Carbon-negative bioenergy project underway with Chevron, Microsoft and Schlumberger

Clean Energy Systems' Mendota Bioenergy Plant (idled). Credit: Clean Energy Systems

Big name corporations Chevron and Microsoft are joining Schlumberger on a plan to develop a bioenergy project that will include carbon capture and sequestration. As a result, the energy produced would be carbon negative.

The project will be located in Mendota, California and will use an idled bioenergy plant.

The plant will convert agricultural waste biomass, such as almond trees, into a renewable synthesis gas that will be mixed with oxygen in a combustor to generate electricity. More than 99% of the carbon from the process is expected to be captured for permanent storage by injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) underground into nearby deep geologic formations.

By using biomass fuel that consumes CO2 over its lifetime to produce power and then storing the produced CO2, the process is designed to result in net-negative carbon emissions, because it removes greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. The plant, when completed, is expected to remove about 300,000 tons of CO2 annually.

The facility will help improve air quality in the Central Valley by using approximately 200,000 tons of agricultural waste annually, in line with the recent California Air Resources Control Board plan to begin phasing out almost all agricultural burning in the Valley by 2025, said the companies in a press release. The bioenergy technology they will use is designed to operate without routine emissions of nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide and particulates from combustion produced by conventional biomass plants, they said.

The project could create up to 300 construction jobs and about 30 permanent jo bs once the facility is operating.

The companies involved expect to begin front-end engineering and design immediately, leading to a final investment decision in 2022, and will then evaluate other opportunities to scale this carbon capture and sequestration solution.

“Chevron is helping to advance a lower-carbon future,” said Bruce Niemeyer, Chevron’s vice president of strategy and sustainability. “We look forward to leveraging our experience working in California, building projects which can be repeated, and operating large-scale carbon capture and storage operations. The project is aligned with our focus on investments in low-carbontechnology to enable commercial solutions.”

“We are excited to welcome Chevron and Microsoft on this exciting opportunity, as it further demonstrates how we play an enabling role to deploy carbon capture and sequestration solutions at scale,” said Ashok Belani, Schlumberger New Energy executive vice president. “We are diversifying our portfolio of projects with partnerships in selected markets and geographies where existing policies and regulations can make projects attractive today.”

“There’s tremendous opportunity to use cloud technologies in the energy sector to help accelerate the industry’s digital transformation,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud + AI, Microsoft.

“We’re pleased to have strong partners join our efforts to address the challenges of climate change, improve air quality in the Central Valley and make a vital contribution to the local economy by restarting an idled biomass plant,” said Keith Pronske, Clean Energy Systems president and CEO.

Previous article7.39-MW wind power plant in Japan begins operation
Next articleFedEx says it will be carbon-neutral by 2040
Renewable Energy World's content team members help deliver the most comprehensive news coverage of the renewable energy industries. Based in the U.S., the UK, and South Africa, the team is comprised of editors from Clarion Energy's myriad of publications that cover the global energy industry.

No posts to display