Worley, a global professional services company, has been selected alongside its consulting business, Advisian, to conduct a comprehensive assessment of Xcel Energy’s natural gas system in the US.
The objective of the study is to determine the feasibility of blending hydrogen into the existing distribution and transmission pipeline system to help Xcel Energy achieve its low-carbon objectives. The project will also evaluate the potential percentage of injected hydrogen that the system can accommodate and identify necessary upgrades to optimize the blended quantity.
Advisian will utilize its state-of-the-art multi-criteria assessment approach to determine the feasibility of the project. The Worley Group’s involvement will entail reviewing all assets, including compression stations, meters, and facilities, to assess each system, area, and location’s maximum allowable hydrogen blending capacity. The comprehensive assessment aims to provide Xcel Energy with the data required to guide informed decisions on upgrades and adaptations to their midstream infrastructure.
The study will be completed in July 2023, and its results will help Xcel Energy continue to provide affordable, clean energy to its 2.1 million customers. Oliver Morgan, Global Vice President of Midstream at Worley, expressed excitement in bringing their global expertise in hydrogen blending and pipeline integrity to the developing US market. He also mentioned that the potential of hydrogen to support the energy transition will help Xcel Energy achieve its clean energy goals, and they are pleased to be involved in the journey.
The integration of hydrogen into natural gas systems presents several benefits, including reducing carbon emissions, ensuring energy security, and enabling the deployment of renewable energy. Hydrogen can also support the transition towards decarbonization by acting as a form of energy storage, balancing renewable energy generation, and providing a backup energy supply during times of high demand.
Despite the benefits of hydrogen blending, the technology also presents several challenges. One of the most significant challenges is the potential impact on the natural gas pipeline infrastructure’s integrity. Hydrogen can cause pipeline embrittlement, leading to the failure of critical infrastructure components. It is, therefore, crucial to identify the necessary upgrades and modifications required to ensure the safety and reliability of the pipeline system.
In conclusion, the comprehensive assessment of Xcel Energy’s natural gas system’s feasibility of blending hydrogen by Worley and Advisian presents a significant step towards achieving low-carbon objectives. The study will provide essential data required for informed decisions on infrastructure upgrades and modifications to enable the transition towards renewable energy. Hydrogen blending presents several benefits towards achieving decarbonization, but the technology also presents significant challenges that require careful consideration.