California PV System May Expand to 1 Megawatt Output

The Texaco oil company will install 400 kilowatts of solar panels in one of its oil fields, and may expand the system to 1 MW of output.

TROY, Michigan, US, 2001-08-16 [] The Texaco oil company will install 400 kilowatts of solar panels in one of its oil fields, and may expand the system to 1 MW of output. Texaco Inc. and United Solar Systems Corp. will install the first phase of 400 kW within the next 19 months at a field in California. The oil company has an option to expand the system to 1 MW of electric power, which would make it one of the largest PV installations in the world, capable of generating power equivalent of the demand from 500 homes during peak daytime operation. United Solar is a joint venture between Energy Conversion Devices and N.V. Bekaert S.A.. The agreement was signed with United Solar’s affiliate, Bekaert ECD Solar Systems LLC. “This is a natural extension of Texaco’s strategic relationship with ECD,” said James Metzger of Texaco. “We are pleased to demonstrate the potential of this promising and environmentally friendly technology to produce electricity. This project reaffirms Texaco’s commitment to develop and provide energy solutions around the world.” “We continue to expand the markets for our technologies,” adds Stanford Ovshinsky, chairman and CEO of United Solar and president and CEO of ECD. “This latest initiative with Texaco is an important and positive step in addressing the world’s ongoing need for clean and readily available energy.” The PV installation will supplement Texaco’s electric power requirements for its Central Valley oil field operations. The project has received approval from the California Energy Commission for a $2.5 million buy-down, through CEC’s Emerging Renewables Buydown Program, which offers cash rebates on eligible renewable energy electric-generating systems. In addition, a $2 million buy-down application is being submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission. Bekaert ECD will provide its thin-film amorphous PV technology on a large-scale commercial basis. With United Solar, it has developed a continuous roll-to-roll manufacturing of aSi alloy and offers a line of roofing panels. “United Solar and Bekaert ECD have received recognition in the past for their innovative products,” says Subhendu Guha, pPresident of United Solar and Bekaert ECD. “The collaborative work with Texaco highlights our outstanding integrated systems solution capability.” In May 2000, Texaco acquired a 20 percent equity interest in ECD for $67 million.


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