San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), a supplier of energy in San Diego and southern Orange counties in the US, will start developing two hydrogen pilot projects which are expected to be operational in 2022.
One of the demo projects would be the Borrego Springs Green Hydrogen Project showing hydrogen’s use as long-duration energy storage and to support grid reliability. An electrolyser will produce hydrogen using solar energy, and the fuel cell will convert the hydrogen into electricity when needed by the grid. It will be integrated with the microgrid to help power the remote desert community during emergencies or other contingencies.
The second project is the Palomar Green Hydrogen Systems Project demonstrating the blending of hydrogen with natural gas as fuel for an electric generator and onsite production of green hydrogen for use as a cooling gas. The company will also build its first hydrogen fuelling station to support the first fuel cell vehicles in its fleet.
SDG&E also owns and operates 13 energy storage projects, with a combined energy storage capacity of 45 MW. It also plans a total of 135 MW of utility-owned energy storage integrated into the local grid as follows:
- Top Gun Energy Storage in the Miramar area of San Diego (30MW/120MWh) is expected to come online in June 2021.
- Kearny Energy Storage in the City of San Diego (20MW/80MWh) to be completed in 2021.
- Fallbrook Energy Storage in unincorporated North San Diego County (40MW/160MWh facility), where construction will start this year or early next year.
It also plans clean transportation through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, where the company will deploy fast chargers, especially for heavy vehicles.
SDG&E pledges to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045 covers all emissions (Scope 1, 2, and 3), which would eliminate not only its direct emissions but also those generated by customers.
Meanwhile, Dominion Energy is also developing several pilot projects to blend hydrogen into its gas distribution system, aiming to reduce emissions and deliver clean energy to customers. It is also exploring projects to use hydrogen for clean electricity, renewable storage, transportation and manufacturing. The company first pilot project is underway at its Training Academy in Utah, where it is blending 5% hydrogen in a test system before blending it into the larger system. It is also planing a similar pilot project in North Carolina.