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Chevron announces its first solar-to-hydrogen production project in California’s Central Valley

Chevron New Energies, a division of Chevron USA Inc., is developing a 5-megawatt hydrogen production project in California’s Central Valley. The project aims to create lower carbon energy by utilizing solar power, land, and non-potable produced water from Chevron’s existing assets at the Lost Hills Oil Field in Kern County.

This low-carbon intensity (LCI) hydrogen will be produced through electrolysis.

Chevron’s strategy is to leverage its strengths to deliver lower carbon energy to a growing world. Chevron believes in the value of delivering large-scale hydrogen solutions that support a lower carbon world. The facility is designed to produce two tons of LCI hydrogen per day, with the goal of supporting an expanding hydrogen refueling network.

Hydrogen can play a vital role in our journey toward a lower carbon future. Chevron already offers lower carbon fuels like sustainable aviation fuel, renewable diesel and others, and this project is expected to expand the portfolio of solutions Chevron could supply to the region.

Our ability to meet growing hydrogen demand and help build hydrogen fueling infrastructure in California to a commercial scale with more widespread adoption will be strongly led by state and federal energy policies that promote new lower carbon energy solutions.

—Austin Knight, vice president for hydrogen at Chevron New Energies

The development of the project is expected to span multiple years, and the start of commercial operations will depend on several factors including flexible and supportive legislative and regulatory energy policies, final engineering design, timely permitting, and obtaining the necessary materials.

This project will help develop key technical and commercial proof points as Chevron New Energies assesses concepts for future scale-up and new lower carbon intensity hydrogen production opportunities. By locating expected production in the Central Valley, we believe the project will be well positioned to meet the demand of customers along an important transportation corridor, as well as having proximity to key California urban markets.

—Richard Chapman, President and CEO, Kern Economic Development Corporation



Lets hope they are doing this as agrivoltaics, blending in with agriculture and encouraging biodiversity.

Being Chevron, I am not very hopeful.

Creating a barren factory floor with maximum subsidies and exemptions from environmental accountability is more their style.

The desolation of Smaug is pretty much their dream.


I worry that the amount of brain-power and research monies being used on these apparently endless gobs of solar, wind, small nuclear, NG, H2, battery chemistry, etc., etc., 'projects' throughout most rich countries are causing a lack of actual progress. Energy choice, carbon emission moderation, and effective propulsion/ heating/ power sources are not intended to be Science Fair projects for bored PhDs looking to publish papers en masse. At least NASA, one of the fluffiest of all super-science institutions, creates/ maintains some kind of 'road map' and rating system for the potential projects and their likelihood of scaling and distribution. Perhaps ARPA-E with its mission to get 'the science to market' has been publishing its 'success' standards and that the World Should Take Note. There is a reason that southern Italy with its master tinkerer Da Vinci never became a significant techno-industrial location -and- northern England/ Wales with its steam technology etc., accelerated the world to electricity, industry, and modernization -> thinker + doer + financier + industrialist + population-wanting-opportunity/wealth.
I imagine that with such a lack of 'closing the deal' that Europe and the rest of the World outside of China and the US will still be arguing over H2 fittings, EV charger standardization, battery factory safety and recyclability, etc., long after the rest have electrified, increased vehicle numbers, and made a profit while doing so -- Ho-Hum. The worst place to save the world is a 'caring bureaucracy' - the most obscene but some how delicious Irony.


There is no agro anything if you've seen the region it looks like Baku Kazakhstan
one oil well after another.



Just so.

Dumb, desolate and a health hazard.

Chevron will feel right at home.


Greenwashing and diverting money from projects that reduce demand for oil. That's the game for those greedy selfish industries.


They did a project at elk hills California where they actually built a combined cycle natural gas power plant and use the CO2 output to get more oil out of that area, that's about as close as they come to semi environmental.

Roger Pham

The fact that Chevron, an energy company, is willing to make green H2 is a very positive sign that green H2 will soon be cost-competitive with fossil fuel and affordable. The energy companies went for oil and gas in the past because these are low in cost to produce and hence are profitable.

However, the production of oil and gas is getting more and more expensive due to the dwindling of these oil and gas reserves, they will have to drill deeper, in harsher regions, and invest more and more to get the same energy return. So, naturally, the energy companies are exploring greener pastures...pun make green H2 and other green fuels profitable at affordable prices. Its all about business of bringing affordable fuels to the consumers at reasonable profits.



I am all in favour of green H2, and my view is that is can be done, albeit currently at some cost premium to grey H2, if one does not charge for boiling the planet.

Chevron though is an expert in disregarding these 'externalities' and putting them in charge of it is rather like offering a serial killer a position in child care, as they have said that they are going to try to be better, honestly.

If there is a dumb and destructive way of doing it, Chevron is likely to find it.


Chevron is first and foremost a energy company. They could careless if they sell you a Kg of hydrogen or a gallon of gasoline as long as they can make 15% profit margins on it the shareholders are happy. Oil is getting more scarce and solar panels cheaper by the day it is only natural those with the liquid capital that want to stay in the selling of energy business move to what is effectively an unlimited supply of energy that giant thermonuclear reactor in the sky blessedly showering us with millions of times more energy that humans can ever use. The problem is not an energy source or volume problem it's storage, transport and seasonal cycle balance. Hydrogen can solve the later problems. The oceans have millions of years worth of hydrogen even losing millions of tons per year through leaks in a hydrogen economy into outer space. Hydrogen gas is not bound to earth's gravity well once released it rises above the sensible atmosphere and solar winds blow it away forever. Chevron wants to stay in the energy industry, that means synthetic fuels, hydrogen and lithium production. Mine once use many on the lithium.


Hi James.

As a geologist, it would be great if you can find time to keep us up to date on what you make of plans to extract geological hydrogen, and stimulate it in a similar manner to fracking for NG.

So far, so good, seems to be the state of play to amateurs like me.

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