We believe alternative and renewable energy sources will play a role in meeting future energy demand. How large a role depends on many factors, including advances in technology, public acceptance and economic viability.
Chevron takes a pragmatic approach to renewable energy, pursuing and focusing on technologies that leverage our strengths. These include geothermal energy, advanced biofuels, wind power, solar energy and energy efficiency technologies. We conduct internal research and collaborate with governments, businesses and academia in researching and developing alternative and renewable energy sources. Through these partnerships, we share information and help to advance technology that can lead to more renewable energy for future generations.
Chevron is one of the world's leading producers of geothermal energy, which is created by the heat of the earth and has almost no greenhouse gases. We supply 890 megawatts of installed electricity-generating capacity in Indonesia and the Philippines. Our facilities provide enough energy to meet the needs of millions of people in these countries. The technologies and processes used in geothermal production have much in common with those for oil and gas. Chevron uses its experience in reservoir characterization and safe, efficient drilling to produce this renewable resource.
Chevron Geothermal Indonesia, Ltd., manages two large geothermal projects in Indonesia—Darajat and Salak, both on the island of Java. The output from our Darajat and Salak geothermal operations produces enough renewable energy to supply approximately 4 million homes. Chevron Pacific Indonesia (CPI) also operates and has a 95 percent interest in the North Duri Cogeneration Plant in Sumatra, which supplies up to 300 megawatts of electrical power to CPI as well as steam to support CPI's Duri steamflood project.
Chevron is also an investor in the Hudson Ranch Power I geothermal plant in the Salton Sea geothermal field of California. This 49-megawatt project is the first stand-alone geothermal power generation project to have been developed, permitted and built in the last 20 years in California’s Salton Sea geothermal resource area.
Advanced Solar Technologies
Photovoltaic cells made from silicon alloys can convert sunlight into other forms of energy, such as heat and electricity. Steam generators using thermal collectors to heat water sometimes convert even larger amounts of solar energy into electricity. Solar power can help alleviate capacity problems on local utility grids and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing the use of electricity from power plants that use fossil fuels.
Chevron's photovoltaic projects at Questa, New Mexico, and in the San Joaquin Valley, California, continue to test and evaluate solar technologies. The installation at Questa, for example, uses lenses to focus sunlight onto three-layer solar cells. Together these projects have produced 6.8 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy from their inception through the end of 2012.
Our unique solar-to-steam demonstration project, launched in 2011 by Chevron Technology Ventures in Coalinga, California, is helping us learn how solar technologies can be used to enhance oil recovery. More than 7,600 mirrors direct the sun's energy onto a boiler to generate steam. The steam is injected into wells to enable the flow of oil. Through the end of 2012, the demonstration has produced 460,000 barrels of steam. The project will help determine whether solar thermal technology is viable to deploy in commercial-scale projects at other Chevron facilities.
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.
Chevron has also invested in five joint-venture photovoltaic solar facilities in California, Arizona and Texas, which generate a combined 73 megawatts of renewable energy.
Our Casper Wind Farm, commissioned in 2009, has turned a former refinery site near Casper, Wyoming, into an 11-turbine wind power facility. It supplies approximately 16.5 megawatts of electricity to the local power grid, enough to power approximately 4,400 homes.
Biofuels are one of Chevron's renewable energy focus areas. We believe that biofuels that complement conventional transportation fuels will play an increasing role in meeting the world's growing energy needs.
We are active in conventional, cellulosic and other advanced biofuels. Almost all of the gasoline Chevron sells in the United States contains ethanol, a conventional biofuel derived from edible sugars and starches. We also conduct research on cellulosic and other advanced biofuels, which limit our choice of raw materials to those that do not materially affect food or feed supplies.
Updated: September 2014