The vast majority of hydraulic fracturing sites in the U.S. are powered by emissions-spewing, noisy diesel engines.
So, Ron Hyden, who’s seen a lot during his four decades in the oil patch, is eager to show off something new: a machine used in fracking that relies on gravity and electricity generated from solar panels to send sand into a labyrinth of tubes before it’s shot underground to prop open tiny cracks in natural gas- or oil-bearing rock.
The irony of gravity and solar panels being used to help capture fossil fuels isn’t lost on Hyden, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Dec. 3 issue. “You would’ve never thought we’d give a flip about this,” Hyden said in a Texas twang as he gazes at the solar panels atop his new contraption. “We’re big into it.”