US oil company Chevron has announced its plans to build 500-megawatts of wind and solar projects in Australia to power its production and refining facilities.
Chevron has finalised an agreement with Algonquin, a Canadian renewable energy company to produce 500MW of wind and solar facilities in Western Australia, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Texas and New Mexico.
Chevron’s Chief Finance Officer, Pierre Breber has said “how can we increase renewables in support of our business? We have [the] Algonquin partnership we just announced.”
“It’s just a way to scale up what we’ve been doing previously,” Breber said. “We have some wind and solar to our operations in the Permian and Bakersfield. This gives us an alliance and partnership to accelerate and scale it up globally,” he said.
Algonquin’s CEO, Arun Banskota has said that “this partnership leverages Algonquin’s technical and operational expertise in renewable power with Chevron’s scale, and local knowledge to enable faster, more cost-effective cleaner energy solutions.”
“Continuing to invest in renewable energy solutions is fundamental to our business strategy,” Banskota said. “By working with sustainability champions like Chevron, we maximise the positive impact of the low carbon technologies we offer to communities across the U.S. and Canada, and internationally,” he said.
The announcement comes after we reported that some of Australia’s biggest polluters had agreed to bring their companies to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Chevron’s CFO, Breber added in the conference call that the oil giant was looking to natural gas, renewable liquid fuels and other forms of renewable energy to reduce its carbon footprint across its production and supply chain.
“And then, our third focus area is investing in breakthrough technologies,” Breber continued to explain. “That includes carbon sequestration, hydrogen, batteries. We are operating one of the world’s largest carbon sequestration projects in Australia,” he said.
“We intend to be in business for a long time,” Chevron’s CFO said. “There are elections in this country and a number of countries that are occurring. We intend to be a constructive force wherever we operate to be a good partner with whoever is governing at that time.”
Renew Economy’s editor-in-chief, Giles Parkinson has labelled the move “a token gesture towards lowering emissions,” but said the investment “could involve a more significant commitment down the line.”
Parkinson goes on to explain that “Shell, BP, Total, Enel and ENI have already invested in large scale solar farms in Australia, and plan more. Other miners in W.A. are also investing heavily in solar and batteries to reduce costs and emissions and improve reliability at their mining operations in the state.”