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Chevron Announces Renewable Energy Investments

22 March 2010 53,407 views 13 Comments

Oil Giant to Invest in Solar & Related Renewable Energy Projects-

Chevron, the company which refuses to clean its toxic waste in Ecuador due to a “release” from the Ecuadorian government in 1998, has announced a new solar investment that will power pipelines and pumps at its Kern River oil field. According to Reuters, the conglomerate will install 7,700 solar panels which are anticipated to generate roughly 740 kilowatts of renewable electricity. Chevron is using the eight acre facility, dubbed Project Brightfield, to test several sizes of panels and types of technology from seven different companies. Japan-based Sharp Corporation is reportedly producing an archetype to test the performance of individual panels to establish which will best serve the multitudinous Chevron sites around the globe. The company said it intends to invest over $2 billion in renewable energy and related technologies over the next three years. Chevron recently announced that it will design, build, operate and maintain a 3.7 MW solar project for a San Jose, California school district.

Image (left), courtesy of TheOilDrum.com, showcases the Kern County, California site – “Project Brightfield” – in which the solar panels will be tested.

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  • Justin w/ Chevron said:

    This is Justin with Chevron Corporation. Texaco remediated the sites the company was responsible for prior to leaving and received a full release of any further liability from the Government of Ecuador in 1998. Chevron is not responsible for the current conditions in the Oriente- that responsibility lies legally and morally with the Government of Ecuador and its state owned oil company Petroecuador.

    For those interested in reading more on the case I encourage you to visit: http://www.theamazonpost.com

    For more on today’s solar annoucement please check out: http://bit.ly/b9xHXl and http://bit.ly/bMS0mJ

  • Brianna said:

    Justin w/ Chevron, please stop lying. Every time you and your company lie about the dire environmental and health disaster (that your company is responsible for) more people will get sick and die. For decades, Chevron (then Texaco) dumped 18 billions gallons of toxic oil waste, 17 million gallons of oil, and left 917 UNLINED oil pits to poison over 30,000 people who lived in the area. Many of these sites were solely owned and operated by Texaco and NEVER properly cleaned or remediated. As men and women from the region will show you, “remediation” in many places meant just sprinkling a bit of dirt on top of an open oil pit. The oil continues to seep into people’s water, causing birth defects, illness, miscarriage, cancers, and deaths.

    Furthermore, your big fanfare to day over your renewable energy investments seems like just more greenwashing. Oil expert and NY Times bestselling author Antonia Juhaz reports that in 2009, Chevron spent its lowest amount on green alternative energy since at least 2006, spending just 1.96% of its total capitol and exploratory budget on green alternatives.

    And, this is a VERY generous estimate. Many things in this estimate are decidedly NOT green. Antonia has detailed Chevron’s cynical and misleading approach to renewable energy investments at http://www.truecostofchevron.com.

  • Green Energy News (author) said:

    We would love it if you could provide a link to a third party site (not owned and operated by Chevron) that would corroborate Chevron’s claims of having cleaned up the toxic waste sites in Ecuador – and around the world for that matter.

  • Nick said:

    Is anyone else lost in the fact that Chevron is building solar panels to pump oil?
    What irony! Chevron wants to develop “test” solar at their Kern River oil extraction facility.

    2 quick things that jump to mind. (I’ll leave the whole Chevron’s accountability in Ecuador thing out of this. the over 900 crude pits left by Chevron in the Amazon speak for themselves)

    1. This is the facility…. it’s a beauty!

    2. Kern River is a HEAVY oil facility(80% is heavy oil). meaning it is the most expensive, polluting, and energy intensive type of oil extraction out there.

    Justin how much energy does it take to extract 1 barrel of oil from the Kern River facility?


  • Justin w/Chevron said:

    The truth is that the plaintiffs have not presented any medical evidence to support their accusations regarding health impacts. Moreover, Texaco Petroleum, as designated by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Energy and Mines and overseen by Petroecuador and the government of Ecuador, fully complied with legal obligations by performing remediation activity at 133 of the 321 Consortium well sites (equal to its stake in the consortium with Petroecuador). In fact, the cleanup work was supervised by the government of Ecuador and scientifically verified by two independent laboratories. As a result of the successful remediation, Texaco Petroleum was released of any further liability in Ecuador. Here’s is a link to the settlement and release agreement certifying that the remediation was thorough and complete.


    Hundreds of government inspectors and laboratory personnel signed off on Texaco Petroleum’s remediation. The releases were signed by all pertinent Ministries of the Government, municipalities, NGOs and University personnel.



  • Nick said:

    Justin can you answer my question?
    Or will you only keep regurgitating Chevron’s Ecuador talking points?

    It’s actually a pretty simple question.

    Justin how much energy does it take to extract 1 barrel of oil from the Kern River facility?

  • Nick said:

    By the way here is a nice graph on the air pollution near and around Chevron’s Kern River facilities.

    Some of the worst in the country.


    You have to do more for this community’s health Chevron.

  • Green Energy News (author) said:


    If you haven’t done so already, check out the air pollution charts that Nick passed along.

  • J-M said:

    Thanks for the insights Justin. It’s great to know where Chevron stands on your latest coming out party.

    Fact is, Chevron hit a new-time low in renewable energy investments in 2009. Antonia Juhasz, oil industry expert and NY Times best-selling author reports: “In 2009, Chevron spent its lowest amount on green alternative energy since at least 2006, spending less than 2%, or just 1.96% of its total capitol and exploratory budget on green alternatives. And, remember, this is a VERY generous estimate. We are including in this estimate lots of things that are decidedly NOT green.”

    Another fact that Chevron “forgot” to mention in their “Project Brightfield” media blitz is that regardless of this Bakersfield, CA solar project, Chevron continues to be the #1 greenhouse gas emitter in California.

    Additionally, Chevron has a huge stake in the expansion of the Tar Sands in Canada (the most energy intensive project on the planet). Much of this increased production is designed to feed into a network of long-lived infrastructure that will effectively lock-in North American oil dependency for decades to come. Thousands of miles of new trans-continental pipelines and more than twenty newly expanded oil refineries are being planned to bring growing supplies of tar sands crude to the US market. Aside from increasing global warming pollution, the dirtier crude oils produced from tar sands also require more intensive refining. Since 2007, Chevron has won local battles to expand its refineries in Richmond, CA and El Segundo, CA to convert the heavy crude oils produced in the tar sands to gasoline and other consumer and commercial products.

    Finally, I would love to see how Chevron’s investment in “Project Brightfield” compares to the amount they spend on lawyers, lobbyists, and PR expenses to delay cleaning up their toxic oil legacy in Ecuador and denying the communities justice under whatever previous corporate name that is or was responsible.

    Along with your friends at ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil/Esso, I will continue to boycott your products.


    A very concerned Canadian citizen who does not like what is going on in our backyard.

  • mary said:

    Boycott Chevron’s blood-gas

    Planet, please urge Chevron/Texaco/unica 76 with the only thing it understands $$$$$$ to clean up the toxic waste and end the blood spills.

    Chevron spilled over 700 million gallons of oil in Ecuador and has refused to clean it up. Chevron claims that it is the dirt in the water that is killing the indigenous in Ecuador and not the oil. -Yeah right. They suggest that the Ecuadorian government should cut down the rainforest and bring in piped water. Prior to Chevron/Texico, they swam, drank, and fished in water for thousands of years and thrived. Now they are dying. My father was orphaned during the Chevron texico construction and adopted by an archetect from the bay area who was working in the area during the Texaco occupation.
    In the past decade Chevron has employed a long list of dirty tactics to avoid a trial in Ecuador that recently included hiring a drug lord who attempted to bribe a judge to undermine the case and the public opinion.
    To respond to a global outcry in Ecuador, Burma, Nigeria, Canada, the middle east and here at home in America, Chevron’s answer is to hire more lawyers and a new PR firm. A wikipedia page was recently deleted by a computer at Chevron headquarters inSan ramon California.
    Chevron has invested nillions of dollars in a new PR direction.
    ergo Justin H, whose sole job is to come up with legal jargon to spin the bad press under the carpet. Justin is paid by Chevron to take advantage of social avenues like twitter, facebook, financial magazines and blog sites like this one in an attempt to keep the stock prices high. 2008 was a record high for the past 130 years that Chevron has been in business.
    Those looking for the truth should See the film “crude”- watch 60 minutes/Chevron- Read Vanity Fair/pablo Fajardo and any and all press on this issue not written by Chevron. ie amazon post etc.
    I will boycott Chevron/Texaco/unica 76 products, gas, flights powered by Chevron,stocks etc. and I will not vote for politicians who take Chevron’s blood money. see: “open secrets” website for the names of polititions.
    visit websites: amazan watch/Chevron toxico/change.org etc. And believe the only opinions that matter on the subject, the indigenous who are dying in Ecuador. Buying Chevron’s blood gas is like buying cookies from Hitler made from the blood of the people that his army murdered.

  • Jerry Springer said:

    Get a job you damn hippies.

  • Sam said:


    Thank you for all the information you have given. I was after some third party information on Chevron’s ‘real’ contribution to green energy and environmental conservation. It is absolutely pitiful and disgraceful. Not only is it a measly <2% of exploration expenditure but the company made and continues to make extraordinary profits (which as Antonia Juhasz tells us, goes to executive's pockets, bribes for republican politicians who have ties with the oil boys, and on an enormous legal team). I truly commend anyone and everyone who stands up against Chevron's despicable behaviour. I find it sickening to see they boast corporate responsibility on their website homepage.

    I am from Australia and I am also sickened by the way our federal government put immense pressure on the EPA to approve the Barrow Island Gorgon Gas project. This project has put at risk the Flatback turtles which get confused by the light coming from the refinery on Barrow Island and so cannot get back out to the sea. The international multi-billion dollar corporation came up with a wonderful idea – to physically help the turtles back out to sea…Every night? All the turtles? Really engaging with 'sustainable' practices? For those who don't believe these rare and special creatures matter there is more.

    The project is in Ningaloo Reef and Marine Park and Barrow Island itself has the highest conservation classification available. It is home to many rare and endangered flora and fauna that are simply not found anywhere else. It also has one of the highest concentration of aboriginal heritage sites in Australia.

    Although Chevron boasts Gorgon's LNG project as a nice clean, lower-carbon alternative to oil and coal, the gas itself is extremely dirty having a very high CO2 content and as energy scientists will know, the liqui liquefying process is very energy intensive, reducing the overall and so-called efficiency of LNG.

    The problem with the Gorgon proposal and then approval was that the State and Federal governments did not in actual fact, really consider any alternatives to the placement of the refinery or alternative sources of energy. As with many things, the tripple bottom line is dominated by economic factors.

    Governments need to stop giving 'rubber stamps' to projects which significantly adversely effect the environment. The law is developing in the US, Canada and in Australia to protect the environment but Governments are hindering the progress by allowing detriments to occur and then wondering why, 10 years later, they are called upon to bail out companies who have had an environmental disaster. The same thing will happen for climate change if governments do not act seriously and strictly on huge polluters, except the climate change, the effects are far more severe than turtles or biodiversity loss.


  • David The Solar Enthusiast said:

    Great write-up, found it interesting. I am adding your web site to my own list of favorites, keep up the fantastic posts bud!

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