Solar-to-Steam- Chevron Technology Ventures and BrightSource have partnered to build the world’s largest solar thermal enhanced oil recovery demonstration facility. The 29 megawatts thermal solar-to-steam facility will support enhanced oil recovery efforts at Chevron’s oil field in Coalinga, California.
The solar facility demonstrates solar thermal technology’s ability to cleanly and cost-effectively support enhanced oil recovery efforts in California and around the world. BrightSource’s LPT technology was selected through a competitive process and the project began construction in 2009. Extracting heavy-oil reserves, like the ones found at Coalinga, is a global challenge. According to a recent report by SBI, conventional oil recovery methods are only able to extract about 10% – 30% of the original oil from any given reservoir, leaving nearly 70% – 90% of the reservoir’s oil untouched. The report estimates that an additional 241.7 billion barrels of oil could be added to worldwide proven reserves with the implementation of enhanced oil recovery methods. Coalinga Fact Sheet Location: Coalinga, CA – approx. 60 miles SW of Fresno, CA or 200 miles NW of Los Angeles Facility Size: 100 acres Steam Production: 29 MWt (megawatts thermal) Electrical Output Equivalent: Approx. 13 MWe (megawatts electric) Tower Height: 327 feet Number of Heliostats / Mirrors: 3,822 heliostats; 7,644 mirrors