California's electricity woes generate problems, opportunities for refineries

Chevron Corp.'s El Segundo, Calif., refinery's cogeneration unit, which generates electricity and steam from refinery process gases, has a capacity of 126 Mw of electricity. The unit meets most of the refinery's electricity demand. (Photograph from Chevron.)Click here to enlarge imageThe electrical power shortages in California will compel the state's refining industry to re-evaluate its existing power conservation and supply policies. The industry is working through the electricity crisis by conserving during peak-demand periods, optimizing cogenerated electricity output, and searching for alternative fuel sources.Refineries in California are both producers and consumer...

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