On September 9, 2022 SoCalGas and the University of California, Irvine (UCI) announced a proposed collaboration to demonstrate how electrolytic hydrogen can be safely blended into existing natural gas infrastructure on the university’s campus. The project aims to help better understand how clean fuels like renewable hydrogen could be delivered at scale through California’s existing natural gas system, either to existing customers connected to the gas grid, or to generate clean electricity in zero-emissions fuel cells. The demonstration is an important next step in establishing a statewide injection standard for renewable hydrogen that would promote California’s clean energy and resiliency goals. If approved, SoCalGas could begin testing hydrogen blending at UCI as soon as 2024.
H2 Blending Resources
Learn more about the hydrogen blending project by reviewing our press release, application filings, and frequently asked questions.
This demonstration project offers a real-world environment to better understand how clean fuel blends can be delivered to customers connected to the gas grid today. It can also help us assess how to more quickly deploy advanced technologies key to the state’s climate and clean air goals such as neighborhood micro-grids that promote reliability and resiliency.
How Does It Work?
As proposed, UCI would use an electrolyzer to convert water into hydrogen for blending into the existing gas grid on sections of the UCI campus. The demonstration would power existing residential and light commercial equipment, including water heaters, boilers, furnaces, and ovens in academic buildings, student amenities, and housing. The project would initially blend 5 percent hydrogen, with a goal of gradually increasing the hydrogen blend up to 20 percent, resulting in potentially significant CO2 emissions reductions.
Why Study Hydrogen?
Renewable gases will be needed for a Clean Fuels Network:
- Renewable Natural Gas
- Biosynthetic methane
Building future clean fuel networks starts with real-world testing and blending hydrogen into existing infrastructure today.
H2 Blending Opportunities:
A growing body of research shows a prominent role for green hydrogen in meeting California’s climate and clean air goals. Globally this clean fuel could supply as much as 25% of the energy world uses in 2050. According to our study, “The Role of Clean Fuels and Gas Infrastructure in Achieving California's Net-Zero Climate Goal” Clean fuels combined with electrification, carbon management, and technologies like fuel cells delivers the most affordable, resilient, and technologically proven path to full carbon neutrality.
Demonstrate safety in infrastructure and appliances.
Enhance California’s clean energy economy & resiliency.
Establish Hydrogen Blending Standard for a Clean Fuels Network.
Reduce hydrogen costs through production & delivery at-scale.
Maintain energy reliability and affordability for Californians.
Foster a Just Transition for energy workers.
In The News
Skilled Labor Will Be Essential For A Greener California
Sept 9, 2022
A just transition is grounded in respect for the rights of skilled workers and appreciation for the important role they play in building, operating and maintaining California’s energy infrastructure—past, present and future.
Gas Utilities Propose Hydrogen Blending Pilots In 3 California Distribution Systems
Sept 9, 2022
California natural gas utilities have proposed a series of hydrogen blending pilot projects in working distribution systems that will be geared toward the development of pipeline injection standards.