Why An Oil Company Plans To Build California's Biggest Solar Energy Project

The Belridge oil field in the San Joaquin Valley of California has produced about 1.7 billion barrels of heavy crude since its discovery in 1911. Thanks to advances in solar power, its next 500 million barrels will be a little bit greener.

Here in the middle of the 22-mile long oilfield Aera Energy is set to spend an estimated $250 million to build California's largest solar energy project. The centerpiece will be 630 acres of glass houses, like greenhouses on farms. Hung inside the glass boxes will be solar collectors -- basically flimsy mirrors made from sheets of aluminum foil and suspended by wires. As the sun moves across the sky, small motors pull the wires to adjust the mirrors' pitch. The reflected rays are concentrated on a network of pipes carrying water throughout the glass block, creating steam. The plan at Belridge is to use the sun's power to make 12 million barrels of steam per year.

Read entire article at: Forbes.com