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SoCalGas to fund R&D on use of green hydrogen for transport

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) will be providing $1.3 million to fund the development of hydrogen technologies that could be used for transport applications including ‘fuel-cell marine vessels, hydrogen refuelling stations at ports, and fuel cell locomotives’.

The four projects were selected for funding through the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Hydrogen Fuel Cell Demonstrations in Rail and Marine Applications at Ports (H2RAM) grant programme. In addition to $1.3 million in funding from SoCalGas, the CEC will provide over $10.4 million to fund the research and development of these projects – bringing the total funding to approximately $11.7 million. Project partners include maritime fuel cell maker Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine Inc., research organisation Gas Technology Institute (GTI), and non-profit CALSTART.

Neil Navin, vice president of clean energy innovations at SoCalGas, commented: ‘SoCalGas is thrilled to support these important hydrogen technology projects,” said Neil Navin, vice president of clean energy innovations at SoCalGas. ‘Projects like these have the potential to create more zero-emissions transportation and reduce the cost of hydrogen fuelling infrastructure, consistent with California’s climate goals. SoCalGas remains committed to helping California reach these goals and our support of innovative clean fuel projects like these demonstrates that commitment.’

In addition to the $1.3 million funding announced this week, SoCalGas is also involved in a number of other low- and zero-carbon energy technologies.  Late last year, the company announced the creation of a Hydrogen Blending Demonstration Program to study blending hydrogen in its gas system, so it can ultimately recommend a hydrogen injection standard for regulatory approval.

SoCalGas, which is part of the Sempra group, is also planning to field test a new technology that separates and compresses hydrogen from a blend of hydrogen and natural gas, allowing hydrogen to be delivered wherever a natural gas distribution system exists.

Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor