PG&E to launch hydrogen study

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is launching the nation’s most comprehensive hydrogen study and demonstration facility in the US.

The initiative, called Hydrogen to Infinity, will examine the potential of the zero-carbon fuel hydrogen as a renewable energy source for not only PG&E customers but the entire natural gas industry. The centerpiece of the study is a large-scale project that will blend hydrogen and natural gas in a stand-alone transmission pipeline system. It will enable PG&E and its partners — Northern California Power Agency (NCPA), Siemens Energy, the City of Lodi, GHD Inc., and the University of California at Riverside — to conduct a complete study of different levels of hydrogen blends in a natural gas pipeline system that is independent of its current natural gas transmission system.

The 130-acre facility in Lodi, Calif., will allow for a controlled and safe study of hydrogen injection, storage, and combustion of different hydrogen blends in various end-uses. NCPA’s Lodi Energy Center power plant, located adjacent to the facility, will accept a hydrogen-natural gas blend for electric generation in the Siemens Energy 5000F4 Gas Turbine.

“This demonstration facility is truly an exciting advancement of our goal to diversify our natural gas system for our customers and consider hydrogen’s role as part of California’s decarbonized future,” PG&E Gas Engineering Senior Vice President Janisse Quiñones said. “As we advance PG&E’s climate commitments and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from fossil fuels, our feasibility studies of hydrogen are an essential part of our growth and evolution as a natural gas utility. This new facility will provide critical research, close information gaps, and unlock opportunities not only for PG&E but for the entire global network of natural gas pipeline operators.”

This pilot project will focus on several areas, including technical, operational, and safety needs; market development; energy resiliency and flexibility; commercial and government partnerships; unprecedented functional test environment for ongoing research; and training environment for new technology.

PG&E is contemplating this facility being the centerpiece for a potential Northern California Hydrogen Hub.


Tags: City of Lodi, Hydrogen, NCPA, PG&E, Siemens
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