Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) has started to power two of its largest Los Angeles-area facilities with Bloom Energy solid oxide fuel cells.
The California-based gas distribution utility hopes that the switch to fuel cells will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air pollutants and the cost of power, as well as provide reliable electricity independent of the power grid.
To produce electricity, Bloom Energy’s fuel cells can use hydrogen, natural gas or renewable natural gas. The fuel cells also intake natural gas and oxygen, and through an electrochemical reaction, can produce electricity without any combustion.
“Using Bloom Energy’s fuel cells for our facilities is yet another way that SoCalGas is demonstrating our commitment to be an industry leader supporting a 21st century energy system,” said Maryam Brown, President of SoCalGas.
“These onsite generation systems will provide clean, affordable and resilient energy to key facilities so that we can ensure safe and reliable service to our 22 million customers.”
In addition to providing cost savings and improving reliability of power, the fuel cells will lead to a reduction in carbon emissions by 683 metric tonnes per year compared to the current grid profile.
“The SoCalGas pipeline system is integral to many Bloom Energy Servers installed in central and southern California, so we were eager to team up again to bring fuel cells to SoCalGas’ own facilities,” said Kris Kim, Managing Director of Strategic Development at Bloom Energy.
“Fuel cells at utility-owned sites are a natural fit as we are both looking to the future of energy and prioritize qualities like fuel flexibility, emissions reductions, efficiency, and reliability.”