California, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Chevron Corporation announced the start of Project Brightfield, a demonstration of next-generation solar energy technologies in Bakersfield, California. The project, created on the site of a former Chevron refinery, will evaluate seven emerging photovoltaic technologies to help determine the potential application of renewable power at other company-owned facilities.
The former refinery site has been repurposed to test the performance of six emerging thin-film technologies and one emerging crystalline-silicon photovoltaic technology, which were provided by independent solar companies.
“By bringing together seven emerging solar technologies, Project Brightfield represents one of the most comprehensive solar energy tests of its kind and is an innovative approach to evaluating new technologies,” said Des King, president of Chevron Technology Ventures, the division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc. that identifies, evaluates and demonstrates emerging technologies. “Testing competing technologies side by side means that we can better understand their potential application at other Chevron facilities.”
The 7,700 solar panels on the 8-acre site will have an installed capacity of approximately 740 kW. The produced power will be directed to the local utility grid as well as to Chevron’s oil production operations at the Kern River Field.
The companies demonstrating thin-film technologies are Abound Solar, MiaSole, Schuco, Solar Frontier, Sharp, and Solibro, while the crystalline-silicon photovoltaic technology is provided by Innovalight. Each solar company can access data about its technology, find out how well it performs in various conditions and compare it against a benchmark solar technology, Sharp silicon solar panels, that has also been installed on the site.