SoCalGas to Help Fund R&D of Hydrogen to Fuel Commercial Transportation

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Southern California Gas Co. will provide $1.3 million to help fund the development of four hydrogen fuel technologies that could provide emissions-free transportation for railways and at ports in California and around the world, the utility announced today.

According to SoCalGas, the goal is to bring to market innovative clean hydrogen technologies, including fuel-cell marine vessels, hydrogen refueling stations at ports, and fuel cell locomotives.

“Projects like these have the potential to create more zero-emissions transportation and reduce the cost of hydrogen fueling infrastructure, consistent with California's climate goals,'' said Neil Navin, vice president of clean energy innovations at SoCalGas.

The four projects were selected for funding through the California Energy Commission's Hydrogen Fuel Cell Demonstrations in Rail and Marine Applications at Ports grant program. The CEC is providing $10.4 million for research and development of the projects, bringing the total funding to $11.7 million.

Project partners include maritime fuel cell maker Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine Inc., research organization Gas Technology Institute and the nonprofit CALSTART.

“As California looks toward advancing our strategies for emissions reductions, transportation applications that use hydrogen and fuel cells will play a key role,'' said Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento. “I am pleased to see SoCalGas, in partnership with the CEC, supporting the development of these innovative projects... These efforts are timely with the governor's executive order that requires all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. It's important that we all work together to propel California forward into the future of clean energy.''

SoCalGas is working to advance various low- and zero-carbon energy technologies. Late last year, the utility announced the creation of a Hydrogen Blending Demonstration Program to study blending hydrogen in its gas system, so it can ultimately recommend a hydrogen injection standard for regulatory approval.

SoCalGas plans to build a home to demonstrate, in a microgrid setting, the use of hydrogen produced from solar energy. Called the “H2 Hydrogen Home,'' the project will use solar panels to create electricity that can be used to produce green hydrogen via electrolysis. The hydrogen will be blended with natural gas for the home's appliances as well as converted back to electricity using a residential fuel cell.

In addition, SoCalGas will field test a new technology that separates and compresses hydrogen from a blend of hydrogen and natural gas, allowing hydrogen to be delivered wherever a natural gas distribution system exists.

Photo: Getty Images

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