Governor Brown Signs Skinner’s SB 1369 Laying Groundwork for Green Hydrogen Energy Storage

September 19, 2018

Sacramento, CA — Today Governor Brown signed State Senator Nancy Skinner’s (D-Berkeley) SB 1369, laying the groundwork for California to produce and utilize green electrolytic hydrogen to store excess renewably-generated electricity so that it can be deployed when needed.

“Green hydrogen is poised to be an indispensable tool in California’s energy storage toolkit,” said Senator Skinner. “Utilizing renewable electricity to produce hydrogen puts the most abundant element in the universe to work to achieve California’s ambitious climate protection goals.”

Renewable electricity generation fluctuates depending on the availability of sunlight and wind, often producing more electricity than is needed when sunlight or wind are most abundant. This excess green electricity can be used to power the process that splits water to extract hydrogen. The resulting hydrogen can then be stored and deployed when needed to re-generate electricity or cleanly fuel buses and vehicles.

SB 1369 adopts a definition for “Green Electrolytic Hydrogen” (e-hydrogen) as hydrogen made with excess electricity from renewable sources. Going forward, state regulatory agencies, utilities or other entities could potentially propose energy storage projects that utilize this technology and comply with this definition.

The ability to capture and smooth out fluctuations in renewable electricity generation makes e hydrogen critical to achieving California’s 100 percent renewable energy goal. Additionally, as a non carbon fuel source, e-hydrogen can also help in the transition to zero-emission vehicles. Alameda Contra Costa Transit (AC Transit) already uses zero-emission hydrogen buses in its fleet, and SB 1369 opens the door to more transit and other vehicles benefitting from clean e-hydrogen production.

“To reverse the climate crisis, Governor Brown has set the goal of a carbon-neutral California economy by 2045,” said Senator Skinner. “Innovations like e-hydrogen that can utilize and store excess electricity generated by wind and solar are essential to achieving a carbon-neutral California.”

Senator Nancy Skinner (@NancySkinnerCA) represents the 9th Senate District. She serves as Chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee and the Budget Subcommittee on Corrections, Public Safety and the Judiciary.