One of Chevron’s long-standing facilities in California’s San Joaquin Valley is taking on an additional role. For more than a century, the company’s Lost Hills field has been producing oil and gas. Now, taking advantage of its 29-megawatt solar field, Lost Hills will start producing hydrogen too.

“The solar facility, the infrastructure and the availability of water are helping us move into the hydrogen market,” said Ben Leonard, hydrogen commercial manager at Chevron New Energies (CNE).

Scott McLemore, facilities engineer for Chevron, said that Lost Hills will need to be fitted with the proper equipment to produce hydrogen. The production plant will use a process called electrolysis.

In this process, water is split into hydrogen and oxygen using the electricity generated from the solar plant. The hydrogen is then compressed and transported to facilities that use hydrogen as a fuel.

“This is a business we want to be in, and we can be successful in.”

The process of electrolysis splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. Electricity from the Lost Hills, California, solar field will now be used to produce hydrogen in addition to oil and gas.

what’s next

Hydrogen production is slated to begin in early 2026. The plant is expected to be capable of producing 2.2 tonnes per day.

One of the facility’s key features will be its use of “produced water” which is water produced as a byproduct of other operations. It’s non-potable, meaning it’s not drinking water, but it can be used to produce hydrogen.

“The project is being designed so it will receive non-potable produced water from existing Chevron operations and treat it on site,” McLemore said.

a first step

Lost Hills represents the first Chevron-only commercial electrolytic hydrogen project.

“This is a sign that we are committed to adding to the hydrogen supply, specifically in the Central Valley where there is a lot of potential local use,” Leonard said. “This is a business we want to be in, and we can be successful in.”

Extracted in full from: