October 9, 2020 Read More →

California utility SDG&E to build two long-duration green hydrogen storage projects

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):

As part of a sweeping sustainability strategy released Oct. 8, San Diego Gas & Electric Co. disclosed plans to place two long-duration green hydrogen storage projects into service by 2022, the first such projects in California. The state is urgently seeking additional tools to bolster the suddenly suspect reliability of its power system as it boosts purchases of variable renewable energy.

If realized in that time frame, the projects would become the U.S. power sector’s first long-duration hydrogen storage facilities relying on renewable energy to create hydrogen through the process of electrolysis, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

The projects are two of a host of new environmental, community and grid-modernization initiatives the Sempra Energy utility launched to “help forge the path to carbon neutrality in California,” Caroline Winn, CEO of San Diego Gas & Electric, or SDG&E, said in a letter accompanying the plan.

The strategy also calls for the development of a virtual power plant combining distributed battery storage and rooftop solar systems into a coordinated demand response asset by 2025; electrifying all light-duty vehicles in its fleet by 2030; and collaborating on regional clean transportation infrastructure. SDG&E also said it will implement “at least one breakthrough solution” to reduce direct emissions from natural gas-fired power plants, also by 2030.

“As we transition to a net-zero carbon future, we believe technologies such as biomethane, hydrogen and gas with carbon capture will play an essential role in decarbonizing economic sectors currently seen as hard to abate,” the plan stated.

In an email, utility spokesperson Jessica Packard declined to disclose the size or location of the hydrogen storage projects. “These would be new projects, deployed on our system that could use a combination of technologies such as renewable resources, electrolysis and fuel cells,” she said. SDG&E will release additional information “in the near future,” she said.

[Garrett Hering]

More ($): SDG&E plans 1st US long-duration green hydrogen storage facilities

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