Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced new initiatives that will make it easier for renewable gas production facilities to connect to the company’s natural gas pipeline system. First, SoCalGas has created a downloadable toolkit to assist renewable gas producers and developers who are interested in interconnecting their projects with the SoCalGas pipeline network. In addition, new provisions will enable SoCalGas and renewable gas producers to accelerate the interconnection process by procuring the necessary material much earlier than previously allowed.
About 80 percent of all methane emissions in California come from the state’s dairy and farm operations, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. That methane can be harnessed and cleaned to produce renewable natural gas for use in transportation, as well as in homes and businesses.
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.
“Since 1988 all but two renewable natural gas projects have been developed outside of California—which explains why the state imports most of the renewable natural gas (RNG) it consumes,” said Johannes Escudero, chief executive officer and executive director of the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas. “That is changing—and we appreciate SoCalGas’ leadership and ongoing commitment to the RNG Coalition and industry.”
SoCalGas is also working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas, by capturing methane emissions to decarbonize its pipelines. SoCalGas 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 reviewed its current system and identified several areas that would smooth the path to interconnection for renewable natural gas developers.
One enhancement, approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on April 8, enables SoCalGas and potential interconnectors to speed 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.