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15 Dec 2023

An agreement to lead a hydrogen blending project between SoCalGas and Bloom Energy has begun

Amy Power
An agreement to lead a hydrogen blending project between SoCalGas and Bloom Energy has begun

Bloom Energy and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) recently made an announcement stating that they will be working together with the aim of powering a portion of Caltech’s grid. The significant thing about this project is that the companies are working together to try and power the grid via a hydrogen project.

The companies are aiming to do this through the use of pre-existing infrastructure, plus fuels cells and electrolyser technology. One strategy the companies are planning to research and experiment with is creating microgrids which will deliver reliable and resilient power. The power generated will be able to safeguard businesses from power disruptions, as well as, companies who also require safeguarding. The next steps will involve utilising water from Caltech’s service line which will be run through Bloom Energy’s solid oxide electrolyser. This electrolyser will use grid energy to create hydrogen, which will consequently be injected into Caltech’s natural gas infrastructure, which is located upstream of Bloom’s fuel cells. The result of this system will be the creation of a 20% blend of hydrogen and natural gas. This product can then be converted into electricity which will be used around the campus where it is required.

Alongside this project, SoCalGas is working on the development of a state hydrogen blending strategy. The business is doing this through proposing pilot projects, which go to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for approval. This project plus the one underway, highlights how dedicated SoCalGas is to making hydrogen blending a well-known and well-used practise, which could make a huge contribution to energy production within society.

President at SoCalGas, Maryam Brown, commented, “This collaborative effort represents a significant step in harnessing hydrogen as a resilient, clean energy solution that’s in line with Governor Newsom’s vision for California. Integrating cutting-edge electrolysers and fuel cell technology into existing infrastructure demonstrates the potential for building robust microgrids, enhancing power resiliency for businesses, communities and campuses at scale.”

Bloom Energy’s President and Chief Financial Officer, Greg Cameron, mentioned, “As a California manufacturer of Bloom Electrolysers®, we are uniquely positioned to advance the goals of delivering clean and reliable energy in a post-carbon economy. We are working on a number of major opportunities to deliver our electrolysers to customers to help grow hydrogen as a significant energy source in the US and internationally.”


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