Oil Company Creates Teams To Commercialize Solar

The energy services subsidiary of the ChevronTexaco oil company, Chevron Energy Solutions LP, is collaborating with its manufacturing affiliate, Energy Conversion Devices Inc, to broaden the commercial application of flexible solar electric roofing materials and nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, as well as hydrogen storage systems and fuel cells.

SAN FRANCISCO, California, US, 2002-01-07 [SolarAccess.com] ChevronTexaco holds a 20 percent interest in ECD as a result of investments by Texaco in 2000 and 2001, and maintains three joint ventures. Under a series of teaming agreements, Chevron ES and ECD will work with Bekaert ECD Solar Systems LLC and ChevronTexaco Ovonic Battery Systems LLC on commercial projects that incorporate these technologies. ChevronTexaco says the projects will be comprehensive and include product design, installation, financing, operations and system maintenance. Initially, Bekaert ECD Solar, Chevron ES and ECD will focus on projects that include Building Integrated Photovoltaic roofing systems for commercial and industrial customers. Ovonic systems use a unique flexible thin-film PV technology that is manufactured as a building-integrated roofing material under the UNI-SOLAR(R) brand. High density NiMH batteries, licensed by Ovonic Battery, are used in consumer electronics and hybrid electric vehicles, and show promise in stationary applications as a low-maintenance electric storage technology. Chevron ES and Ovonic Battery will work to commercialize new stationary applications, focusing on emergency back-up and remote power systems. Meanwhile, ChevronTexaco’s two other joint ventures with ECD, ChevronTexaco Ovonic Hydrogen Systems and ChevronTexaco Ovonic Fuel Cell Company are developing systems to store hydrogen in stable, solid metal hydrides, and regenerative fuel cells which use non-noble metal catalyst materials to produce electricity from hydrogen. “This collaboration is a prime example of ChevronTexaco’s commitment to develop clean, efficient, environmentally-benign energy sources,” says Jim Davis, president of Chevron Energy Solutions. “In the coming decade, we expect that solar energy and hydrogen which are both abundant in nature, will play a more significant role in the world economy.”

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