SoCalGas’ Research, Development & Demonstration Program (RD&D) today released its 2021 annual report, highlighting its accomplishments during a challenging year, due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
Before diving into the report, we should start out with what RD&D does here at SoCalGas. This program is tasked with identifying and supporting projects and technologies with the potential to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and increase the safety, reliability, and affordability of energy.
In short, they’re SoCalGas’ innovation laboratory.
The RD&D team’s work plays a huge part in our sustainability efforts, which aim to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in our operations and the energy we deliver by 2045.
Here at SoCalGas, 2021 was a year of both innovation and ambition. The RD&D Program invested nearly $17 million in hundreds of innovative projects designed to get us to a cleaner future, including clean generation, clean transportation and low carbon resources, to name a few. Projects ranged from those that remove carbon dioxide from ocean water to projects that use hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered drones to inspect gas infrastructure or affordably extract green hydrogen blended into the gas pipeline for use in industry or transportation.
While there are too many to name (the report is more than 230 pages), here’s a sampling of what the RD&D Program accomplished in 2021:
- Helped secure more than $48 million in funding for 11 projects from the California Energy Commission, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory
- Supported 27 projects located in disadvantaged communities
- Supported several innovative companies looking to reduce carbon dioxide, develop low-carbon heating and cooling solutions, and address concerns about greenhouse gas emissions
- Worked closely with students at Cal State LA to optimize the hydrogen production schedule at Cal State LA’s Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility (H2 Station), developing an optimized schedule that could reduce its electricity costs by between 10% and 30%
There’s a lot more, including a number of products that reached the market or were deployed in operation thanks to support from the RD&D Program.
For their efforts, our RD&D Program was named a Top Innovator of 2021 by Public Utilities Fortnightly in their October 2021 edition.
But we are not stopping there. If anything, our ambitions at SoCalGas are growing.
Earlier this year, we announced our proposal to develop Angeles Link, a green hydrogen energy infrastructure system that could deliver clean, reliable energy to the Los Angeles basin to provide a path to decarbonize heavy industries that require clean fuels and cannot currently be electrified.
All of this is done with the aim of a collaborative transition to a decarbonized future and improving air quality. And within our company, we’re continuing our work in creating a culture of diversity, inclusion, and safety with training and innovation.
For more information about SoCalGas’ Research, Development and Demonstration Program, visit https://www.socalgas.com/rdd.