A solar array under construction at the local headquarters of oil field services giant Halliburton Co. is the latest sign of conventional and renewable energy coming together in Kern.

County officials say the 1.6-megawatt photovoltaic installation going up at the northwest corner of 7th Standard and Coffee roads in Oildale is intended to generate power to support the facility's operations.

The project is in some ways symbolic of the oil industry's growing interest in solar energy, which on some levels competes with petroleum but in other ways offers complementary technologies.

Conventional and renewable power have long coexisted in Kern, which leads the state in production of both forms of energy. While vast oil fields dominate the landscape of the county's western reaches, massive solar arrays and wind farms in eastern Kern continue to attract large investments.

Details on the Halliburton project were scarce. A local manager did not respond to a request for comment over a period of more than a week and a spokeswoman for the Houston-based company was unable late this week to provide any information about the solar installation.

The project's construction — it appeared to be about halfway built by Thursday — has come as the most ambitious oil-related solar installation in Kern County appears to have hit a stumbling block.

FINANCIAL PROBLEMS

The 770-acre Belridge Solar Project, first announced in 2017, was supposed to use heat from sunlight to turn water into steam for use in oil production.

But the company that came up with the technology, Fremont-based GlassPoint Solar Inc., ran into financial problems. It informed investors one year ago that the project's initial phase had been scaled back as the company looked for financing to begin construction, which was originally proposed to begin in early 2019.

That change apparently was not enough. Fremont's local partner on the proposal, Bakersfield-based oil producer Aera Energy LLC, said by email Friday the Belridge project is not moving forward as originally proposed.

Despite Aera's investment of millions of dollars and countless hours of work during the last two years, it said, GlassPoint had been unable to secure the money necessary to develop the project.

STILL HOPE

Aera said it continues to see strong potential in the technology and that it is working aggressively to develop "innovative carbon reduction projects in support of California’s ambitious climate targets, including the use of renewable energy projects to support oil extraction, where it makes sense."

The company stated it looks to state government to provide regulatory certainty and market-based solutions to provide a higher degree of certainty necessary for such large investments.

"Innovation and renewable projects are capital intense and have a long term payout period," it added, "but we believe they can be a winning path forward to reducing emissions and improving air quality, while also delivering broader economic benefits to the people who live and work in California."

Follow John Cox on Twitter: @TheThirdGraf

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(4) comments

Masked 2020

I guess that was fakenews.....Betsey's kinfolk had a different mercenary gig......Prince is a former Navy SEAL, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the founder of military contractor Blackwater, USA TODAY reported. Prince sold Blackwater years ago. The New York Times has described Prince as a "security contractor with close ties to the Trump administration" who "has at times served as an informal adviser to Trump administration officials." More: Oregon governor, federal authorities reach agreement to begin withdrawing agents from Portland

Masked 2020

they are persistent ......Black River Mercenaries In Portland: Security Firm Owned by Besty DeVos’s Brother Erik Prince Under Fire By Sachin Jangra -Jul 27, 2020

Black River Water Security Mercenaries Portland Black River Water Security Mercenaries Portland, Betsy Devos Brother Erik Prince The recent articles and photos of the federal police harming the peaceful protesters in Portland, Oregon, have disturbed everyone. Various theories are coming to life regarding the police force used in “crowd control” by the Department of Homeland Security.

Masked 2020

maybe I'm just getting all of UncleDons playmates mixed up....9/11 brings back the good ole day......Halliburton/KBR/Blackwater: Dick Cheney's goon squad Dick's goons One reason that progressives and liberals are generally opposed to military action is because violence unleashes the very worst in human behavior. Regardless of the justice or "nobility" of the cause, war inevitably leads to bestial acts. Just a few examples from Iraq: On September 14, 2003, British soldiers detained a number of Iraqi civilians as part of a counter-insurgency operation. They held the detainees for 36 hours, repeatedly beating them while handcuffed and hooded. One of the detainees, Baha Mousa, a 26 year old hotel receptionist, died as a result of injuries he received. On November 19, 2005, in Haditha, after a roadside bomb killed Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, Marines shot and killed 24 unarmed men, women, and children. On or about June 23, 2006, 5 US soldiers raped and murdered a 14 year old Iraqi girl, then killed her family in an effort to conceal their crime.

This is far from an exhaustive list of the atrocities that have been committed in Iraq (and we won't even touch on Afghanistan). Note, however, that there is a (perhaps inadequate) system of justice that can deal with these heinous crimes. Namely, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). As with any disciplined bureaucracy, the US military, in order to function effectively, must adhere to laws and provisions. To do otherwise is to dissolve an army into a murderous mob. (Think Red Army in Germany, 1945). But Dick Cheney and the neo-conservatives found a way to avoid all that silly stuff about restraint and decency: military contractors. On June 27, 2004, L. Paul Bremer, Junior Bush's Iraqi proconsul and head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, issued Order 17 as his final official act. The order declares that "all International Consultants shall be immune from Iraqi legal process." Get it? International consultants (military contractors) are immune from the legal process of the official US-installed government! Well, even so, one might say, contractors could still be held accountable by the US military. Wouldn't military contractors still be subject to the UCMJ? Well....in a word, no. Cheney and the neo-cons were already two steps ahead in their thinking: According to US courts, the UCMJ can apply only to US civilians "serving with or accompanying an armed force in the field" at a "time of war." Since there has never been a formal congressional declaration of war on Iraq, the US is not officially in a "time of war" and therefore military contractors, who are technically civilians, cannot be brought before a court martial. This opened the door for Cheney's goons in Blackwater, Halliburton, and Kellogg, Brown, and Root. They were free to hire the most bestial, sadistic psychopaths they could find: persons who would not be constrained by human decency, and would be free to do what needed to be done. Here's a few examples of their handiwork:

Masked 2020

California Please regulate us..... so as to ensure the we will reap mucho more big dollars .... so we can say we are Really just GoodStewards of the earth deep down in our hearts....but wait.....isn't Halliburton Cheney's mercenary solders...[thanks Google]..... Here’s where the story gets even more infuriating. As a result of the privatization of many aspects of military operations, the burn pits were operated by Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR), a former subsidiary of Halliburton, the company where Dick Cheney was CEO before ascending to the White House. During the Bush administration, Halliburton made nearly $40 billion from lucrative government contracts (despite many corruption scandals), Dick Cheney and his corporate allies got incredibly rich, and the soldiers whose lives have likely been destroyed by this reckless operation… are pretty much screwed]........ .. The company stated it looks to state government to provide regulatory certainty and market-based solutions to provide a higher degree of certainty necessary for such large investments.

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