The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has taken steps to assess the feasibility and safety implications of utilizing clean, renewable hydrogen to decarbonize the natural gas system and hard-to-electrify industries. The decision allows Southern California Gas Company to proceed with an initial phase of feasibility studies for the Angeles Link Project. This project envisions a transmission pipeline dedicated to clean, renewable hydrogen transport for hard-to-electrify uses in the Los Angeles Basin.
Clean, renewable hydrogen offers a promising solution to decarbonize California’s energy future, create new economic opportunities, and bring new jobs to the Los Angeles region. It will be required to decarbonize hard-to-electrify industries such as cement, chemicals, and shipping and potentially replace fossil gas-fired generation. The feasibility studies approved as part of the Angeles Link project will contribute to a broader understanding of hydrogen’s role in decarbonizing the State’s economy.
To accelerate the deployment of clean, renewable hydrogen projects, CPUC directed SoCalGas to join the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES), a public-private partnership formed to accelerate the deployment of clean, renewable hydrogen projects. The CPUC also ordered Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southwest Gas Corporation, SoCalGas, and San Diego Gas & Electric to continue filing biomethane-related reports and develop pilot projects to evaluate standards for safely injecting renewable hydrogen into California’s pipeline system.
The pilots will be designed to ensure the long-term safety of the California pipeline system and precisely monitor for leakage, with input from expert and community-based stakeholders. The CPUC has taken numerous actions to facilitate using clean gas fuels, including biomethane, to ensure the safety of biomethane injected into California’s pipeline system and established a $40 million incentive program to facilitate the interconnection of biomethane production facilities to the pipeline system.
The CPUC has established a Renewable Gas Standard for the utilities to meet by the end of 2030 and a cost-effective means of procurement and adopted provisions to achieve additional co-benefits. Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen said, “These decisions will improve California’s understanding of the role clean, renewable hydrogen can play in our long-term decarbonization strategies.”