CenterPoint Energy has announced the completion of its green hydrogen project in Minneapolis. The project securely splits hydrogen from water using renewable power, and the zero-carbon hydrogen is subsequently mixed with natural gas in the utility’s local distribution system in low quantities.
CenterPoint Energy was one of the first natural gas utilities in the United States to manufacture and distribute green hydrogen. Green hydrogen has the potential to be an essential zero-carbon complement to traditional natural gas since it emits no carbon during production or consumption.
CenterPoint Energy is Minnesota’s largest natural gas company, with about 900,000 residential and commercial customers. The green hydrogen project is located in downtown Minneapolis on existing firm land. The system was created and marketed by a Minnesota business, and the project’s key equipment was manufactured in the United States.
Scott Doyle, Executive Vice President, Utility Operations, stated, “CenterPoint Energy is dedicated to assessing creative solutions that decrease carbon emissions and build a sustainable energy future.” “We’re studying the possibilities of green hydrogen as a safe, zero-carbon energy supply that can be distributed through our local gas distribution networks to help both our consumers and the environment with this pilot project.”
The pilot project’s main purpose is to obtain operational experience with green hydrogen technology and how it may be best integrated into the local natural gas distribution system to reduce the carbon content of provided energy.
The project’s one-megawatt electrolyzer uses renewable energy to create up to 60 Dekatherms (432 kg) of hydrogen gas per day while requiring around two gallons of water per minute. Before entering the hydrogen production system, the water is taken from the municipal water supply and extensively filtered.
Green hydrogen produced by the system is added to natural gas in a low-pressure part of CenterPoint Energy’s local distribution pipeline system in low percentages (up to 5%). Green hydrogen is estimated to save around 1,200 tons of CO2 per year as a replacement for natural gas that would otherwise be consumed.