Baseload Capital and Orcan Energy have announced the commissioning of a first project utilising waste heat from existing oilfield operations at the Chevron U.S.A. Inc. (Chevron) San Ardo oil and gas field in California. Baseload Capital is the project operator, collaborating with cleantech company Orcan Energy, which provides the state-of-the-art heat-to-power technology. The project, which started operations in July 2022, demonstrates the potential of using existing oil and gas wells for reliable and cost-effective renewable power production.
Up to 90% of the fluid produced from oil and gas wells is hot water – a source of heat energy waiting to be fully tapped. When paired with next-generation Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) equipment, it can leverage that potential heat from the water to produce clean electricity at minimal costs. Baseload Capital and Orcan Energy’s project with Chevron showcases the significant opportunities for the oil and gas industry to develop renewable energy and will pave the way for similar projects at other sites worldwide.
In 2021, Baseload Capital announced Chevron as a new strategic investor as part of a USD 25 million equity round. The partnership provides the potential for collaboration since ORC equipment, commonly used in the geothermal industry, opens new possibilities for the oil and gas industry. A new test site was commissioned in July 2022, demonstrating Orcan Energy’s potential as a quickly accessible and easily installed waste heat-capturing solution.
“This project is a great start and demonstrates the tremendous potential for similar installations and cooperation. The results will boost renewable electricity production in the future. Collaboration is definitely the way forward to transform the energy sector,” says Baseload Capital’s CEO Alexander Helling.
“We are proud to work together with Baseload Capital and Chevron, converting unused energy into clean and affordable electricity. A special thanks go to Baseload Capital, an expert partner in geothermal applications. This project is just the start of novel geothermal energy conversion in the oil and gas sector. There are many active oil and gas wells in the United States suitable for excess heat recovery, making it an untapped clean energy resource with significant potential that we shall quickly make use of,” says Andreas Sichert, CEO of Orcan Energy.