
The wires holding the collectors in place will be pulled by motors as the sun moves across the sky which will adjust the mirror’s pitch.
The reflected sun’s rays will be concentrated on water pipes to create steam – the plan being to produce 12mn barrels of steam a year.
The project will cost Aera Energy US$250mn, and will allow the oil field productivity to rise due to its geriatric state.
The oil in the field no longer flows under its own pressure, and so Aera Energy requires steam to coax out more oil.
During 1986, Belridge’s production levels peaked at 160,000 barrels per day, whereas now the oil company are only managing 76,000 per day, a decline of 52.5%.
The upfront cost of installing solar generators is expensive, but once complete fuel is effectively free.
“It’s a challenge in California, where you need your performance to be even stronger to offset the regulatory costs of doing business here,” says Christian Sistrunk, CEO of Aera Energy.
“Previously we couldn’t afford to do it.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.