NiSource launches multi-phase hydrogen blending project

One of first in U.S. to use blending skid to mix H2 and natural gas

NiSource Inc., a fully regulated U.S. utility company serving both natural gas and electric customers, announced the launch of a multi-phase hydrogen blending project. The project is said to be one of the first in the United States to use a blending skid in a controlled setting to mix hydrogen and natural gas at precise levels to determine optimal blend percentages and the environmental and consumer benefits.

The project was launched Oct. 5th at the Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania Training Center’s Safety Town in Monaca, Pa., where the hydrogen blending skid was constructed. Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, a subsidiary of NiSource, partnered with EN Engineering to build the skid, which allows for controlled blending of hydrogen into Safety Town’s natural gas system at percentages ranging from 2% to 20%.

To demonstrate the efficacy of the blended fuel, NiSource built a specially designed on-site model home equipped with natural gas appliances to simulate everyday usage in a residential environment. Ongoing field confirmations of hydrogen’s effect on the natural gas itself, equipment, piping and the net change in carbon emissions from blending are being evaluated with favorable results, the company stated.

NiSource will also continue to evaluate the viability of hydrogen-natural gas blends for other applications such as factories and power plants. Based on the results and data collected, future phases of the program could include the introduction of a hydrogen-blend into a live-gas environment using the company’s existing gas distribution infrastructure.

The program is just one facet of NiSource’s overall Future of Energy strategy, which includes clean energy solutions ranging from solar, wind, electricity to renewable natural gas. “Our existing natural gas infrastructure positions us well to bring our customers along into the energy of the future,” said NiSource President and CEO Lloyd Yates, “and hydrogen blending is one promising solution we are exploring to enhance sustainability and to deliver a safe and reliable energy source to our customers.

“Integrating hydrogen into our energy future is complementary to renewable energy and could further enhance the global energy transition underway,” he continued. “Our overall goal remains to lower emissions and ensure the availability of an array of environmentally sustainable energy sources while balancing affordability, reliability and other economic considerations for our customers.”

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