LA could soon be home to the nation’s largest green hydrogen infrastructure system

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The Southern California Gas Company announced a plan to develop the nation’s largest green hydrogen energy infrastructure system – the “Angeles Link” – which would deliver green hydrogen to the Los Angeles Basin region. Southern California Gas will submit the first phase of its plans to the California Public Utilities Commission today.

While the technical details describing the proposed facility are scant, the company teased us with a few of their broader, auspicious goals:

  • Enough fuel to convert four natural gas power plants to green hydrogen
  • Displace up to 3 million gallons of diesel fuel per day
  • Eliminate nearly 25,000 tons of NOx per year
  • Equivalent to nearly 25% of the natural gas delivered by the company

The green hydrogen is to be produced by electrolyzers, which are powered with renewable energy. Each of the company’s social media pages posted about green hydrogen yesterday. The company also tweeted an article containing the following schematic, which describes what the system might look like:

At the moment, the largest hydrogen electrolyzer in the world is Baofeng Energy’s 150 MW facility in China. But larger facilities are already under construction, and there has been a bevy of newly announced hydrogen electrolyzers recently, especially from Australia.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that electrolyzer installations in 2022 will quadruple those of last year.

The gas company, along with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Mitsubishi Power, and others, is part of an organization that seeks to deliver green hydrogen to the Los Angeles basin at $1.50/kilogram by 2030.

Southern California Gas launched the first power to gas hydrogen demonstration project in the US in 2015. The company currently has 10 hydrogen pilot projects ‘in motion’.

Perhaps by coincidence, (or not), the U.S. Department of Energy announced two Requests for Information yesterday, for the planning, design, and implementation of the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Regional Hydrogen Hub” and the “Electrolysis and Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling Programs.” The goals of these programs include ramping up technology in the sector to assist the industry in reaching a cost of $1/kilogram for hydrogen by 2032.

The company seeks to make use of 25-35GW of curtailed and new wind and solar power, plus two gigawatts of energy storage. The electrolyzer facility will range from 10 to 20GW of capacity and will require 200 to 750 miles of hydrogen infrastructure.

Application to PUC for the Angeles Link project.

pv magazine USA updated this article on Feb. 18, 2022 with the link to the application to the PUC.

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