Southwest Gas Corporation (Southwest Gas or Company), as part of our commitment to meet our customers’ goals for sustainable energy and achieve economy-wide carbon reduction targets, is translating purpose into action with its proposed hydrogen-blending demonstration project (Project) filed with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on September 8, 2022. The Project was submitted as part of a Joint Application with Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas and Electric Company, that also filed proposed hydrogen projects within their respective service territories. Southwest Gas’ Project proposal, if approved, will produce vital information toward implementing meaningful, practical and sustainable energy solutions with measurable impact toward the Truckee Town Council’s goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040 and further contributes to Southwest Gas‘ larger efforts and integral role in supporting economy-wide climate and environmental goals.
The Company’s Project aims to establish critical knowledge complementary to the other joint utility Applicants’ demonstration projects while uniquely targeting hydrogen-blending scenarios in extreme cold weather and high-elevation conditions, such as those experienced in the Truckee area. Hydrogen, an efficient energy carrier like natural gas, can be blended with traditional natural gas or renewable natural gas (RNG). Yet knowledge gaps exist surrounding the optimal percentages of hydrogen blends in extreme climates – Southwest Gas’ Project will help to close these knowledge gaps to ensure safety, system integrity and reliability. Moreover, the Company has committed to employing new sustainable technologies to assist the Town of Truckee in achieving their environmental sustainability priorities.
Given the extreme weather spectrum across California, the Town of Truckee presents a unique opportunity to determine optimal hydrogen-blend percentages in extremely cold areas. The mountain community in the northern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range sits at an elevation of 5,817 feet and experiences average low temperatures below freezing eight months out of the year. These climates necessitate higher heating demands and make use of different end-use appliances such as generators, radiant heaters, furnaces and boilers.