Dominion Energy advances hydrogen as next frontier of clean energy
Dominion Energy is continuing its clean energy transformation with early investments in hydrogen, which the company hopes will help it achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions and support decarbonization of other industries like transportation and manufacturing.
Known as the “Swiss Army knife of clean energy,” hydrogen can do everything natural gas can do – only with fewer or even zero emissions. When produced using excess energy from solar, wind or nuclear, hydrogen produces zero greenhouse gas emissions. It can be blended with natural gas to heat homes or generate electricity or used as a clean fuel for transportation and manufacturing.
“Hydrogen is a huge innovation in clean energy,” said Mark Webb, Chief Innovation Officer at Dominion Energy. “It’s clean energy for homes and businesses and also clean fuel for vehicles and manufacturing plants,” Webb continued. “Few other energy sources have the potential to do so much good, so broadly across the economy. We’re investing in hydrogen today so it can hopefully transform the clean energy landscape in 5 or 10 years.”
The company is developing multiple pilot projects to blend hydrogen into its gas distribution system, which will reduce emissions and deliver clean energy to customers. The company is also exploring projects that use hydrogen for clean electricity, renewable storage, transportation and manufacturing.
The first pilot project is underway at the company’s Training Academy in Utah. The company is blending 5 percent hydrogen in a test system to learn how hydrogen works in gas lines and appliances before blending it into the larger system that serves more than 1 million gas utility customers in Utah. The company recently proposed a similar pilot in North Carolina.
“We’re reimagining the kinds of energy we deliver to our customers through our wires and pipes,” said Craig Wagstaff, Senior Vice President of Western Gas Distribution at Dominion Energy. “Just as we’re building solar and wind to deliver more clean energy to our electric customers, we’re developing hydrogen and renewable natural gas to deliver more clean energy to our gas customers. It’s all about embracing new technologies to build a clean energy economy for our customers and the climate.”
In addition to developing its own pilot projects, the company is a lead sponsor of the Low Carbon Resources Initiative (LCRI), a 5-year, $100 million research and development effort focused on emerging clean energy technologies. This week LCRI released its Research Vision, laying out a comprehensive roadmap for hydrogen R&D.
Learn more about the environmental and consumer benefits of hydrogen.