The Fremont, California-based company has created a one-acre greenhouse filled with solar-energy collectors to create low-cost steam for an oil field. More, ideally, will follow.
The project is expected to reduce the costs of producing steam, which will lower the price of oil and ensure jobs. “This is the first solar EOR (enhanced oil recovery) facility in the world and it was built without government money. Because all the easy oil has already been extracted, this is where the next generation [of oil recovery] takes off,” said U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy, congressman for California’s 22nd congressional district, adding that this could also expand local employment.
It could also recreate jobs, but how many and how you count them is up for debate.
"Each acre of solar field generates five jobs -- most of the elements needed were manufactured locally. Creating systems just for 20% of EOR energy would generate 25,000 jobs here," said MacGregor.