Chevron uses solar energy to pump oil

Chevron Corp. announced that it has found a new alternative to pump oil in Kern Valley, California. Since April, solar panels have been firing oil pumps in the oil field at 7,981 barrels per day. 

The 29-megawatt facility, owned by Solar Star Lost Hill, was designed to provide the field with 80% of its electricity. In return, Chevron will receive so-called standard low-carbon fuel credits, worth about $4 million a year, at current prices. The scheme is one of three solar projects for oil fields approved for carbon credits in California since early June.

"Electricity is one of the largest operating expenses in the Lost Hills field, so having solar power will be an important factor in helping to keep these costs low and maintain the planned life of the oil well," said Veronica Flores-Paniagua, a Chevron spokeswoman.