International energy firm Occidental has announced the start-up of the company’s first solar facility to directly power an enhanced oil recovery field operation in the Permian Basin in the US.
The company, through its Oxy Low Carbon Ventures (OLCV) subsidiary, has also signed a long-term power purchase agreement for 109 MW of solar energy, beginning in 2021, for use in its Permian operations.
“Occidental is taking an important step toward realising our aspiration to become carbon neutral through the use of emissions-free solar electricity,” Occidental’s president and CEO Vicki Hollub said.
“Using solar energy in our operations is another way Oxy Low Carbon Ventures is enhancing the profitability and sustainability of our business while meeting the challenge of reducing atmospheric greenhouse gases.”
The Goldsmith field solar facility, built by Occidental in Ector County near Odessa, Texas, expands on the company’s commitment to economically lower its carbon footprint by using emissions-free power sources in operations.
The 120-acre field is the first large-scale solar facility of its kind to directly power oil and gas operations in Texas and features 174,000 photovoltaic panels with a total capacity of 16 MW — enough to power the operations at the Goldsmith field. First Solar manufactured the photovoltaic panels and is under contract with OLCV to operate the facility.
OLCV also recently signed a 12-year solar power purchase agreement with a joint venture between Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) and Core Solar LLC, whose solar project in West Texas will be operational in 2021. GIG is a specialist in green infrastructure principal investment, project delivery and the management of portfolio assets and related services and Core Solar is a developer of utility scale solar plants.
“As the top producer in the Permian, we are focusing many of our low-carbon investments and projects in the region with the goal of becoming the leader in producing lower-carbon energy,” OLCV President Richard Jackson said.
The solar facility and long-term solar power agreement further enable us to realise cost efficiencies and reduce the carbon intensity of our operations through the use of lower-carbon electricity, which together are ultimately expected to eliminate more than 160,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year.”