Chevron is Powering the World Forward With California Sunshine

Chevron’s lost hills oil field is being powered with 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours of green energy
Feb 20, 2020 8:00 AM ET

Today’s energy landscape continues to rely on fossil fuels to power the world forward, but partnership and innovation are helping Chevron to develop more energy with less environmental impact. Thanks to California’s sunshine, San Joaquin Valley Business Unit (SJVBU) will soon be reducing CO2 emissions associated with oil production at its Lost Hills oil field.

Construction is underway on the Lost Hills Solar Project, a 29-megawatt AC system of solar panels which will deliver low-carbon electricity to Chevron’s Lost Hills oil field in Kern County, California. Chevron agreed to purchase the solar energy from commercial solar provider SunPower under a power purchase agreement (PPA). SunPower will build and operate the solar project which is sited on Chevron land.

Over the PPA’s 20-year potential term, the project is expected to produce more than 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours of solar energy. Chevron will receive environmental credits under the state of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard program.

“This partnership with SunPower will help us deliver domestic energy resources Californians need with a smaller environmental footprint, aligning with SJVBU’s vision to be the best energy producer in California, for California,” said Billy Lacobie, vice president of SJVBU. “I'd like to recognize the significant efforts of SJVBU and the expertise of Chevron’s Pipeline & Power business unit (CPP) who delivered this winning outcome.”

the solar mix

The solar project, scheduled for completion in 2020, is expected to provide 80 percent of the power needs of the Lost Hills oil field, which was discovered in 1910 and has produced more than 460 million barrels of oil over the past 40 years. Once fully operational, the project will be the largest solar electric system in California’s Net Energy Metering program.

greening chevron’s power

The Lost Hills solar project aligns with Chevron’s Renewable Power strategy which is exploring opportunities to replicate this type of approach in other business assets. The strategy’s focus is on wind and solar solutions which are affordable, reliable, and support upstream and downstream operations. A recent example is the agreement Chevron signed earlier this year to supply MCBU operations with 65MW of electricity from a wind farm in west Texas.

“For over 140 years, Chevron has delivered the energy that improves lives and enables human progress, and as global demand for energy continues to grow, we are committed to producing affordable, reliable, ever-cleaner energy,” said Allen Satterwhite, president of Chevron Pipeline & Power (CPP). “Chevron has long been committed to understanding and evaluating renewable energy sources that are scalable, economically viable, and support our operations. This project and the renewables strategy are meaningful steps in our energy journey.”

The strategy is led by CPP and supported by subject matter experts from across the enterprise. It is driven by the Midstream mission, which focuses on delivering operational, commercial, and technical expertise to enhance results in Upstream and Downstream & Chemicals.