Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced on May 2 that it is launching the nation’s most comprehensive end-to-end hydrogen study and demonstration facility, which will examine the future potential of the zero-carbon fuel hydrogen as a renewable energy source for not only PG&E customers but the entire global natural gas industry.
The centerpiece of the study, known as Hydrogen to Infinity (H2∞), is a large-scale project that will blend hydrogen and natural gas in a stand-alone transmission pipeline system. H2∞ will enable PG&E and its partners (Northern California Power Agency, NCPA; Siemens Energy, the City of Lodi, GHD Inc., and University of California at Riverside) to conduct a complete study of different levels of hydrogen blends in a multi-feed, multi-directional natural gas pipeline system that is independent from its current natural gas transmission system.
The dedicated facility will allow for a controlled and safe study of hydrogen injection, storage, and combustion of different hydrogen blends in a variety of end uses. NCPA’s Lodi Energy Center power plant is located adjacent to H2∞ and 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,” said PG&E Gas Engineering Senior Vice President Janisse Quiñones. “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.”
H2∞ will include a new 130-acre facility located in Lodi that will serve as a study laboratory that incorporates production, pipeline transportation, storage, and combustion.
Areas of focus within the pilot include:
Technical, operational, and safety needs;
Energy resiliency and flexibility;
Commercial and government partnerships;
Unprecedented functional test environment for on-going research; and
Training environment for new technology.
In addition, PG&E is contemplating this facility being the centerpiece for a potential Northern California Hydrogen Hub.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California.