January 30, 2023

Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis Joins SoCalGas to Unveil First-of-its-Kind [H2] Innovation Experience


This type of clean hydrogen microgrid has the potential to deliver reliable and renewable energy around-the-clock to more than 100 homes, rain or shine, for as much as seven days

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) Chief Executive Officer Scott Drury was joined today by Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis to unveil and officially power on the [H2] Innovation Experience ([H2]IE), North America's first-of its kind, clean, renewable hydrogen microgrid and home. The [H2] Innovation Experience offers a look at how clean, renewable hydrogen microgrids can reliably power entire neighborhoods, day and night throughout the year. This type of clean hydrogen microgrid has the potential to deliver reliable and renewable energy around-the-clock to more than 100 homes, rain or shine, for as much as seven days.

"Innovative projects like the [H2]IE demonstrate how California is leading the clean energy transition," said Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis. "This first-of-its-kind project shows how clean renewable hydrogen and microgrids can help power homes, enhance grid reliability, and preserve and grow good-paying union jobs in our state."

"The [H2] Innovation Experience showcases how California can achieve two of its top policy priorities – energy reliability and decarbonization – at the same time," said SoCalGas Chief Executive Officer, Scott Drury. "This innovative project demonstrates how the gas and electric grids – working together – can help California reach net-zero emissions more quickly, affordably, and reliably."

Located at the SoCalGas Energy Resource Center in the city of Downey, the [H2] Innovation Experience is centered around a state-of-the-art microgrid that is producing clean, renewable hydrogen made from solar electricity on-site. The 2,000 square-foot home was built to adhere to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum standards and is powered by reliable and clean, renewable hydrogen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The microgrid draws power from solar panels on sunny days and converts excess energy into renewable hydrogen, which can be stored and then converted back into electricity via an on-site hydrogen fuel cell. Clean, renewable hydrogen will also be blended with natural gas and used in the home's tankless water heater, clothes dryer, stove, fireplace, and BBQ grill.

In 2021, the [H2] Innovation Experience received a Fast Company's World-Changing Ideas in North America Award. More recently, the Los Angeles chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council recognized the project for its sustainable innovation.

What others are saying about the [H2] Innovation Experience

"The [H2]IE makes use of world-class energy infrastructure that UWUA members have built over the past century and brings the promise of fresh opportunities for tens of thousands of UWUA members who operate and maintain our infrastructure every day," said James T. Slevin, president of Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO.

"California needs labor to meet its ambitious plans to address climate change... and we are here," said Aaron Stockwell, international representative with the United Association. "This project gives us a glimpse of what we can accomplish when ambition and innovation are partnered with our skilled workforce."

"As we work toward achieving California's clean energy goals, hydrogen will play an essential role in meeting future energy demand. The Hydrogen Innovation Experience is an important step in realizing hydrogen's full potential," said Ramon Ponce de Leon, Jr., president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 13. "With green hydrogen, ILWU members at our vital ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach retain their good union jobs operating equipment that is clean, flexible, and cost-effective."

"Small, minority-owned businesses are the backbone of Los Angeles' economy," said Gene Hale, chairman of the Greater Los Angeles Chamber African American of Commerce. "The Los Angeles African American business community is already working to forge more sustainable communities, and we are excited to be a part of innovative projects like the [H2]IE that help bring us closer to that goal."

"For a business like ours that builds critical infrastructure and helps diverse communities across California thrive, hydrogen represents our next infrastructure boom," said George Pla, founder and CEO of Cordoba Corporation. "The [H2]IE is symbolic of what this can look like in everyday lives. California is blessed with vibrant diverse businesses needed to support this next generation of energy infrastructure." 

"The [H2]IE has significant positive implications for the future of California's businesses," said Jennifer Barrera, president and CEO of CalChamber. "Our businesses need access to clean and reliable energy. California's business community is enthusiastic about this project and the promise of cleaner technologies that best meet our needs."

Sustainability Leadership

SoCalGas is a leader in sustainability, having been the first large natural gas utility in the United States to announce its aim to have net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. A key component of its sustainability efforts is Angeles Link, a proposed green hydrogen pipeline system that could deliver clean, reliable, renewable energy to the Los Angeles region.

In December, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved SoCalGas' request to track costs for advancing the first phase of the project, which could be the nation's largest green hydrogen pipeline system and support significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from electric generation, industrial processes, heavy-duty trucks, and other hard-to-electrify sectors of the Southern California economy. Angeles Link, the [H2] Innovation Experience and more than a dozen hydrogen demonstration projects SoCalGas is currently pioneering, are all part of its ongoing efforts to help accelerate California's energy transition.

SoCalGas's sustainability strategy also extends to the more than 500 diverse communities the company serves across California. In 2021, for example, SoCalGas spent nearly $1 billion with more than 570 diverse business enterprises, procuring over 42% of total goods and services from women, minority, service-disabled veteran, LGBT, and small disadvantaged businesses. The company also increased spending with African American vendors by almost 50%. Over the last five years, SoCalGas has spent $3.9 billion with diverse business enterprises.

SoCalGas' efforts were recognized in October, when the company was awarded the top "Business Transformation Award" at Reuters Events' 2022 Responsible Business Awards for having established truly transformative sustainability priorities with the potential to create impact at scale in the energy sector and beyond.

"The [H2] Innovation Experience is just another progression in SoCalGas' evolution as we innovate toward net-zero emissions and leverage our 150-year history, scale, vast infrastructure, and highly skilled workforce to support California's clean air and climate goals," Drury added.

For more information about the [H2] Hydrogen Experience, visit socalgas.com/h2ie.

For B-roll and photos of the [H2] Innovation experience, click here.

About SoCalGas 

Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, and increasingly renewable gas service to 21.8 million consumers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California. Gas delivered through the company's pipelines will continue to play a key role in California's clean energy transition—providing electric grid reliability and supporting wind and solar energy deployment. 

SoCalGas' mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy company in America. In support of that mission, SoCalGas aspires to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045 and to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply to core customers with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for customers. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra (NYSE: SRE), an energy infrastructure company based in San Diego. 

For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook

This press release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions with respect to the future, involve risks and uncertainties, and are not guarantees. Future results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement. These forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other factors.

In this press release, forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as "believes," "expects," "intends," "anticipates," "contemplates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "can," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "in process," " construct," "develop," "opportunity," "initiative," "target," "outlook," "optimistic," "maintain," "continue," "progress," "advance," "goal," "aim," "commit," or similar expressions, or when we discuss our guidance, priorities, strategy, goals, vision, mission, opportunities, projections, intentions or expectations.

Factors, among others, that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement include risks and uncertainties relating to: decisions, investigations, regulations, issuances or revocations of permits or other authorizations, renewals of franchises, and other actions by (i) the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), U.S. Department of Energy, and other governmental and regulatory bodies and (ii) the U.S. and states, counties, cities and other jurisdictions therein in which we do business; the success of business development efforts and construction projects, including risks in (i) completing construction projects or other transactions on schedule and budget, (ii) realizing anticipated benefits from any of these efforts if completed, and (iii) obtaining the consent or approval of partners or other third parties, including governmental and regulatory bodies; civil and criminal litigation, regulatory inquiries, investigations, arbitrations and other proceedings, including those related to the natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility; changes to laws and regulations; cybersecurity threats, including by state and state-sponsored actors, by ransomware or other attacks on our systems or the systems of third-parties with which we conduct business, including to the energy grid or other energy infrastructure, all of which have become more pronounced due to recent geopolitical events, such as the war in Ukraine; failure of our counterparties to honor their contracts and commitments; our ability to borrow money on favorable terms or otherwise and meet our debt service obligations, including due to (i) actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade our credit ratings or place those ratings on negative outlook and (ii) rising interest rates and inflation; the impact on our cost of capital and the affordability of customer rates due to volatility in inflation, interest rates and commodity prices and our ability to effectively hedge these risks; the impact of energy and climate policies, laws, rules and disclosures, as well as related goals and actions of companies in our industry, including actions to reduce or eliminate reliance on natural gas, any deterioration of or increased uncertainty in the political or regulatory environment for California natural gas distribution companies and the risk of nonrecovery for stranded assets; the pace of the development and adoption of new technologies in the energy sector, including those designed to support governmental and private party energy and climate goals, and our ability to efficiently incorporate them into our business; weather, natural disasters, pandemics, accidents, equipment failures, explosions, acts of terrorism, information system outages or other events that disrupt our operations, damage our facilities or systems, cause the release of harmful materials, cause fires or subject us to liability for damages, fines and penalties, some of which may not be recoverable through regulatory mechanisms, may be disputed or not covered by insurers, or may impact our ability to obtain satisfactory levels of affordable insurance; the availability of natural gas and natural gas storage capacity, including disruptions caused by limitations on the withdrawal of natural gas from storage facilities; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on capital projects, regulatory approvals and the execution of our operations; changes in tax and trade policies, laws and regulations, including tariffs, revisions to international trade agreements and sanctions, such as those that have been imposed and that may be imposed in the future in connection with the war in Ukraine, which may increase our costs, reduce our competitiveness, impact our ability to do business with certain counterparties, or impair our ability to resolve trade disputes; and other uncertainties, some of which are difficult to predict and beyond our control.

These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that the company has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, http://www.sec.gov, and on Sempra's website, http://www.sempra.com. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements.

Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Texas, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (Oncor) and Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.P.I. de C.V. (IEnova) are not the same companies as the California utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric Company or Southern California Gas Company, and Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Texas, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor and IEnova are not regulated by the CPUC.

SoCalGas Logo (PRNewsfoto/San Diego Gas & Electric,Southern California Gas Company)


SOURCE Southern California Gas Company

Contact Info

Brian Haas, Office of Media and Public Information, (213) 244-2442, [email protected]