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SoCalGas Proposes to Develop United States’ Largest Green Hydrogen Energy Infrastructure System to Help Decarbonize LA Basin and Accelerate California’s Climate Goals

SoCalGas Proposes to Develop United States’ Largest Green Hydrogen Energy Infrastructure System to Help Decarbonize LA Basin and Accelerate California’s Climate Goals
17 Feb 2022 by Socal Gas

  • The proposed Angeles Link green hydrogen system would drive deep decarbonization of dispatchable electric generation, hard-to-electrify industries, and heavy-duty transportation in the LA Basin
  • The proposed Angeles Link could displace up to 3 million gallons of diesel per day, helping to eliminate hazardous air pollutants, and could allow up to four natural gas power plants to convert to green hydrogen
  • SoCalGas’ application provides for a robust and transparent stakeholder engagement process that includes working closely with regulators, policymakers, and environmental, workforce, and academic stakeholders

LOS ANGELES – Feb. 17, 2022—Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced its proposal to develop what would be the nation’s largest green hydrogen energy infrastructure system (the “Angeles Link”) to deliver clean, reliable renewable energy to the Los Angeles region. As proposed, the Angeles Link would support the integration of more renewable electricity resources like solar and wind and would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric generation, industrial processes, heavy-duty trucks, and other hard-to-electrify sectors of the Southern California economy. The proposed Angeles Link would also significantly decrease demand for natural gas, diesel, and other fossil fuels in the LA Basin, helping accelerate California’s and the region’s climate and clean air goals.

“The challenges we face on climate require solutions of scale and urgency,” said Scott Drury, chief executive officer of SoCalGas. “The Angeles Link is designed to meet those challenges head-on. Today in Southern California we’re announcing plans for one of the world’s largest clean energy infrastructure systems, to help tackle emissions for which there are no easy answers. Those emissions – from power plants, industry, and heavy-duty trucks - very much ‘count’ and must be significantly reduced to reach our and the State’s climate goals.”

As the nation’s largest manufacturing hub, the Los Angeles Basin is home to many potential green hydrogen users. As proposed, Angeles Link’s green hydrogen could:

  • Displace up to 3 million gallons of diesel fuel per day by replacing diesel powered heavy-duty trucks with hydrogen fuel cell trucks
  • Eliminate up to nearly 25,000 tons of smog forming NOx per year
  • Provide the clean fuel to convert up to four natural gas power plants to green hydrogen

       As contemplated, the Angeles Link would deliver green hydrogen in an amount equivalent to almost 25 percent of the natural gas SoCalGas delivers today. Building the system to             provide a clean alternative fuel could, over time and combined with other future clean energy projects, reduce natural gas demand served by the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage             facility, facilitating its ultimate retirement while continuing to provide reliable and affordable energy to the region.

“California policymakers, thought-leaders, business, academic, labor, and environmental communities all agree green hydrogen is vital to achieving our climate and clean air goals,” Drury continued. “With relationships to thousands of industrial end users, a regulatory framework that promotes a transparent and robust stakeholder process serving the public interest, and an extraordinary workforce to do the job safely, SoCalGas is well positioned to work with California to capitalize on this pioneering opportunity to build what would be America’s largest green hydrogen hub. The Angeles Link project, if approved and completed, is poised to extend our state’s position as a leader on clean energy well into the future while helping to attract billions of dollars in new investment and maintaining and creating thousands of skilled jobs.”

“If we are going to be successful in tackling the climate emergency, we need every company, every worker and every community on the front lines,” Senate Majority Leader Emeritus Bob Hertzberg (D- Van Nuys) said. “This effort to establish a green hydrogen energy system in the Los Angeles basin is a creative and inventive step forward in that fight. It will not only dramatically reduce carbon emissions, it will create good-paying jobs.”

“We are encouraged that SoCalGas is embarking on a major project that will help make green hydrogen a reality here in Los Angeles,” said Marty Adams, Chief Engineer and General Manager of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). “Developing a source of safe, affordable green hydrogen is key to achieving our clean energy future by 2035, while ensuring the reliability we all need and depend on. Projects like the proposed Angeles Link are an important step forward.”

“As President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, my priority is creating good union jobs while also seeking solutions that protect workers and their families when they return from a hard day’s work,” Ron Herrera, president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO said. “The thought of creating a massive clean, green energy hub in Los Angeles, growing union jobs, and preserving the thousands of middle-class jobs for refinery, utility, and electrical workers is exactly the sort of out-of-the-box thinking that this project presents. This is infrastructure done right.”

“A dedicated green hydrogen system is essential to meeting Los Angeles County’s goal of transitioning to a carbon free energy system,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents Los Angeles County’s Fifth District. “By decarbonizing hard to electrify industries, Angeles Link will decrease demand for fossil- based natural gas and increase the amount of reliable clean energy in the region. This will help L.A. County continue to grow sustainably without increasing greenhouse gas emissions and jeopardizing grid reliability.”

“Utility Workers Union of America Local 132 is excited to support Angeles Link. It is precisely the type of future forward energy thinking our members have long advocated for – innovation, union job creation and maintaining reliable, as well as affordable, infrastructure,” said Eric Hofmann, president of Utility Workers Union of America Local 132. “This is the way to build back the middle class in California.”

 

“Infrastructure projects like Angeles Link are critical to realizing the green hydrogen vision we developed in HyDeal LA because it will enable low delivered cost for large-scale users across multiple sectors,” said Janice Lin, the founder and President of the Green Hydrogen Coalition. “Continuing a California tradition of leading on climate, Angeles Link will help position the US among global leaders in green hydrogen development. The Green Hydrogen Coalition appreciates SoCalGas’ leadership in facilitating access to high volume, low cost green hydrogen to accelerate California’s economy-wide clean energy transition.”

Angeles Link is the first real proposal I’ve seen that can substantially decrease the need for natural gas in the city of Los Angeles without compromising grid reliability,” John Lee, Los Angeles City Councilmember, District 12 said. “I support the goals of this proposal because it will help us get one step closer to achieving the City’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2035 without compromising reliability and hurting jobs.”

“Today’s Angeles Link announcement is exactly the business innovation that the Los Angeles region needs to remain competitive and affordable today and well into the future” added Tracy Hernandez, Founding CEO of the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed). “A thriving Southern California is essential for California to succeed. Building out a clean energy infrastructure is a win-win for local businesses, our state and, ultimately, the country.”

“We are on the precipice of huge growth in the production, distribution, and use of green hydrogen to enable high renewable use and zero emissions in all sectors of the economy,” said Jack Brouwer, Director the National Fuel Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine. “For nearly a decade, SoCalGas has worked together with us and others to make the hydrogen economy a reality, including helping us build the very first power-to-gas-to-power system in the country right here on the UCI campus. The Angeles Link is a great example of what can be done when government, industry, and academia work together toward a common purpose.”

“Achieving carbon neutrality requires an integrated clean fuels network to power transportation and industries that are difficult to electrify,” said Lew Fulton, Director of the Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways Program, for the Institute for Transportation Studies at University of California Davis. “This project will help develop a green hydrogen network that can deliver this energy to our nation’s largest transportation and manufacturing centers while enabling the widespread production of low-carbon, renewable electricity.”

 

Green Hydrogen Is Key to Reaching Net Zero Emissions by 2045

Renewable green hydrogen has the potential to deliver significant emissions reductions in industries and sectors where renewable electricity alone cannot. Research studies conducted by Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc. (“E3”) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL LA100) highlight the need for clean fuels like green hydrogen to achieve Los Angeles’ LA100 net zero goals and California’s mid-century climate goals.

Global investments in green hydrogen are helping to reduce its cost. Locally, HyDeal Los Angeles, an initiative of the Green Hydrogen Coalition, a non-profit organization supported by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), SoCalGas, Mitsubishi Power, and others aims to make green hydrogen cost-competitive with traditional fuels – and achieve at-scale green hydrogen procurement at

$1.50/kilogram in the LA Basin by 2030.

 

 

The proposed Angeles Link is key to helping the region achieve its goals, and it is an extension of SoCalGas’ role as an industry leader in hydrogen. In 2015, the company launched the first power-to-gas hydrogen demonstration project in the U.S. In 2021 Fast Company magazine chose SoCalGas’ H2 Hydrogen Home microgrid demonstration as one of its World-Changing Ideas in North America. Today SoCalGas has 10 hydrogen pilot projects in motion and is testing moving hydrogen through existing natural gas infrastructure.

 

 

Preliminary Actions

To promote the public’s interest in transparency and accountability, SoCalGas today is filing an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requesting approval to track costs related to development of the Angeles Link. The company proposes a phased approach with a robust stakeholder process each step of the way. The application, available here includes descriptions of each phase, including development of a detailed project application as part of Phase 3. With this application submission the proposed Angeles Link is in its initial stage of development, and subsequent stages will require further regulatory review and discretionary approvals, among other things.

 

SoCalGas’ Clean Fuels Initiatives Supporting California’s Climate Goals

In support of California's climate goals and in alignment with Paris Agreement recommendations, SoCalGas set a net zero emissions goal for scopes 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. SoCalGas' Aspire 2045 strategy focuses on helping California navigate the energy transition to a carbon neutral economy with a resilient, clean gas grid.

To learn more about SoCalGas’ sustainability efforts and read SoCalGas’ new Aspire 2045 Sustainability Strategy, click here.

To learn more about SoCalGas’ proposed Angeles Link project, click here.