Enbridge Gas, part of North American energy company Enbridge, and its partner Cummins, a power solutions company, have begin to operate the first system in North America to blend hydrogen into the natural gas supply.
As energy companies and policymakers look at ways to decarbonise domestic power, the blending of hydrogen into the natural gas grid is seen as an important move. Enbridge and Cummin’s pilot scheme cost C$5.2 million (€3.63 million), and is now supplying blended hydrogen and natural gas to 3,600 customers in in Markham, Ontario, in Canada. The partners estimate that the project will eliminate up to 117 tonnes of CO2 annually, and its success paves the way for Enbridge Gas to pursue larger-scale hydrogen blending projects elsewhere.
The hydrogen blending project is an offshoot of an Enbridge-Cummins joint venture. In 2018, the partners joined forces to build the Markham power-to-gas facility, which was designed to help balance Ontario’s electricity supply by storing surplus electricity as pure hydrogen. The partners enhanced the facility to allow hydrogen injection directly into the grid.
‘Zero-carbon hydrogen is now playing a role in Ontario’s shift to lower‐carbon, sustainable energy solution—and is an important example of the investments Enbridge Gas is making across multiple markets to green the natural gas grid while continuing to meet the demand for safe, reliable and affordable energy,’ says Cynthia Hansen, Enbridge’s executive vice president and president of gas distribution and storage.