An Oman oil company recently announced a partnership with a California-based solar firm called Glasspoint. The two will be working together to create the biggest solar project in the world.
This is certainly a first as oil companies have been known to criticize solar power companies for planning to ruin the oil business. Having an oil company venture into solar power is, therefore, a thing to behold. Nonetheless, in an economy full of uncertainties, many firms have resulted in unorthodox ways of making money. The Oman oil company might simply be looking to diversify its investments while at the same time securing its future in the energy industry. After all, electric power has been receiving more attention as an alternative source of energy, especially in the automotive industry.
The project is also a strategic move towards more economic alternatives. The Petroleum Development Oman operates numerous oil fields that hold heavy oil. According to an analysis performed by the company, investing in heavy machines to pump steam aimed at loosening the oil would be too costly. In the past, the company has been burning natural gas to pump the steam but the gas reserves are being depleted. After a lot of research, the company established that investing in solar power is a more economical option.
This just goes to show that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) had its chips in the right place when it decided to build a mega plant for producing batteries solar power storage. The Oman project was given the name Miraah, due to its simplicity and reliability. It harnesses the power of the sun by focusing small curved mirrors that focus their rays on a series of suspended copper tubes carrying water. They system also incorporates a series of motors to adjust the angle of the reflecting surfaces as the sun moves across the sky. The system then generates the steam needed to recover the oil.
This is the first out of many solar power plants that will be built in the country to supplement the energy department.