SoCalGas' award-winning [H2] Hydrogen Home, a state-of-the-art demonstration project designed to show the resiliency and reliability of a hydrogen microgrid, is taking shape at our Energy Resource Center in Downey.
We've taken delivery and began erecting the modular, prefabricated [H2] Hydrogen Home, which is the first of its kind in the United States and will show how carbon-free gas made from renewable electricity can be used to fuel clean energy systems of the future. The home modules were built in San Bernardino by Connect Homes and will act as part of a miniature microgrid – storing and providing resilient, low-carbon power when energy is needed – and demonstrate how such an energy system could be constructed on a larger scale to power residential neighborhoods and businesses.
"For the past decade, SoCalGas has invested in hydrogen research and development, recognizing it as a critical component of our transition to net-zero emissions," said Maryam Brown, SoCalGas President. "The [H2] Hydrogen Home brings many of the technologies that we helped pioneer together under one roof in a unique showcase of how California might power resilient communities and businesses in the future."
"The [H2] Hydrogen Home is a tangible example of the cutting-edge technologies and clean energy systems that we will need to meet our net-zero carbon goal by 2045," said California Assemblymember Cristina Garcia. "As we shift toward a future of renewable electricity in California, we will rely on a variety of energy solutions, including hydrogen and advanced fuel cells to create a more resilient grid. I am proud that this first in the nation example will be showcased in the 58th district."
"From our days as the home of the Apollo Space Systems, we in the City of Downey have been proud to be at the forefront of new and developing technologies," said Downey Councilmember and former Mayor Claudia M. Frometa. "Now we are excited to be a part of this historic moment in furthering the development of green hydrogen."
The [H2] Hydrogen Home features a nearly 2,000 square-foot home, solar panels, a battery, an electrolyzer to convert solar energy to hydrogen and a fuel cell to supply electricity for the home. Hydrogen will also be blended up to 20% with natural gas and used in the home's tank-less water heater, clothes dryer, and gas stove, fireplace and BBQ grill. The home will function and feel exactly like a regular home but use reliable and clean energy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, by drawing power from solar panels on sunny days and converting excess energy into clean hydrogen, which can be stored and then converted back into electricity with an on-site hydrogen fuel cell when solar or batteries cannot provide enough energy. The home is also being constructed to LEED Platinum standards.
The modules for the home were delivered from Connect Homes last week by clean Class 8 trucks powered by hydrogen and electric power supply systems that only emit water. The featured participants included two Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks, part of a California Air Resources Board (CARB) and California Energy Commission (CEC) project called "NorCal ZERO" to deploy or supply 30 trucks in Northern California by early 2023, as well as two Kenworth T680s equipped with the Toyota fuel cell electric system, which are being demonstrated as part of the CARB Port of Los Angeles "Shore to Store" (S2S) project.
SoCalGas is on the cutting edge of clean energy technology, leading the nation in the march toward net zero through innovative hydrogen projects. In March 2021, we became the largest gas distribution utility in North America to set a net zero target for greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045.
Hydrogen is set to play a critical part in SoCalGas' – and California's – energy future, particularly in transitioning hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as dispatchable electric generation, heavy industries, and heavy-duty transportation. In all, SoCalGas has more than 10 major pilot projects related to hydrogen innovation that are leading the charge to build a cleaner future.
Last month, we announced our proposal to develop what would be the nation's largest green hydrogen energy infrastructure system to work toward decarbonizing those sectors in the L.A. Basin. The proposal, called Angeles Link, could displace up to 3 million gallons of diesel per day, helping to eliminate hazardous air pollutants, and could allow natural gas power plants in the region to convert to green hydrogen.
To see photos and video of the project, click here.