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Chevron Energy and Hydrogen Renewal Project and Solar Energy

The FEIR for the Chevron Energy and Hydrogen Renewal Project did not evaluate the potential use of solar generated electricity to displace what is presumed to be a 60 megawatt demand. Here is what the FEIR said:

 

Although the Chevron Refinery site is approximately 2,900 acres in size, a substantial portion of this land is either developed or is unsuitable for development. Without substantial further study and engineering of what would be a significantly different project, it is unknown if adequate space could be found on the Refinery

 

The FEIR did not consider partial generation from on-site solar photovoltaics, but it should have. It is noteworthy that Chevron Energy Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chevron, recently completed a substantial solar PV project at Contra Costa College. It is part of a planned 1 megawatt generating capacity that Chevron Energy Solutions has planned for the college. The PV array, shown in the photo below, is mounted above the parking lot.

 

According to the Design Review Board staff report for the Chevron Energy and Hydrogen Renewal Project, there are 2,000 parking places at the Chevron Refinery. A typical parking space, including driveway, takes up about 350 square feet. Thatís a total of 700,000 square feet, or 16 acres, of parking. If Chevron arranged for Chevron Energy Solutions to construct the same system used at Contra Costa College on all the Refinery parking lots, the total generating capacity could be 8 megawatts, using the ď1 to 2 acresĒ per megawatt estimated by the FEIR (21-8), or over 13 percent of the refinery load during daylight hours.

 

For comparison, a typical home solar PV system would generate about 4 kilowatts. A megawatt is 1,000 kilowatts.

 

 

If you want to visit the Contra Costa College project and talk to Chevron Energy Solutions people about solar energy as a part of the Chevron Energy and Hydrogen Renewal Project, on January 31st, Contra Costa Community College invites the community to join them in celebrating the completion of District wide energy efficiency improvements and the largest solar energy project at an institution of higher learning in North America. Developed and built by Chevron Energy Solutions, the Districtís facility upgrades are reducing costs and greenhouse gas emissions while improving energy efficiency and reliability. New solar panel-topped parking canopies at the three colleges will supply up to half of the Districtís peak electricity needs and provide shaded parking. RSVP Requested. Details...

 

Whatís good enough for the Contra Costa Community College Districtís taxpayers ought to be good enough for Chevron. The Design Review Board could consider a condition of approval of the Chevron Energy and Hydrogen Renewal Project that would include the design and construction of at least 8 megawatts of solar PV generator over the Refineryís parking lots. The cost to Chevron would be about $48 million but would be substantially offset by tax credits and rebates.