LOS ANGELES -- A consortium that includes Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today was awarded funding by the U.S. Department of Energy for a proposal to develop California's first full-scale direct air capture and storage network of regional hubs.
"This is an important step in our efforts to help California decarbonize and reach net-zero goals. California's transition to net zero will require a broad portfolio of diverse energy sources and decarbonization tools to reduce emissions, including carbon management," said SoCalGas President Maryam Brown. "This project could reduce one million metric tons of carbon dioxide directly from the air each year and aid in a more equitable energy transition. Our research has shown that carbon management, when combined with electrification and clean fuels, delivers the most affordable, resilient and technologically proven path to full carbon neutrality."
The U.S. Department of Energy announced that it selected the California Direct Air Capture hub for up to $11.8 million in funding to study a regional carbon management hub in Kern County. This project is among only five projects nationwide – the only projected located in California – to be selected funding to begin designing a carbon capture hub project under the department's $3.5 billion Direct Air Capture Hubs program. A total of 21 projects were selected in the announcement.
The California Direct Air Capture hub is made up of a consortium of nearly 40 organizations from across industry, community, tribes, government, technology, national labs, academia, labor, and workforce development. SoCalGas will play an important role in the effort, advancing a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study to transport carbon captured from the air to permanent carbon storage in the region. Efforts completed to date reflect that the hub could remove 1 million or more metric tons of CO2 annually – equivalent to taking more than 220,000 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles off the road each year – in line with the state's 20 million metric ton carbon removal target for 2030 and 100 million metric ton carbon removal target for 2045.
The U.S. Department of Energy's stated purpose for the proposed hub funding is to "accelerate the commercialization of CO2 removal via integrated capture from the atmosphere, processing, transport, and secure geologic storage and/or conversion." In addition to capturing carbon, the DOE suggests potential benefits could also include the removal other air pollutants like particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur oxides (SOx).
There is widespread agreement among scientists and policymakers that carbon management will be necessary to achieve a cleaner future. The State of California has signaled that carbon management will be critical to its efforts to reach net-zero by 2045, with Gov. Gavin Newsom writing, "We know from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that there is no path to carbon neutrality without carbon capture and sequestration."
Carbon management, along with other clean energy tools such as hydrogen and renewable natural gas, is a key component of the suite of tools SoCalGas has been developing as part of its overall clean energy strategy to reach-net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
For more information about SoCalGas' carbon management efforts, visit https://www.socalgas.com/carboncapture.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, and increasingly renewable gas service to over 21 million consumers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California. Gas delivered through the company's pipelines will continue to play a key role in California's clean energy transition—providing electric grid reliability and supporting wind and solar energy deployment.
SoCalGas' mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy infrastructure company in America. In support of that mission, SoCalGas aspires to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045 and to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply to core customers with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for customers. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra (NYSE: SRE), an energy infrastructure company based in San Diego.