Bloom Energy and SoCalGas announced a project to showcase the future of the hydrogen economy

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Bloom Energy (NYSE: BE) announced a project to showcase the future of the hydrogen economy and the technologies needed to help California reach carbon neutrality. The companies will collaborate to generate and then blend hydrogen into a university customer’s existing natural gas network to demonstrate how the natural gas infrastructure can be decarbonized while balancing future energy supply and demand. The project is set to launch next year on the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) campus in Pasadena.

The collaboration will utilize Bloom Energy’s solid oxide, high-temperature electrolyzer to generate hydrogen, which will then be injected into Caltech’s natural gas infrastructure. The resulting 10 percent hydrogen blend will be converted into electricity without combustion through existing Bloom Energy fuel cells downstream of the SoCalGas meter, producing electricity for a portion of the university. The electrolyzer is designed to generate hydrogen from grid electricity for this project.

At scale, the electrolyzer and fuel cell combination could enable long-duration clean energy storage and low-carbon distributed power generation through the gas network for businesses, residential neighborhoods, and dense urban areas. When configured as a microgrid, it could also provide resilient power when and where energy is needed most, protecting businesses, campuses, or neighborhoods from widespread power outages.