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April 14, 2015

Proton OnSite tapped for power-to-gas tests

Dennis Schroeder/NREL Some of the power-to-gas testing in which Proton OnSite is involved will take place at NREL's campus near Golden, Colo.

Wallingford’s Proton OnSite said the country’s largest natural gas utility has selected it to participate in tests that aim to demonstrate a novel kind of energy storage.

Proton OnSite is lending two of its electrolyzers to Southern California Gas Co. for a power-to-gas system. The electrolyzers will use electricity from solar panels to produce hydrogen from water. That hydrogen will then be injected into a simulated natural gas pipeline at UCLA Irvine’s National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC), the company said.

Demonstrations will also take place at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado.

While Germany has commercial-scale power-to-gas systems in use, SoCalGas said its system would be the first of its kind in the United States.

Power-to-gas is thought of as a potential less-costly alternative to using batteries to store renewable energy.

"The SoCalGas P2G project will provide important validation of the technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen energy storage at grid scale,” David Bow, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Proton, said in a statement.

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