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Case Study

An End of Life Case Study: NovaSource and Occidental

Sustainability, efficiency, revenue opportunity - there are many compelling reasons to replace older systems. When undertaking a retrofit or rip-and-replace, it is important to select a vendor that has the right experience, solutions and expertise. That’s exactly what NovaSource (formerly First Solar’s North American Operations and Maintenance) did when they sought out a qualified partner to deliver a renewables power controls solution for their customer, Occidental.

Headquartered in Houston, Occidental (NYSE:OXY) is an international oil and gas exploration and production enterprise; it is one of the largest U.S. oil and gas companies, based on equity market capitalization. The company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, LLC (OLCV) was formed to economically grow Occidental’s businesses while reducing emissions.

Occidental contacted First Solar (now NovaSource Power Services) seeking a new power controls solution for its 16-MW Goldsmith field facility near Odessa, Texas. The 120-acre Goldsmith plant made history in 2019 as the first large-scale solar facility of its kind to directly power oil and gas operations in Texas. Occidental needed reliable voltage control to ensure compliance within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) territory. In addition, they wanted the capacity to export excess power from their behind-the-meter, self-powering solar installation.

NovaSource selected Merit Controls to install Merit Controls’ renewables power plant controls solution at Occidental’s Goldsmith facility. Merit’s solution enabled Occidental to improve their business case, while ensuring sustainability and compliance. Following the install, through the company’s OLCV subsidiary, Occidental was able to secure a long-term power purchase agreement for 109 MW of solar energy,

Notable Project Features

  • Ultimately expected to eliminate more than 160,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year
  • 120-acre field is the first large-scale solar facility of its kind to directly power oil and gas operations in Texas
  • Features 174,000 photovoltaic panels with a total capacity of 16 MW
  • Grid-enabled, compliant with requirements
  • Ability to participate in lucrative Wholesale Energy Market