This week, Southern California Gas Co. announced its proposal to develop what would be the nation’s largest green hydrogen energy infrastructure system (the “Angeles Link”) to deliver clean, reliable renewable energy to the Los Angeles region.
As proposed, the Angeles Link would support the integration of more renewable electricity resources like solar and wind and would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric generation, industrial processes, heavy-duty trucks, and other hard-to-electrify sectors of the Southern California economy.
The proposed Angeles Link would also significantly decrease demand for natural gas, diesel, and other fossil fuels in the Los Angeles Basin, helping accelerate California’s and the region’s climate and clean air goals.
“The challenges we face on climate require solutions of scale and urgency,” said Scott Drury, chief executive officer of SoCalGas. “The Angeles Link is designed to meet those challenges head-on. Today in Southern California we’re announcing plans for one of the world’s largest clean energy infrastructure systems, to help tackle emissions for which there are no easy answers. Those emissions — from power plants, industry, and heavy-duty trucks — very much ‘count’ and must be significantly reduced to reach our and the State’s climate goals.”
As the nation’s largest manufacturing hub, the Los Angeles Basin is home to many potential green hydrogen users. As proposed, Angeles Link’s green hydrogen could:
- Displace up to 3 million gallons of diesel fuel per day by replacing diesel powered heavy-duty trucks with hydrogen fuel cell trucks
- Eliminate up to nearly 25,000 tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxide (NOx) per year
- Provide the clean fuel to convert up to four natural gas power plants to green hydrogen
As contemplated, the Angeles Link would deliver green hydrogen in an amount equivalent to almost 25% of the natural gas SoCalGas delivers today. Building the system to provide a clean alternative fuel could, over time and combined with other future clean energy projects, reduce natural gas demand served by the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, facilitating its ultimate retirement while continuing to provide reliable and affordable energy to the region.
“California policymakers, thought-leaders, business, academic, labor, and environmental communities all agree green hydrogen is vital to achieving our climate and clean air goals,” Drury continued. “With relationships to thousands of industrial end users, a regulatory framework that promotes a transparent and robust stakeholder process serving the public interest, and an extraordinary workforce to do the job safely, SoCalGas is well positioned to work with California to capitalize on this pioneering opportunity to build what would be America’s largest green hydrogen hub. The Angeles Link project, if approved and completed, is poised to extend our state’s position as a leader on clean energy well into the future while helping to attract billions of dollars in new investment and maintaining and creating thousands of skilled jobs.”
Comments supporting the Angeles Link project came from state and local elected officials, labor leaders and others, such as the chief engineer and general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the founder and president of the Green Hydrogen Coalition, founding CEO of the Los Angeles County Business Federation, and directors of fuel/energy research programs at the University of California, Irvine and UC Davis.
Green Hydrogen Is Key to Reaching Net Zero Emissions by 2045
Renewable green hydrogen has the potential to deliver significant emissions reductions in industries and sectors where renewable electricity alone cannot. Research studies conducted by Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc. (“E3”) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL LA100) highlight the need for clean fuels like green hydrogen to achieve Los Angeles’ LA100 net zero goals and California’s mid-century climate goals.
Global investments in green hydrogen are helping to reduce its cost. Locally, HyDeal Los Angeles, an initiative of the Green Hydrogen Coalition, a nonprofit organization supported by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), SoCalGas, Mitsubishi Power, and others aims to make green hydrogen cost-competitive with traditional fuels — and achieve at-scale green hydrogen procurement at $1.50/kilogram in the LA Basin by 2030.
The proposed Angeles Link is key to helping the region achieve its goals, and it is an extension of SoCalGas’ role as an industry leader in hydrogen. In 2015, the company launched the first power-to-gas hydrogen demonstration project in the United States. In 2021 Fast Company magazine chose SoCalGas’ H2 Hydrogen Home microgrid demonstration as one of its World-Changing Ideas in North America. Today SoCalGas has 10 hydrogen pilot projects in motion and is testing moving hydrogen through existing natural gas infrastructure.
To promote the public’s interest in transparency and accountability, SoCalGas filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on February 17 requesting approval to track costs related to development of the Angeles Link. The company proposes a phased approach with a robust stakeholder process each step of the way. The application includes descriptions of each phase, including development of a detailed project application as part of Phase 3. With this application submission, the proposed Angeles Link is in its initial stage of development, and subsequent stages will require further regulatory review and discretionary approvals, among other things.
SoCalGas’ Clean Fuels Initiatives Supporting California’s Climate Goals
In support of California’s climate goals and in alignment with Paris Agreement recommendations, SoCalGas set a net zero emissions goal for scopes 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. SoCalGas’ Aspire 2045 strategy focuses on helping California navigate the energy transition to a carbon-neutral economy with a resilient, clean gas grid.
To learn more about SoCalGas’ sustainability efforts and read SoCalGas’ new Aspire 2045 Sustainability Strategy, click here.
SoCalGas President Maryam Brown introduces the Angeles Link project in a video overview on YouTube. Brown also is third vice chair of the CalChamber Board of Directors.
More information about SoCalGas’ proposed Angeles Link project is available at socalgas.com/angeleslink