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PG&E Launches Comprehensive Study of Hydrogen’s Feasibility Within Gas Pipelines

May 9, 2022 by Dan McCue
PG&E Launches Comprehensive Study of Hydrogen’s Feasibility Within Gas Pipelines

LODI, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company has launched what it says is the nation’s “most comprehensive end-to-end hydrogen study and demonstration facility,” which will examine the future potential of the zero-carbon fuel hydrogen as a renewable energy resource.

According to the utility, the centerpiece of the study, known as Hydrogen to Infinity, or H2, is a large-scale project that will blend hydrogen and natural gas in a stand-alone transmission pipeline system. 

H2 will enable PG&E and its project partners to conduct a complete study of different levels of hydrogen blends in a multi-feed, multi-directional natural gas pipeline system that is separate from its current natural gas transmission system.

The utilities project partners include the Northern California Power Agency, Siemens Energy, the city of Lodi, California, GHD Inc., and the University of California at Riverside.  


The dedicated facility will allow for a controlled and safe study of hydrogen injection, storage and combustion of different hydrogen blends in a variety of end uses. 

The Northern California Power Agency’s Lodi Energy Center power plant is located adjacent to H2 and will accept a hydrogen-natural gas blend for electric generation in the Siemens Energy 5000F4 Gas Turbine.


“This demonstration facility is truly an exciting advancement of our goal to diversify our natural gas system for our customers and consider hydrogen’s role as part of California’s decarbonized future,” said Janisse Quiñones, PG&E’s senior vice president for gas engineering, in a written statement. 

“As we advance PG&E’s climate commitments and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from fossil fuels, our feasibility studies of hydrogen are an essential part of our growth and evolution as a natural gas utility,” she continued. “This new facility will provide critical research, close information gaps, and unlock opportunities not only for PG&E, but for the entire global network of natural gas pipeline operators.”

H2 will include a new 130-acre facility located in Lodi, California, that will serve as a study laboratory that incorporates production, pipeline transportation, storage and combustion, the utility said in a press release.

Melissa Subbotin, an operations spokesperson for PG&E said in a followup email that the utility has received questions about whether it would be using blue or green hydrogen for the project.


“Most hydrogen will be produced on-site.  There will be some electrolytic hydrogen from renewables. The project is also exploring other production methods,” she said.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

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Updates

This story had been updated to include information provided by PG&E spokeswoman Melissa Subbotin.

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