A Solar Oil Field?

In a rather remarkable application of new, carbon-free renewable power to obtain additional oil from old wells, solar thermal technology involving mirrors placed above an oil field in Coalinga, CA will create steam to inject into the wells.
October 4, 2011, 10am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Adding to the strange juxtaposition of technology is that Chevron Oil, the nation's second largest oil company, is one of the backers of the solar company, BrightSource.

"The 65-acre project consists of 7,600 mirrors focusing sunlight on a 327-foot tower. The demonstration project is designed to use solar power to create steam to inject into wells to improve the flow of heavy oil.

Success in Coalinga, a boom town during the California oil rush more than a century ago, would be a boost for solar thermal technology, as many other projects have been scrapped in favor of photovoltaic systems."

Thanks to California League of Conservation Voters

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Published on Saturday, October 1, 2011 in Reuters via Los Angeles Times - Business
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