Energy Efficiency

Many of our refineries use power from renewable sources either from local power grids or from our own projects. 

Local power grids can draw from renewable sources, ranging from hydropower to wind, solar, biogas and geothermal. And we produce some of our own power, from wind or from recycling gases (such as steam and exhaust) within our refining processes. Roughly 22% of our total energy consumption originates from renewable sources.

Valero Wilmington Refinery Cogeneration Unit

Cogeneration and Expanders


  • Boosting Power and Environmental Performance
  • Reducing Operating Expenses

Fueled by clean natural gas, our cogeneration plants reduce our reliance on local power grids, which are often less environmentally friendly and most costly.

Cogeneration represents a very efficient way of making power, with the steam recycled back into the refining process for other uses. Valero has cogeneration systems at Wilmington and Benicia, California; and Port Arthur, Texas, with under construction in Pembroke, United Kingdom.

We have the world's largest expander at our Corpus Christi West refinery. In all, our expanders generate power from exhaust gases and displace more than 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually that otherwise would be generated by conventional power providers. Expanders are installed at six of our refineries. 

Cogeneration Plants and Expanders

Cogeneration Systems Infographic 2020
Wind Farm at Dusk

Wind Farm: Reducing Emissions and Energy Use

Our McKee refinery in the Texas Panhandle is powered in part by a wind farm. Completed in 2009 at an investment of more than $80 million, the facility includes 33 wind turbines with 50 megawatts of power-generation capacity. 


More than 99% of the electricity used at our Quebec City refinery comes from renewable sources – mainly hydropower, with small portions from wind, biomass and biogas.


EPA Efficient Producer Program for Ethanol

Superior Process Efficiency With Ethanol

Our ethanol plants have implemented refining operational best practices in safety, reliability and environmental responsibility.

Six of our ethanol plants, with three more pending, are recognized under this program for superior process efficiency, including:

  • Reduced on-site energy consumption,
  • Increased fuel output; or
  • Use of biomass or biogas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.