CenterPoint Energy launches green H2 project in Minnesota

CenterPoint Energy announced that its green H2 project in Minneapolis is operational. The project uses renewable electricity to safely split H2 from water, and the zero-carbon H2 is then blended at low concentrations with natural gas in the utility's local distribution system.

CenterPoint Energy is one of the first natural gas utilities in the U.S. to produce and add green H2 to its distribution system. Because there are no carbon emissions from either its production or end-use, green H2 has the potential to be an important zero-carbon supplement to conventional natural gas.

CenterPoint Energy is Minnesota's largest natural gas utility, serving approximately 900,000 residential and business customers in the state. The green H2 project is located on existing company property near downtown Minneapolis. The system was designed and packaged by a Minnesota company and the major equipment for the project was made in the U.S.

"CenterPoint Energy is committed to evaluating innovative solutions that reduce carbon emissions and advance a clean energy future," said Scott Doyle, Executive Vice President, Utility Operations. "With this pilot project, we are exploring the potential of green H2 as a safe, zero-carbon energy resource that can be delivered through our local gas distribution systems to benefit both our customers and the environment."

The primary goal of the pilot project is to gain operational experience with the technology for making green H2 and how it can be integrated most effectively into the local natural gas distribution system to lower the carbon content of delivered energy.

The project's one-megawatt electrolyzer is powered by renewable electricity and can produce up to 60 Dekatherms (432 kilograms) of H2 gas per day, using approximately two gallons of water per minute. The water is sourced from the municipal water supply and highly purified before it enters the H2 production system.

The green H2 produced by the system is added in low concentrations, up to 5%, to the natural gas in a low-pressure section of CenterPoint Energy's local distribution pipeline system. As a substitute for natural gas that would otherwise be used, the green H2 is expected to avoid approximately 1,200 tpy of CO2 emissions.