SoCalGas Among First in the Nation to Test Hydrogen Blending in Real-World Infrastructure and Appliances in Closed Loop System

SoCalGas has successfully blended up to 20% hydrogen through a closed loop natural gas system complete with natural gas residential appliances

Sep 30, 2021

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced that it is blending hydrogen to fuel a household system and appliances at its Engineering Analysis Center and Centralized Training Facility.  As part of the testing, technicians are measuring the performance of common household appliances like stoves, wall heaters and forced-air furnaces when they are fueled with a blend of hydrogen and natural gas. This is the next step moving out of the lab and toward future blending into the natural gas grid, with an emphasis on safety and training.  SoCalGas is among the first utilities in the nation to test the effects of a hydrogen blend on natural gas infrastructure and equipment in a controlled field environment. This effort utilizes the same engineering and technology that will be used to blend into the natural gas grid in the future. The use of hydrogen, either blended with natural gas, or delivered via a dedicated pipeline, is one important component of SoCalGas' strategy to achieve net zero emissions in its operations and the energy it delivers by 2045.

Preliminary results of testing that began earlier this summer show the household natural gas appliances are compatible with up to a 20% hydrogen blend. These initial findings are consistent with previous international research and lab testing. This effort provides key operational and safety experience, including testing for pipeline leaks, that will enable SoCalGas to implement larger scale hydrogen blending demonstrations.  SoCalGas continues to test the impacts of blending hydrogen with natural gas on pipelines and appliances.

Furthermore, separate National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) analysis and several international industry studies have indicated the potential to blend hydrogen into existing distribution pipelines serving end use customers.

"In a net zero emissions California, clean fuels like hydrogen will play an essential role in supporting a reliable electric grid, in eliminating emissions from hard to electrify sectors of the economy like transportation and industry, and in making the transition to a clean energy economy affordable," said Neil Navin, vice president of clean energy innovations for SoCalGas. "The European Hydrogen Backbone Initiative is a great example on how cooperation can accelerate these goals. There, some 23 nations are working to repurpose 70 percent of their existing natural gas infrastructure to carry clean hydrogen to a cluster of demand centers across the European Union."

"Investing in tests that aim to demonstrate the potential of hydrogen is key to identifying solutions that can help us address our current climate crisis," said Assemblymember Bill Quirk. "SoCalGas' commitment to decarbonization innovations help advance the energy transition."

Several analyses, including the Los Angeles Renewable Energy Study (LA100) by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and NREL, highlight the need, in 2045, for renewably produced and storable fuels to maintain reliability in the power sector. In addition, many experts agree that clean fuels like hydrogen will be essential for decarbonizing hard to electrify sectors of the economy like industry and heavy-duty trucking.

SoCalGas is actively engaged in more than 10 pilot projects related to hydrogen, including a partnership with Netherlands-based HyET Hydrogen on technology that could transform hydrogen distribution and enable the rapid expansion of hydrogen fueling stations for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The technology would allow hydrogen to be easily and affordably transported via the natural gas pipeline system, then extracted and compressed at fueling stations that provide hydrogen FCEVs.

In addition, later this year, SoCalGas will break ground on its award-winning H2 Hydrogen Home. The first project of its kind in the U.S., the H2 Hydrogen Home aims to show how carbon-free gas made from renewable electricity can be used in pure form or as a blend to fuel clean energy systems of the future. When the home is built in the city of Downey, it will be the first fully integrated demonstration project with solar panels, a battery, and electrolyzer to convert solar energy to hydrogen and a fuel cell to supply electricity for the home. 

In June 2021, SoCalGas and its H2 Hydrogen Home were named one of Fast Company's World-Changing Ideas in the North America category. The award honors products, concepts, companies, policies, and designs that are pursuing innovation for the good of society and the planet. 

Earlier this year, in support of California's climate goals, SoCalGas became the largest gas distribution utility in North America to set a net zero emissions target that includes scopes 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions. SoCalGas' Aspire 2045 strategy aligns with the recommendations of the Paris Climate Agreement and reflects the company's focus on supporting California with a resilient gas grid through the energy transition to support a carbon neutral economy. 

About SoCalGas
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, and increasingly renewable gas service to 21.8 million consumers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California. Gas delivered through the company's pipelines will continue to play a key role in California's clean energy transition—providing electric grid reliability and supporting wind and solar energy deployment.

SoCalGas' mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy company in America. In support of that mission, SoCalGas is committed to the goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045 and to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply to core customers with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills, and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for customers. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook

This press release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions with respect to the future, involve risks and uncertainties, and are not guarantees. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other factors. In this press release, forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "can," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "in process," "under construction," "in development," "target," "outlook," "maintain," "continue," "goal," "aim," "commit," or similar expressions, or when we discuss our guidance, priorities, strategy, goals, vision, mission, opportunities, projections, intentions or expectations. Factors, among others, that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties relating to: decisions, investigations, regulations, issuances or revocations of permits and other authorizations, renewals of franchises, and other actions by (i) the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), U.S. Department of Energy, and other regulatory and governmental bodies and (ii) states, counties, cities and other jurisdictions in the U.S. in which we do business; the success of business development efforts and construction projects, including risks in (i) completing construction projects or other transactions on schedule and budget, (ii) the ability to realize anticipated benefits from any of these efforts if completed, and (iii) obtaining the consent of partners or other third parties; the resolution of civil and criminal litigation, regulatory inquiries, investigations and proceedings, and arbitrations, including, among others, those related to the natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility; actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade our credit ratings or to place those ratings on negative outlook and our ability to borrow on favorable terms and meet our substantial debt service obligations; actions to reduce or eliminate reliance on natural gas, including any deterioration of or increased uncertainty in the political or regulatory environment for local natural gas distribution companies operating in California; weather, natural disasters, pandemics, accidents, equipment failures, explosions, acts of terrorism, information system outages or other events that disrupt our operations, damage our facilities and systems, cause the release of harmful materials, cause fires or subject us to liability for property damage or personal injuries, fines and penalties, some of which may not be covered by insurance, may be disputed by insurers or may otherwise not be recoverable through regulatory mechanisms or may impact our ability to obtain satisfactory levels of affordable insurance; the availability of natural gas and natural gas storage capacity, including disruptions caused by limitations on the withdrawal of natural gas from storage facilities; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on capital projects, regulatory approvals and the execution of our operations; cybersecurity threats to the storage and pipeline infrastructure, information and systems used to operate our businesses, and confidentiality of our proprietary information and personal information of our customers and employees, including ransomware attacks on our systems and the systems of third-party vendors and other parties with which we conduct business; volatility in inflation and interest rates and commodity prices and our ability to effectively hedge these risks; changes in tax and trade policies, laws and regulations, including tariffs and revisions to international trade agreements that may increase our costs, reduce our competitiveness, or impair our ability to resolve trade disputes; and other uncertainties, some of which may be difficult to predict and are beyond our control. These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that the company has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov, and on Sempra's website, www.sempra.com. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements.

SoCalGas Logo (PRNewsfoto/San Diego Gas & Electric,Southern California Gas Company)

 

SOURCE Southern California Gas Company

For further information: Miguel Lopez-Najera, SoCalGas Office of Media & Public Information, (213) 244-2442, mlopezna@socalgas.com