August 19, 2022

SoCalGas Breaks Ground on First-of-its-Kind Technology to Produce Clean Hydrogen for SunLine Transit Agency's Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Buses

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The demonstration research project will produce hydrogen from renewable natural gas for fuel cell buses to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced the official groundbreaking on construction of a first-of-its-kind advanced hydrogen generation system at SunLine Transit Agency in Thousand Palms, California. The project, called H2 SilverSTARS, will produce hydrogen from renewable natural gas (RNG) and help fuel SunLine's fleet of 17 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses. At scale, this demonstration project has the potential to provide clean hydrogen at any location adjacent to a natural gas pipeline, which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate California's climate and clean air goals.

The demonstration will test STARS' technology, which was developed at the Pacific Northwest National Lab. The technology uses a combustion free process, so that it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to a conventional steam methane reforming process. Since the compact system is based on low-cost 12x1-inch, 3D-printed reactor disks and heat exchangers, it can be easily installed at fueling stations to help meet the demand while advancing climate and clean air goals. After its installation, the first STARS system will produce up to 80 kilograms of clean hydrogen a day, that's enough to fuel three of SunLine's zero-emission buses per day.

"We've been anticipating for this day to arrive and I'm excited construction has begun. Californians will need access to hydrogen and this demonstration project will provide insight during this energy transition," said Glenn Miller City of Indio Councilmember and SunLine Chair. "Once widely adopted, this project will help meet our state's climate goals."

"SunLine has been pioneering hydrogen technologies for nearly three decades and partnering with SoCalGas on this project continues the momentum necessary to make hydrogen fueling accessible to the public," said Lauren Skiver, CEO/General Manager of SunLine Transit Agency. "Producing clean hydrogen is the future of fuel, and this system will play a pivotal role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

"For several years now, the high cost of transporting hydrogen has been the big problem with rolling out fuel cell vehicles in California," said Robert Wegeng, President of STARS Technology Corporation. "This demonstration elegantly solves the problem with a compact, mass-produced hydrogen generator that can be placed on the gas grid in close proximity to filling stations and other places where cheap hydrogen is useful. Better yet, the hydrogen can meet the new Federal "Clean Hydrogen Standard" for regional hydrogen hubs since it can be produced from renewable natural gas."

"This is the kind of demonstration project we love to see in California and we're excited construction has started. SoCalGas will use the knowledge gained from this project to help accelerate the adoption of clean hydrogen," said Neil Navin, SoCalGas vice president of clean energy innovations. "Adopting clean technologies and working with SunLine and STARS will help SoCalGas and California reach our shared air quality and climate goals much faster."

Earlier this year, SoCalGas announced a proposal to develop Angeles Link, a dedicated green hydrogen energy infrastructure system that could deliver clean, reliable energy to the Los Angeles basin to provide a path to decarbonize hard-to electrify sectors such as electric generation, industries that require clean fuels and cannot currently be electrified, and heavy-duty transportation.

Clean fuel vehicles are expected to play an important role in meeting the state's climate and clean air goals. In California, Governor Newsom's executive order requires that all new cars sold in the state be zero-emissions by 2035. Californians having access to clean hydrogen generation systems, like H2 SilverSTARS, could be part of the clean energy transition. 

SunLine Transit Agency has been at the forefront of providing environmentally conscious public transportation since 1993, when the Agency pursued an aggressive strategy for incorporating clean technologies into its operations.

The SunLine Transit Agency is on track to be fully transitioned to zero emissions by 2035 – five years ahead of the deadline set in the state's ICT Regulation (2040). In addition to SunLine's PEM Hydrogen Electrolyzer – the largest clean hydrogen-producing station in the country for transportation – its Liquid Hydrogen Station project has been funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and will expand the Agency's hydrogen fueling capacity for the existing fueling infrastructure.

SunLine Transit Agency recently received a California Energy Commission award for the construction of a 15,000 – 18,000-gallon liquid hydrogen fueling station. This station will create fueling resiliency for the agency and is the first liquid hydrogen project in SunLine's thirty-year history. This liquid station is yet another element in the creation of a zero-emission blueprint for transit and fleet operators across the nation.

For more information about SoCalGas' hydrogen innovation, visit http://socalgas.com/hydrogen.

Photos and video of construction, SunLine buses, and a diagram of the STARS technology are available 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 services holding company based in San Diego.

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

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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 and other authorizations, renewals of franchises, and other actions by (i) the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), U.S. Department of Energy, and other regulatory and governmental 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, to the energy grid, storage and pipeline infrastructure, information and systems used to operate our businesses, and confidentiality of our proprietary information and personal information of our customers and employees, including ransomware attacks on our systems and the systems of third-parties with which we conduct business, all of which have become more pronounced due to recent geopolitical events and other uncertainties, such as the war in Ukraine; failure of our counterparties to honor their contracts and commitments; actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade our credit ratings or to place those ratings on negative outlook and our ability to borrow on favorable terms and meet our debt service obligations; 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 generally and 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 timely and economically 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 and systems, cause the release of harmful materials, cause fires or subject us to liability for damages, fines and penalties, some of which may be disputed or not covered by insurers, may not be recoverable through regulatory mechanisms or may impact our ability to obtain satisfactory levels of affordable

insurance; inflationary and interest rate pressures, volatility in commodity prices, our ability to effectively hedge these risks, and their impact, as applicable, on our cost of capital and the affordability of customer rates; 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, www.sec.gov, and on Sempra's website, 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