Photo: Illustration; Source: Chevron

Chevron backs Swedish geothermal energy business

U.S. oil major Chevron has continued with its latest wave of investments in low-carbon and renewable businesses and technologies with the latest one going to a Swedish geothermal firm.

Chevron said on Monday that it invested in Baseload Capital, a Sweden-based private investment company focused on the development and operation of low-temperature geothermal and heat power assets.

Heat power is an affordable form of renewable energy that can be harnessed from either geothermal resources or waste heat. This investment round includes existing Baseload Capital investors Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Sweden-based investment group Gullspang Invest.

The Baseload investment is the second investment in a geothermal company in the past two weeks. This follows Chevron and BP providing $40 million in funding to Eavor and expands Chevron’s capacity to gain insight into geothermal innovations such as low-temperature power generation and closed-loop geothermal technologies.

Chevron’s VP of innovation and president of technology ventures Barbara Burger said: “Chevron’s investments in geothermal power reflect our ongoing focus on helping to advance the world’s transition to a lower-carbon future. We look forward to working with Baseload Capital and Eavor to expand geothermal resources in the U.S. and internationally”.

Baseload Capital currently operates in Japan, Taiwan, Iceland, and the United States. As Baseload develops in these regions and expands to new markets, Chevron and Baseload will look for commercial geothermal and heat power opportunities in additional Chevron operations.

Baseload’s CEO Alexander Helling added: “In August, we announced that we were looking for a new strategic investor to help us accelerate deployment in our key markets. We couldn’t have asked for a better one. Chevron complements our group of owners and adds expertise in drilling, engineering, exploration and more. These assets are expected to accelerate our ability to deploy heat power and strengthen our way of working”.

Chevron has had renewables and a low-carbon tech investment streak as of late. Some of the more notable ones, apart from the Baseload and Eavor investments, are related to $300 million being injected into low-carbon technology through the launching of the Future Energy Fund II.

The company also made a Series C investment in San Jose-based Blue Planet Systems Corporation, a startup that manufactures and develops carbonate aggregates and carbon capture technology intended to reduce the carbon intensity of industrial operations.