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Making Calgary's Energy Mix More Sustainable

Hydrogen Blending Project

Driving Sustainability, Powering Progress

Our Hydrogen Blending Pilot

Calgary District Heating is proud to be partnered with TC Energy and the City of Calgary for a pioneering hydrogen blending initiative to prepare our system to use hydrogen as a fuel source, alongside natural gas, for the production of thermal energy currently heating over 6 million square feet of space in downtown Calgary and East Village.

This innovative pilot project involves modifying our District Energy Centre to allow for the blending of hydrogen with our existing natural gas supply, to be combusted within our high-efficiency natural gas hot water boilers, used for space heating and domestic hot water. This enables us to be on the forefront of Calgary’s energy transitions providing our customers and the community energy solutions for a low-carbon future. 

By blending up to 20% hydrogen with our existing natural gas supply with our facility, we are able to optimize our equipment and operations to accept a long-term supply of hydrogen as part of our feedstock, among other low-to-no carbon energy technologies  we are adopting.

Certarus and TC Energy branded truck

Fueling a Prosperous, Eco-Conscious Calgary

Advantages of Hydrogen Blending

Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Energy Security

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)

Utilization of Existing Infrastructure

Hydrogen blending helps reduce the carbon footprint of the District Energy System as blending it with natural gas can provide a cleaner energy source than natural gas alone. This contributes to lower greenhouse gas emissions in our community associated with space heating and domestic hot water needs.

By diversifying our energy mix with hydrogen, Calgary District Heating can reduce its dependence on single energy sources, enhancing energy security and resilience. And by doing so, District Energy can rapidly integrate low-to-no carbon fuels that benefit an entire community all at once.

As carbon pricing increases, the use of low-carbon fuels such as hydrogen can lead to improved energy efficiency which support Environmental, Social, and Governance goals compared to higher-emitting fuels. This can be important to tenants, owners, businesses, and citizens looking to manage their impacts on the community.

As natural gas infrastructure transitions to include the distribution of hydrogen with natural gas, this will allow further utilization existing pipelines and open pathways for wider option of hydrogen in our community.

Hydrogen Blending

How it Works

01 Hydrogen Storage

Hydrogen can be produced in a variety of ways from water to natural gas. To be used in bulk form, hydrogen is compressed and stored in tanks to allow of ease of transporting via truck or rail. Hydrogen can also be distributed in a pipeline independently or alongside natural gas. For our pilot, we are utilizing bulk hydrogen provided by truck and trailer.

Illustrated diagram depicting the process of hydrogen blending. The first step involves using stored hydrogen.
Hydrogen Storage

Hydrogen has a very high energy density. A small volume of hydrogen can store a significant amount of energy.

02 Existing Gas System

Because burning 100% pure hydrogen is not commercially feasible at this time we need to blend hydrogen with our existing natural gas supply. Our existing equipment is capable of accepting 20% hydrogen blended with natural gas giving us the versatility to use this alternate fuel while still utilizing Calgary’s robust natural gas network.

Illustrated diagram depicting the process of hydrogen blending. The second step involves using existing natural gas supplies which will be hydrogen enriched.
Natural Gas

Natural gas is a cleaner-burning fossil fuel compared to coal and oil.

03 Hydrogen Transfer

Utilizing bulk hydrogen requires the fuel to be compressed for transport. As a result, a specialized and highly engineered skid is used to transfer the compressed hydrogen from the trailer and control the blend of hydrogen into the District Energy Centre natural gas supply. This equipment is responsible for blending the precise ratio of the gases allowing for efficient combusting within our boilers. 

Illustrated diagram depicting the process of hydrogen blending. The third step involves using a blending skid to blend hydrogen with natural gas.
Blending Skid

Includes flow meters, pressure regulators, and control systems.

04 District Energy Hot Water Boilers

Once blended, this hydrogen-enriched natural gas is delivered to our high-efficiency hot water boilers and combusted to create thermal energy for our customers. The result will enables us to create more sustainable and efficient sources of heat that reduces the carbon intensity of our community with low-to-no carbon sources of hydrogen in the future.

Illustrated diagram depicting the process of hydrogen blending. The fourth step involves using hydrogen-enriched natural gas to fuel boilers which then produce thermal energy.
Boilers

High-efficiency boilers produce a total of 22MWt.

01 Hydrogen Storage

Hydrogen can be produced in a variety of ways from water to natural gas. To be used in bulk form, hydrogen is compressed and stored in tanks to allow of ease of transporting via truck or rail. Hydrogen can also be distributed in a pipeline independently or alongside natural gas. For our pilot, we are utilizing bulk hydrogen provided by truck and trailer.

Illustrated diagram depicting the process of hydrogen blending. The first step involves using stored hydrogen.
Hydrogen Storage

Hydrogen has a very high energy density. A small volume of hydrogen can store a significant amount of energy.

02 Existing Gas System

Because burning 100% pure hydrogen is not commercially feasible at this time we need to blend hydrogen with our existing natural gas supply. Our existing equipment is capable of accepting 20% hydrogen blended with natural gas giving us the versatility to use this alternate fuel while still utilizing Calgary’s robust natural gas network.

Illustrated diagram depicting the process of hydrogen blending. The second step involves using existing natural gas supplies which will be hydrogen enriched.
Natural Gas

Natural gas is a cleaner-burning fossil fuel compared to coal and oil.

03 Hydrogen Transfer

Utilizing bulk hydrogen requires the fuel to be compressed for transport. As a result, a specialized and highly engineered skid is used to transfer the compressed hydrogen from the trailer and control the blend of hydrogen into the District Energy Centre natural gas supply. This equipment is responsible for blending the precise ratio of the gases allowing for efficient combusting within our boilers. 

Illustrated diagram depicting the process of hydrogen blending. The third step involves using a blending skid to blend hydrogen with natural gas.
Blending Skid

Includes flow meters, pressure regulators, and control systems.

04 District Energy Hot Water Boilers

Once blended, this hydrogen-enriched natural gas is delivered to our high-efficiency hot water boilers and combusted to create thermal energy for our customers. The result will enables us to create more sustainable and efficient sources of heat that reduces the carbon intensity of our community with low-to-no carbon sources of hydrogen in the future.

Illustrated diagram depicting the process of hydrogen blending. The fourth step involves using hydrogen-enriched natural gas to fuel boilers which then produce thermal energy.
Boilers

High-efficiency boilers produce a total of 22MWt.

The New Energy of Calgary

Low Carbon, High Impact

Calgary District Heating is proud partners with TC Energy and the City of Calgary in this innovative hydrogen blending project. We continually seek opportunities to apply new technologies and processes towards our goal of connecting Calgary to sustainable energy.

TC Energy logo
City of Calgary logo