Chevron to Build Solar Power Station to Run Oil Fields - How Ironic!
Chevron, the American multinational petrol corporation, has apparently seen the 'green' writing on the wall and is investing $3 billion in alternative energy facilities such as "Project Brightfield', an advanced solar power plant that will run the equipment at their Kern River station oil fields near Bakersfield, California. Chevron announced on Monday that the proposed power station will have 7,700 thin film solar panels and should generate 740 KW of power to run the 9,183 active oil wells.
The projects are not completely altruistic, however, because most major fossil fuel companies are realizing that by 2020, solar could well be cheaper than coal. According to Greg Chang of Bloomberg.com, “Chevron, Goldman Sachs, FPL, PG&E and other companies have filed more than 50 applications with the Bureau of Land Management to lease government-owned desert property for solar power systems." Chevron is already selling power back to the grid from Kern River from their on-site natural gas facility that has a co-generation plant that uses the excess heat to generate 300MW of electricity. Since the facility only requires 36MW, the remaining power is sold to the local utility.