Chevron looks to renewables to power Australian operations

Aug 4, 2020 01:43 PM ET
  • The power business has revealed it will certainly build 500 MW of renewable energy projects to power several of its worldwide facilities under a four-year contract with Canada's Algonquin Power & Utilities.
Chevron looks to renewables to power Australian operations
Image: skeeze/Pixabay

As oil majors consisting of BP and also Shell list billions of bucks in possessions as a result of Covid-19-crushed fuel demand, Chevron is scaling up its renewable resource portfolio to power oil and gas centers. Under a four-year contract with Canada's Algonquin Power & Utilities, the U.S. power firm is looking for to establish greater than 500 MW of clean energy power generation capacity.

First renewables projects are expected on Chevron land in the Permian Basin of Texas and also New Mexico in addition to in Argentina, Kazakhstan and Western Australia, with building and construction to begin following year. The projects will certainly be jointly had, with Algonquin leading design, development and also building and Chevron purchasing the power created through power acquisition contracts.

" This agreement breakthroughs Chevron's dedication to decrease our carbon impact by investing in sustainable power options that are trustworthy, scalable, cost reliable, as well as straight sustain our core company," stated Allen Satterwhite, head of state of Chevron Pipeline & Power.

Upstream firms on the move

While some oil and gas majors have actually been getting serious about renewables in the last decade, Chevron investments in solar as well as wind have actually been fairly scarce. In Australia, the company's most noteworthy move was to provide a substantial financial payment to the Onslow microgrid project provided by the Western Australian government and also possessed by regional energy Horizon Power. That project incorporates thermal and also solar generation with battery storage to maximize renewables penetration in the community to approximately 90%.

Opponents, mostly from Europe, have actually made a lot larger commitments in Australia and somewhere else. For instance, Anglo-Dutch power company Shell has started building and construction of a 120 MW solar ranch to provide its QGC onshore gas procedures in the north of Queensland. It also snapped up a 49% risk in Esco Pacific, among the largest Australian utility scale solar designers, as well as made a foray right into the electricity market with an AU$ 617 million (US$ 441 million) procurement of business and also commercial power company ERM Power.

French firm Total Eren has constructed Victoria's largest PV project, the 256.5 MW Kiamal Solar Farm, and also is looking to add a second stage with a generation ability of approximately 194 MW. On top of that, the renewables developer-- 23% had by French energy firm Total-- is discovering industrial options for an authorized 380 MWh of energy storage.

Wellington solar

The British-headquartered solar arm of power firm BP-- Lightsource BP-- secured financing for its initial Australian energy range PV project last year. In addition to the 200 MW Wellington Solar Farm, the biggest solitary plant financed by the company, Lightsource has actually recommended three more solar ranches throughout the nation.

The Enel Green Power Australia subsidiary of Italian energy titan Enel possesses the 275 MW Bungala Solar Farm in a joint endeavor with capitalist Dutch Infrastructure Fund. That project, near Port Augusta, South Australia, is among the largest solar facilities in the country. Last year, Enel started building of the 34.2 MW Cohuna Solar Farm, among the three PV projects designated in the initial Victorian renewable energy public auction.

Diversifying its gas-focused portfolio Down Under, one more Italian power company, Eni, got in the Australian renewables market last year by getting the Northern Territory's largest PV project-- the 33.7 MWp Katherine Solar Farm, and the listing goes on.

Hag difficulties

While Chevron's renewables strategies in Australia are unclear yet, the most up to date statement comes as safety and security worries remain to mount after hundreds of fractures were uncovered in vital equipment throughout routine upkeep at its Gorgon melted natural gas (LNG) project in Western Australia. The largest single-resource project in the nation, and also one of the globe's largest LNG terminals, is performing repair on Train 2, which is expected to begin operating once again in September, months behind prepared due to the fractures.

Delays are absolutely nothing brand-new for the Gorgon project, which was liable for a big rise in Australia's CO2 exhausts linked to the company's failure to begin running its carbon capture and also storage (CCS) project together with gas manufacturing in 2016. The CSS project finally started operating last year. Therefore, Chevron could be compelled to pay an AU$ 100 million-plus fine complying with the Western Australian federal government's ruling it must make up emissions from the Gorgon project from 2016-21.

Solar Installers, Manufacturers