California Utilities in Hydrogen Blending Pilot
Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) – the largest gas distribution utility in the US – and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) announced November 23 the creation of a hydrogen blending demonstration programme, the first in the state and among the first in the nation.
The blending programme is part of a multi-pronged strategy both utilities – subsidiaries of Sempra Energy – are undertaking to decarbonise their respective natural gas grids.
“The vision is to leverage surplus renewable electricity generated in the middle of the day to produce green hydrogen, which then can be injected into the natural gas grid for storage and use,” Sempra said.
The utilities are planning a number of hydrogen blending projects throughout their service territories. The first will blend hydrogen into an isolated section of a primarily polyethylene plastic distribution system in SoCalGas’ territory, initially at 1% but perhaps later to an industry-leading 20%.
SDG&E, meanwhile, will implement blending programmes in mixed plastic and steel distribution systems and in systems that primarily use steel pipe.