Reducing Our Energy Costs
Chevron uses an energy index to measure energy efficiency improvements across our global operations. As of 2012, that index has shown a 34 percent improvement since 1992, when the index was first used by Chevron. The Chevron Energy Index is an approximate measure of the energy intensity of our operations, based on the estimated improvement of energy technologies and operational performance.
We've achieved these savings in big and small ways. For example, our Chevron Energy Solutions (CES) unit collaborates with other Chevron groups to help oil fields, refineries and other facilities trim energy costs, test new technologies, achieve efficiency gains, reduce emissions and improve power reliability. The primary role of CES is to help institutions and businesses use energy more efficiently and generate power from alternative energy sources such as solar and biomass. CES customers include schools, colleges, government agencies and businesses.
We also continue to explore new technologies that can make renewable forms of energy more efficient. In Coalinga, California, we completed and commissioned the world's largest solar-to-steam generation project. The project uses solar power to produce steam. We use that steam to heat the heavy oil in our adjacent field, improving the efficiency of that reservoir.
Opened in March 2011, the Chevron Center for Sustainable Energy Efficiency supports sustainable energy development in Qatar. The $20 million center at the Qatar Science & Technology Park in Doha, Qatar, studies solar power, solar air conditioning and lighting technologies suited to the country's climate and architecture.
And Project Brightfield, a demonstration of next-generation solar energy technologies in Bakersfield, California, is evaluating seven emerging photovoltaic technologies to help determine the potential application of renewable power at other company-owned facilities. The project currently operates on the site of a former Chevron refinery.
Generating Electricity More Efficiently
At refineries, production facilities and other sites around the world, we have built cogeneration units that use a fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly process to produce steam and electric power simultaneously. The cogeneration process is capable of producing electricity twice as efficiently as the processes used by local utility companies.
Our Kern River Cogeneration Co. facility in California, a joint venture with Edison Mission Energy, was the state’s first large cogeneration facility, with a generating capacity of 300 megawatts.
We built an $80 million cogeneration facility in El Segundo, California, to provide electrical and steam power for our refinery there. In addition, we're using cogeneration at several of our other refineries to produce additional electricity from energy that would otherwise go unused.
CES has helped deliver significant efficiency savings to Chevron operations. For example, in California’s San Joaquin Valley and elsewhere, CES has helped increase oil field pump performance by using adjustable speed drives, which save energy and cut maintenance costs.
We also developed and installed California's first megawatt-class hydrogen fuel cell cogeneration plant at Alameda County's Santa Rita Jail. The 1 megawatt project provides half of the facility's annual power needs and is saving county taxpayers more than $260,000 a year. By reducing the facility's demand for utility-provided power, the fuel cell plant offsets more than 3,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
In 2011, our Chevron Park headquarters in San Ramon, California, earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification in the Existing Buildings Operations & Maintenance category. Also in 2011, one of our downtown Houston facilities earned LEED gold certification in Commercial Interiors. Our other facility in downtown Houston earned silver-level certification in 2010. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is an internationally recognized certification system that verifies a building or community was designed and built to be environmentally sustainable.