Distributed Clean Energy Opportunities for US Oil Refinery Operations: Article No. 1244010

Kathleen Krah, Sean Ericson, Xiangkun Li, Opeoluwa Olawale, Ricardo Castillo, Emily Newes, Jill Engel-Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


The oil and gas industry is increasingly seeking operational improvements to reduce costs and emissions while improving resilience. This study describes techno-economic analysis of opportunities for distributed energy resources that could be integrated to support oil and gas companies' economic, environmental, and energy resiliency goals. Specifically, the analysis evaluates solar photovoltaics, wind turbines, battery energy storage, landfill gas, biomass, municipal solid waste-to-energy, solar steam for process heat, combined heat and power, and electrolyzers for hydrogen production at two hypothetical refineries, one located in Louisiana and the other in southern California. These technologies could reduce the sites' consumption of grid electricity and/or natural gas and thus can help reduce emissions. This study employs the ReOPT tool and System Advisor Model to evaluate the techno-economic potential for clean energy technologies to support refineries in achieving energy goals, including energy cost savings, resiliency, and emissions reductions. Results indicate that the associated costs of emissions reductions via several distributed clean energy technologies are competitive with other emissions reduction strategies such as energy efficiency, reducing flaring, direct carbon capture and sequestration, and markets under certain conditions. There are also cost beneficial opportunities for the use of renewable energy for refining, especially for resilience, depending on local conditions such as resources and utility costs.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Energy Research
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A50-78429


  • clean energy
  • distributed energy resources
  • emissions reductions
  • energy modeling
  • oil and gas
  • optimization
  • refineries
  • techno-economic analysis


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