Every office or institutional space in North America requires heat, power, and hot water for daily use. Need help putting this into a scope? Think of an airport, an industrial facility, a hospital, a school, or even of Winnipeg in the winter. That’s an immense amount of energy!
Heating and cooling for buildings contribute to 31 percent of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) globally. In the province of Ontario, alone, building heat is the second largest source of GHGs.
Enbridge Gas is committed to the energy transition by erecting the first-of-its-kind in North America pilot project at the company’s Technology Operations Centre (TOC) in Markham, Ont. This initiative is propelling the company forward as a leader in this space. Enbridge Gas is working with 2G Energy and CEM Engineering to install a combined heat and power (CHP) system that can utilize emissions-free hydrogen to heat and power the Enbridge TOC, a 120,000-square-foot facility home to approximately 197 Enbridge employees.
2G Energy will provide the CHP system later this year, and it will be able to operate with a minimum blend of 25% hydrogen to 75% natural gas mix, up to a 100% pure hydrogen delivery. Enbridge’s aim is for the system to run on 100% Enbridge-supplied hydrogen within a year. The expected GHG reduction is about 133 tones of CO2e annually when the system is running with 100% hydrogen: the equivalent of removing approximately 28 passenger vehicles from the road each year.
Simply put, this CHP system generates electric and thermal energy from a single or mixed fuel source. The system’s engine drives the generator to produce electricity with the residual or waste heat captured and used for heating, potential cooling, or steam generation. Enbridge has been producing hydrogen at the Markham facility to blend with its utility natural gas supply since 2018.
While the pilot project is small in scale, its implications are striking.
“We are proud to work with 2G Energy to advance this technology and expand our hydrogen hub in Markham,” said Michele Harradence, President, Enbridge Gas Inc. “This is an important example of the investments Enbridge Gas is making across multiple markets to green the natural gas grid while continuing to meet the demand for safe, reliable and affordable energy."
Ontario Minister of Energy Todd Smith stated: "Our government’s Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy has ensured Ontario is well-positioned to become a leader in the growing hydrogen economy. I commend Enbridge Gas on continuing to work on innovative solutions that are helping to transform its natural gas grid and support our work on building a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future for our province.”