Southern California Gas Co. has announced new initiatives that will make it easier for renewable gas production facilities to connect to the company’s natural gas pipeline system.
First is the creation of a downloadable toolkit to assist renewable gas producers and developers who are interested in interconnecting their projects with the SoCalGas pipeline network. In addition, on April 8, the California Public Utilities Commission approved legislation that enables SoCalGas and potential interconnectors to speed up the process by procuring the necessary materials much earlier than previously allowed. Previously, procurement of these materials could only be done when the interconnection studies were concluded and a construction agreement was executed.
A study conducted by the University of California at Davis estimates that the natural gas needs of around 2.4 million California homes could be fueled with RNG derived from the state’s existing organic waste alone. Already, 60 percent of the fuel used in natural gas vehicles in California is renewable, and SoCalGas expects that to increase to 90 percent by 2018. This can help reduce the need for other fossil-based fuels, and increase our supplies with a local renewable fuel.
“Renewable natural gas is key to achieving the state’s ambitious air quality goals and providing families in California with a clean and reliable source of energy to heat and power their homes for generations to come,” said Lisa Alexander, vice president of customer solutions for SoCalGas. “Renewable natural gas will also help transform transportation in the state, which accounts for 80 percent of smog-forming pollution and that disproportionally burdens our most vulnerable communities. With today’s technology, we can harness this otherwise wasted energy to de-carbonize our pipeline system, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and slow climate change.”
SoCalGas is also working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas, by capturing methane emissions to decarbonize its pipelines, and aims to build and operate more renewable natural gas interconnection facilities throughout California to bring more clean, renewable natural gas to its customers. This summer the company will complete its first renewable natural gas interconnection project in Perris, California. When the project is completed, renewable natural gas produced by a waste management company will power a fleet of more than 320 waste hauling trucks.
SoCalGas also recently launched a new renewable gas website to provide general information on biogas derived renewable natural gas. A key feature of this site is a downloadable toolkit to assist biogas producers and developers who are interested in putting renewable natural gas into the SoCalGas pipeline network. In addition, the new website also explains the monetary incentive program for utility interconnection projects. In the future, the company plans to include information on other types of renewable gases and technologies to the website, such as renewable hydrogen and power-to-gas.