Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has debuted a proposal to develop a large green hydrogen energy infrastructure system (Angeles Link) to deliver renewable energy to the Los Angeles region.
As proposed, the Angeles Link would support the integration of more renewable electricity resources like solar and wind, and would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric generation, industrial processes, heavy-duty trucks and other hard-to-electrify sectors of the Southern California economy. The proposed Angeles Link would also significantly decrease demand for natural gas, diesel and other fossil fuels in the LA Basin, helping accelerate California’s and the region’s climate and clean air goals.
“The challenges we face on climate require solutions of scale and urgency,” says Scott Drury, CEO of SoCalGas. “The Angeles Link is designed to meet those challenges head-on…we’re announcing plans for one of the world’s largest clean energy infrastructure systems, to help tackle emissions for which there are no easy answers. Those emissions – from power plants, industry, and heavy-duty trucks – very much ‘count’ and must be significantly reduced to reach our and the state’s climate goals.”
As the nation’s largest manufacturing hub, the Los Angeles Basin is home to many potential green hydrogen users. As proposed, Angeles Link’s green hydrogen could displace up to 3 million gallons of diesel fuel per day by replacing diesel powered heavy-duty trucks with hydrogen fuel cell trucks. It eliminates up to nearly 25,000 tons of smog forming NOx per year and provides the clean fuel to convert up to four natural gas power plants to green hydrogen.
As contemplated, the Angeles Link would deliver green hydrogen in an amount equivalent to almost 25% of the natural gas SoCalGas delivers today. Building the system to provide a clean alternative fuel could, over time and combined with other future clean energy projects, reduce natural gas demand served by the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, facilitating its ultimate retirement while continuing to provide reliable and affordable energy to the region.
“California policymakers, thought leaders, business, academic, labor and environmental communities all agree green hydrogen is vital to achieving our climate and clean air goals,” Drury continues. “With relationships to thousands of industrial end users, a regulatory framework that promotes a transparent and robust stakeholder process serving the public interest, and an extraordinary workforce to do the job safely, SoCalGas is well positioned to work with California to capitalize on this pioneering opportunity to build what would be America’s largest green hydrogen hub.”
“The Angeles Link project, if approved and completed, is poised to extend our state’s position as a leader on clean energy well into the future while helping to attract billions of dollars in new investment and maintaining and creating thousands of skilled jobs,” adds Drury.
“If we are going to be successful in tackling the climate emergency, we need every company, every worker and every community on the front lines,” Senate Majority Leader Emeritus Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) comments. “This effort to establish a green hydrogen energy system in the Los Angeles basin is a creative and inventive step forward in that fight. It will not only dramatically reduce carbon emissions; it will create good-paying jobs.”
“We are encouraged that SoCalGas is embarking on a major project that will help make green hydrogen a reality here in Los Angeles,” says Marty Adams, chief engineer and general manager of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). “Developing a source of safe, affordable green hydrogen is key to achieving our clean energy future by 2035, while ensuring the reliability we all need and depend on. Projects like the proposed Angeles Link are an important step forward.”
“As president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, my priority is creating good union jobs while also seeking solutions that protect workers and their families when they return from a hard day’s work,” Ron Herrera, president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO states. “The thought of creating a massive clean, green energy hub in Los Angeles, growing union jobs, and preserving the thousands of middle-class jobs for refinery, utility and electrical workers is exactly the sort of out-of-the-box thinking that this project presents. This is infrastructure done right.”
“A dedicated green hydrogen system is essential to meeting Los Angeles County’s goal of transitioning to a carbon free energy system,” says Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents Los Angeles County’s Fifth District. “By decarbonizing hard to electrify industries, Angeles Link will decrease demand for fossil-based natural gas and increase the amount of reliable clean energy in the region. This will help L.A. County continue to grow sustainably without increasing greenhouse gas emissions and jeopardizing grid reliability.”
“Utility Workers Union of America Local 132 is excited to support Angeles Link. It is precisely the type of future forward energy thinking our members have long advocated for – innovation, union job creation and maintaining reliable, as well as affordable, infrastructure,” mentions Eric Hofmann, president of Utility Workers Union of America Local 132. “This is the way to build back the middle class in California.”
“Infrastructure projects like Angeles Link are critical to realizing the green hydrogen vision we developed in HyDeal LA because it will enable low delivered cost for large-scale users across multiple sectors,” says Janice Lin, founder and president of the Green Hydrogen Coalition. “Continuing a California tradition of leading on climate, Angeles Link will help position the US among global leaders in green hydrogen development. The Green Hydrogen Coalition appreciates SoCalGas’ leadership in facilitating access to high-volume, low-cost green hydrogen to accelerate California’s economy-wide clean energy transition.”
Renewable green hydrogen has the potential to deliver significant emissions reductions in industries and sectors where renewable electricity alone cannot. Research studies conducted by Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc. (E3) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL LA100) highlight the need for clean fuels like green hydrogen to achieve Los Angeles’ LA100 net zero goals and California’s mid-century climate goals.
Global investments in green hydrogen are helping to reduce its cost. Locally, HyDeal Los Angeles, an initiative of the Green Hydrogen Coalition, a nonprofit organization supported by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), SoCalGas, Mitsubishi Power, and others aims to make green hydrogen cost-competitive with traditional fuels – and achieve at-scale green hydrogen procurement at $1.50/kilogram in the LA Basin by 2030.
To promote the public’s interest in transparency and accountability, SoCalGas is filing an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requesting approval to track costs related to development of the Angeles Link. The company proposes a phased approach with a robust stakeholder process each step of the way. The application, includes descriptions of each phase, including development of a detailed project application as part of Phase 3. With this application submission the proposed Angeles Link is in its initial stage of development, and subsequent stages will require further regulatory review and discretionary approvals, among other things.
In support of California’s climate goals and in alignment with Paris Agreement recommendations, SoCalGas set a net zero emissions goal for scopes 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. SoCalGas’ Aspire 2045 strategy focuses on helping California navigate the energy transition to a carbon neutral economy with a resilient, clean gas grid.