CenterPoint Energy’s Minneapolis hydrogen project is operational, producing green hydrogen for blended at low concentrations with natural gas in the utility’s local distribution system.
CenterPoint Energy is one of the first natural gas utilities in the United States to produce and add green hydrogen to its distribution system. Because there are no carbon emissions from either its production or end-use, green hydrogen has the potential to be an important zero-carbon supplement to conventional natural gas.
CenterPoint Energy is Minnesota’s largest natural gas utility, serving approximately 900,000 residential and business customers in the state. The green hydrogen project is located on existing company property near downtown Minneapolis. The system was designed and packaged by a Minnesota company and the major equipment for the project was made in the US.
The primary goal of the pilot project is to gain operational experience with the technology for making green hydrogen and how it can be integrated most effectively into the local natural gas distribution system to lower the carbon content of delivered energy.
The project’s one-megawatt electrolyzer is powered by renewable electricity and can produce up to 60 Dekatherms (432 kilograms) of hydrogen gas per day, using approximately two gallons of water per minute. The water is sourced from the municipal water supply and highly purified before it enters the hydrogen production system.
The green hydrogen produced by the system is added in low concentrations, up to 5%, to the natural gas in a low-pressure section of CenterPoint Energy’s local distribution pipeline system. As a substitute for natural gas that would otherwise be used, the green hydrogen is expected to avoid approximately 1,200 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
Scott Doyle, EVP at CenterPoint Energy, said, “With this pilot project, we are exploring the potential of green hydrogen as a safe, zero-carbon energy resource that can be delivered through our local gas distribution systems to benefit both our customers and the environment.”