Chevron, in partnership with Norwegian industrial group Moreld, is to create a prototype of a new type of installation, with a new design from technology developer Ocergy. The new installation is to begin operations in the Atlantic Ocean in 2025.
Chevron was the first oil company in the United States to announce plans to invest in wind energy. The company has already invested $100 million in that shelf venture through a special fund.
“We don’t have a defined aspiration for ourselves having a large-scale offshore wind business,” Barbara Burger, Chevron’s vice president of innovation, told the website Recharge. “But we know offshore wind will play a role in the future energy system. And we know we need to get the cost down. So, we are looking at breakthrough technologies that will change the game from where we are today.”
The design conceived by Ocergy is a lightweight semi-submersible, mainly-steel concept engineered around modularisation.
By its calculations, a 10MW unit based on the Ocergy platform concept could generate power at a cost on a par with conventional fixed-foundation offshore wind installations.
This investment is proceeding against a background of a drive by the United States to boost projects in renewable resources, with capacity of sea-based power generation to rise to 30 GW by 2030. And decisions have been taken to stop leasing arrangements for oil and gas installations in federal waters.
The Chevron Technology Ventures fund has already invested in the U.S. startup Blue Planet Systems Corporation, which provides technologies for carbon capture. Chevron has taken on no commitments for long-term carbon neutrality, but the company intends to reduce the effects of its operations on the environment and to make public the climate risks for business. By 2030, the corporation plans to eliminate altogether its flaring level of associated petroleum gas.