How Will The Angeles Link Impact Hydrogen Infrastructure?

Renewable Energy /
How Will The Angeles Link Impact Hydrogen Infrastructure?

In mid-February 2022, SoCalGas announced one of the nation's most exciting sustainable energy projects: the Angeles Link. The proposed project would develop the most extensive U.S.-based green hydrogen energy infrastructure system, making massive strides in achieving net-zero emissions and decarbonizing Southern California.

The Angeles Link will facilitate the creation and transportation of green hydrogen in the Los Angeles Basin, which can substitute for natural gas (a fossil fuel), provide energy storage, and generate electricity.

Currently, natural gas generates most electrical power and provides a direct fuel source in the L.A. Basin. The Aliso Canyon storage facility, the largest in the Western U.S., currently provides most of the natural gas in the area. It supplies 17 electricity generating plants and residential and industrial delivery infrastructure.

The Angeles Link project’s completion would also enable the retirement of the Aliso Canyon facility, a source of significant gas leaks in 2015 and 2016.

The Angeles Link proposal to deliver green hydrogen infrastructure and its extensive integration with renewable energy sources will create zero GHG emissions. In addition, it will compound the benefits enabled by the transition from natural gas, diesel, and other fossil fuels.

The Angeles Link’s Phases

SoCalGas’s Angeles Link proposal requires three phases for completion:

Pre-engineering and design: Estimated cost, $26 million, 12-18 months for completion

Identify preferred option and design: Estimated cost, $92 million, 18-24 months for completion

Develop CPCN application: Estimated cost, hundreds of millions (dependent on Phases 1 and 2, so the exact cost is presently unclear), 18-30 months for completion

The project will require a minimum of $118 million (through Phase 2) and up to five years to complete.

Once operational, the Angeles Link will:

  1. Integrate with renewable energy – The production of green hydrogen via electrolysis requires significant energy input, which renewable energy sources will provide.
  2. Generate hydrogen fuel via electrolysis – In addition to regular operations, excess power from solar and wind sources can be converted to hydrogen fuel. This power, in turn, can be restored to electricity to supplement energy needs during periods of low wind and sunlight.
  3. Transport hydrogen fuel – The project’s extensive pipeline infrastructure will transport hydrogen fuel throughout the L.A. Basin.
  4. Help decarbonize tough-to-transition industry sectors – It won’t be easy to eliminate heavy-duty trucking, container shipping, and high-energy-input manufacturing’s reliance on fossil fuels. Hydrogen fuel cells provide a much more feasible solution.

What Could This Mean for the Future of Hydrogen Infrastructure?

The Angeles Link project represents the beginning of a widespread U.S. transition to green hydrogen as a significant energy source. Furthermore, successive projects will help advance hydrogen fuel production economies of scale, reducing overall operational and consumption costs.

Necessary infrastructure, operations, and maintenance will also create and preserve new union jobs for refinery, utility, and electrical workers throughout the California energy sector.

The Angeles Link’s Estimated Benefits

The projected benefits of SoCalGas' Angeles Link include:

  • Transitioning heavy-duty trucks relying on diesel fuel to hydrogen fuel cells will reduce diesel consumption by 3 million gallons per day.
  • Replacing 25% of L.A. Basin natural gas consumption and facilitating the four natural gas power plants.
  • Eliminating annual GHG production by 14.3 million metric tons of CO2 and 25,000 tons of NOx.
  • The yearly GHG reduction is equivalent to removing 3.1 million cars from LA Basin roads.
  • NOx heavily contributes to smog formation and respiratory and other ailments per the CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

Aside from the direct reduction in fossil fuel consumption and associated benefits, the Angeles Link will demonstrate the technological and infrastructure feasibility of repeating the project across the United States.

Partner With FASTECH For Your Hydrogen Infrastructure Projects

The Angeles Link represents the major energy sector transformation needed to transition from fossil fuels and address climate change ramifications with clean, renewable energy.

However, while SoCalGas’s project will comprise the primary generation and transportation infrastructure, additional projects will be necessary—from industrial and residential conversions to building hydrogen fueling stations.

FASTECH is the leading provider of hydrogen fueling infrastructure, including the construction of over 30 hydrogen fueling stations. Contact us today to learn more about our EPC+M services and how you can be at the forefront of sustainable energy transformation.

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