Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and Bloom Energy have unveiled plans to power a segment of the California Institute of Technology’s (Caltech) grid through an innovative hydrogen project.
This venture aims to leverage existing infrastructure, combining electrolysers and fuel cell technology to potentially create microgrids capable of delivering resilient power and safeguarding against power disruptions.
The heart of the project lies in the utilization of water from Caltech’s service line, which will be processed through Bloom Energy’s solid oxide electrolyser. This cutting-edge technology employs grid energy to produce hydrogen. The generated hydrogen will then be injected into Caltech’s natural gas infrastructure upstream of Bloom’s fuel cells, resulting in a distinctive 20% blend of hydrogen and natural gas. This hybrid mix is subsequently converted into electricity, offering a sustainable and efficient energy solution for use on the campus.
Maryam Brown, President at SoCalGas, emphasized the project’s alignment with Governor Newsom’s vision for California. She stated, “This collaborative effort represents a significant step in harnessing hydrogen as a resilient, clean energy solution.” The integration of advanced electrolysers and fuel cell technology into existing infrastructure showcases the potential for building robust microgrids, enhancing power resiliency on a broader scale for businesses, communities, and campuses.
Greg Cameron, President, and Chief Financial Officer at Bloom Energy highlighted the company’s unique position as a California-based manufacturer of Bloom Electrolysers®. He expressed their commitment to advancing clean and reliable energy delivery in a post-carbon economy. Bloom Energy is actively exploring major opportunities to deploy its electrolysers, contributing to the growth of hydrogen as a significant energy source in both the United States and internationally.
SoCalGas is not only focused on this groundbreaking project but is also actively contributing to the development of a state hydrogen blending standard. The company is proposing pilot projects for approval by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). This initiative underlines their commitment to fostering the integration of hydrogen into the state’s energy landscape.
As California continues to lead the way in renewable energy adoption, the SoCalGas and Bloom Energy collaboration stands as a testament to the state’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, and the pursuit of resilient energy solutions.