Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced that its H2 Innovation Experience in Downey is now using renewable hydrogen produced onsite.
The project will demonstrate the resiliency and reliability of a renewable hydrogen microgrid that can power neighbourhoods – just in time to kick off National Clean Energy Week.
The H2 Innovation Experience features a nearly 2,000-square-foot home that can use reliable and clean hydrogen by drawing power from solar panels on sunny days. The excess energy can be converted into renewable hydrogen for storage and then converted back to electricity via an onsite hydrogen fuel cell.
Hydrogen will also be blended with natural gas and used in the home’s tank-less water heater, clothes dryer, gas stove, fireplace and BBQ grill. The home is being constructed to LEED Platinum standards.
The project’s electrolyzer, which uses solar power to split water, has now produced its first full kilogram of renewable hydrogen – the first ever produced by SoCalGas — which is intended to power a fuel cell to provide power when solar isn’t available. One kilogram of hydrogen, roughly equivalent to a gallon of gasoline, emits only water as a byproduct. The limited hydrogen production at this site as part of this demonstration project is specifically intended to show the microgrid’s effectiveness in terms of reliability and resiliency.
SoCalGas research has shown that with clean fuels like renewable natural gas and hydrogen, coupled with carbon management, California can reach 100% net zero goals more affordably, more equitably and with less risk of power disruptions, customer conversion barriers, and technological limitations.
Neil Navin, Vice President of Clean Energy Innovations at SoCalGas, said, “The production of the first kilogram of renewable hydrogen by SoCalGas is a key milestone as we prepare to welcome visitors to our [H2] Innovation Experience in the coming months.”
Downey Mayor Blanca Pacheco commented, “By building on the benefits of using hydrogen generated by renewable energy, our city can continue to be at the forefront of technology and environmental sustainability.”