Chevron Reveals First Solar-to-Hydrogen Project in California’s Central Valley

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(Chevron, 29.Feb.2024) — Chevron New Energies, a division of Chevron U.S.A. 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) electrolytic hydrogen will be produced through electrolysis, which is the process of using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Chevron’s strategy is to leverage our strengths to safely 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,” said Austin Knight, vice president for hydrogen at Chevron New Energies. “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.

“I’m excited about the scalability of this solution,” Knight continued. “However, 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.”

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,” said Richard Chapman, President and CEO, Kern Economic Development Corporation.

“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,” Chapman said.

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