Hawaiʻi Gas, the state’s only regulated gas utility, issued a request for proposals to purchase renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable hydrogen, key resources that will enable the company to shift away from its reliance on fossil fuel.
The request for proposals is consistent with its clean energy plan and strategy detailed in Hawaiʻi Gas’s Integrated Resource Plan recently filed with the Hawaiʻi Public Utilities Commission (HPUC).
“Increasing our use of RNG and renewable hydrogen has been part of our strategic plan for a number of years. When achieved, it will be a highly visible part of Hawaiʻi’s clean energy future,” said Alicia Moy. “We are serious about our commitment to carbon neutrality, and we intend to lead the nation in finding ways to integrate more renewable energy sources into our pipeline. We already have a 50-year head start on mainland gas companies in our use of hydrogen in utility gas distribution. While our business represents less than 1% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint.”
Hawaiʻi Gas already leads the nation in blending both RNG and hydrogen into its utility gas supply on Oahu. Additional sources of these renewable and clean fuels will enable the company to further diversify its fuel supply and reduce its overall carbon footprint in line with the State’s climate goals.
“We prefer to make this change using local sources, and hope potential suppliers interpret our request for proposals as a signifier of a growing demand for renewable gas,” Moy noted.
Hawaiʻi Gas leads the nation in blending up to 15% hydrogen into its gas mix and has been doing so since 1974. This long history of using both RNG and hydrogen puts Hawaiʻi Gas ahead of other gas utilities in terms of diversifying its gas fuel supply and allows Hawaiʻi to be at the forefront of using RNG and hydrogen in its gas pipelines.
Moy went on to say, “We know that developing a robust RNG and hydrogen infrastructure in Hawaiʻi has the potential to create more local jobs in clean energy, engineering, agriculture and other industries. It also allows Hawaiʻi Gas to continue to provide customers with safe, secure, reliable and affordable energy.”
RNG can be produced using sources such as wastewater treatment plants, landfills, construction and demolition waste, bio-crops, food waste, and dairy farms. Renewable hydrogen can be produced using renewable electricity for electrolysis and steam methane reforming of RNG. Hawaiʻi Gas will consider proposals for one or multiple forms of RNG and renewable hydrogen, or a blend of the two.
Hawaiʻi Gas is seeking proposals from local and national suppliers who can provide up to 65,000 therms of RNG or up to 2,300 kg per day of renewable hydrogen. This request is the equivalent of replacing nearly all of the utility’s synthetic natural gas (SNG) with RNG. As research and innovation continue, Hawaiʻi Gas will work to increase its use of renewable hydrogen, which does not produce any carbon emissions. Key determinants of the shift to renewable hydrogen will be safety and affordability for customers.
The company plans to enter into one or more fuel supply agreements for RNG and renewable hydrogen contingent upon approval from the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission.