RIVERSIDE, Calif., May 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today marked the establishment of a new Center for Renewable Natural Gas at the University of California, Riverside. The Center is the first academic establishment in the United States dedicated to the study and applied research of renewable gas technologies. It was funded in part by SoCalGas with a matching donation from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and the National Center for Sustainable Transportation (NCST) and is part of UC Riverside's Center for Environmental Research & Technology (CE-CERT).
Photos of the facility and ribbon-cutting can be found here.
Just like electricity, natural gas can be made from renewable sources. The Center will focus on improving technologies and removing barriers to increase renewable gas use in California and beyond. To do so it will conduct research on:
- High-yield renewable natural gas production
- Storing renewable energy with power-to-gas technology
- Technologies that can increase renewable gas use in heavy-duty trucking and other transportation
- Market and policy issues
- Potential sites for renewable gas production projects
"Renewable gas can play a key role in reducing greenhouse gases and meeting California's renewable energy goals," said Lisa Alexander, vice president of customer solutions and communications for SoCalGas. "In California, the agriculture and waste industries produce a great deal of methane that could—and should—be used as renewable gas to heat homes, and fuel power plants and near-zero-emissions trucks. We applaud the leadership of the university in establishing an academic center to prove out and advance the technologies needed to develop renewable gas on a large scale in the state."
Arun Raju, director of the Center for Renewable Natural Gas, said this partnership will help California meet several Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and renewable energy targets.
"Renewable natural gas is an important alternative fuel that can help utilize local renewable resources and eliminate waste disposal problems. Through the Center for Renewable Natural Gas we will work with our partners in government and industry to advance research, development and demonstration towards increasing commercial RNG production and use," Raju said.
"We support the Center at UC Riverside because renewable natural gas deployment in near-zero emission trucks provides a triple win for the region: green jobs, sustainable transportation and lower tailpipe emissions," said Wayne Nastri, executive officer for the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
Renewable gas is produced from decomposing organic waste from dairies, agriculture, landfills, wastewater treatment plants and other sources. This methane can be harnessed to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create additional renewable energy. California could produce enough renewable gas each year to replace 75 percent of the smog-producing diesel fuel used by vehicles in our state. Just like fossil natural gas, renewable gas can be stored and delivered through existing infrastructure.
About Southern California Gas Co.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States, providing clean, safe, affordable and reliable natural gas service to 21.7 million customers in Central and Southern California. Its service territory spans 22,000 square miles from Fresno to the Mexican border, reaching more than 550 communities through 5.9 million meters and 101,000 miles of pipeline. More than 90 percent of Southern California single-family home residents use natural gas for home heat and hot water. In addition, natural gas plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians—about 60 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas has served communities in California for 150 years and is committed to being a leader in the region's clean energy future. The company has committed to spending $6 billion over the next five years to modernize and upgrade its gas infrastructure, while also reducing methane emissions. SoCalGas is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas, a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative fuel created by capturing and conditioning greenhouse gas emissions from farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. The company is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.
About the University of California, Riverside
The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment is now nearly 23,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.
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SOURCE Southern California Gas Co.