Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) has joined with the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) to launch demonstration projects to create and test a carbon-free, power-to-gas system for the first time ever in the United States.
The technology converts electricity into gaseous energy and could provide North America with a large-scale, cost-effective solution for storing excess energy produced from renewable sources.
Using electrolyzer-based methods, the power-to-gas concept uses electricity from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power, to make carbon-free hydrogen gas by breaking down water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can then be converted to synthetic, renewable methane (traditional natural gas) and stored to meet future energy needs. It can also be used as a multi-purpose energy source for vehicles, micro-turbines, fuel cells or other equipment.
Located at the NFCRC at the University of California, Irvine and NREL’s laboratories in Golden, Colorado, the power-to-gas demonstrations will also assess the feasibility and potential benefits of using the natural gas pipeline system to store photovoltaic and wind-produced energy.
“As we reach high levels of renewable energy on the grid, storing the electricity generated by solar power and other variable energy sources will help unlock greater use of these renewable resources in the U.S. and throughout the world,” said Dr. Martha Symko-Davies, Director of Partnerships for Energy Systems Integration for NREL. “This project will examine a unique way to reduce the capital cost of energy storage.”
Learn more about the project.
Filed Under: Energy storage, News
Clay Suddath says
How wonderful to see this demonstration project coming to life in the USA. Several P2G projects in Europe have already shown their technical and financial viability as well as their fabulous ecological and social effects in Europe. There is no doubt that this project will lay the groundwork for a new era in energy in the US.
Power to Gas (P2G) works. It lays to rest any notion that fuel cells require any carbon input to run them. Those who claim the contrary have their eyes firmly focused on the past.
P2G is our key to a carbonless energy future and it is happening before our eyes. The Japanese national H2 program is the stuff of Alice in Wonderland science fiction come true. It is already in motion, with thousands of households benefitting from P2G technology.
Welcome to an age where petroleum wars and all the ills associated with producing and consuming oil are a thing of the past.
Recharge your iPhone or power a locomotive or anything in between with wind. Make the deserts bloom with desalination plants powered by the sun or the tides.
No, you don’t have to dream or hope or wait. The article show it’s happening before our eyes.