Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced that its [H2] Innovation Experience in Downey is now using renewable hydrogen that is produced onsite. The project will demonstrate the reliability of a renewable hydrogen microgrid that can power neighborhoods, according to SoCalGas' news release.
The [H2] Innovation Experience features a nearly 2,000 square-foot home that can use hydrogen by drawing power from solar panels on sunny days and converting excess energy into renewable hydrogen, which can be stored and then converted back into electricity, as needed, via an on-site hydrogen fuel cell, according to SoCalGas. Hydrogen will also be blended with natural gas and used in the home's tankless water heater, clothes dryer, gas stove, fireplace, and BBQ grill. The home is being constructed to LEED Platinum standards.
SoCalGas said the project's electrolyzer, which uses solar power to split water, has now produced its first full kilogram of renewable hydrogen, which is intended to power a fuel cell to provide power when solar isn't available. One kilogram of hydrogen, roughly equivalent to a gallon of gasoline, emits only water as a byproduct. The limited production of hydrogen at this site as part of this demonstration project is intended to show the microgrid's effectiveness in terms of reliability and resiliency, according to the news release.
"The production of the first kilogram of renewable hydrogen by SoCalGas is a key milestone as we prepare to welcome visitors to our [H2] Innovation Experience in the coming months," said Neil Navin, VP of clean energy innovations at SoCalGas. "This project shows the essential role clean fuels like renewable hydrogen can play in meeting California's clean energy and resiliency goals and highlights our progress toward making net zero a reality. And projects like this, along with efforts like those to develop a statewide hydrogen blending standard, have the potential to drive down the costs of renewable hydrogen, making it a valuable tool to help decarbonize California."
SoCalGas said it aims to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.