November 14 (Renewables Now) - California-based GlassPoint Solar and Occidental of Oman Inc have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) outlining plans for a 2-GW-plus solar thermal energy project at an oilfield in Oman.
The MoU calls for GlassPoint Solar to deploy its enclosed trough technology to produce up to 100,000 barrels of solar steam per day, which will be bought by Occidental and used to facilitate production of heavy oil at the Mukhaizna oilfield.
GlassPoint Solar said that engineering work has been initiated to define the project scope and field integration plans. The company has experience with another such project in Oman in partnership with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). GlassPoint built a 7-MW pilot solar plant for PDO in 2013 and commenced construction work on the Miraah project at the same oilfield in south Oman in November 2015. Upon completion, that solar thermal park will consist of 36 standard greenhouse blocks that house parabolic trough collectors, and will have a total capacity of 1,021 MWp.
“Oman’s vast heavy oilfields present one of the largest opportunities to deploy solar energy and conserve gas, which can instead be used to fuel industries and generate power,” commented Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhi, the Minister of Oil and Gas in Oman.
Occidental of Oman, a unit of oil and gas exploration and production company Occidental Petroleum Corporation, is the Sultanate’s largest independent oil producer.