Carbon Reduction Technologies
CenterPoint Energy is leveraging innovative technology in an effort to reduce emissions and lower the carbon intensity of the energy we deliver to our customers.
Natural Gas Innovation Act
In June 2023, CenterPoint Energy proposed the first five-year innovation plan under Minnesota’s Natural Gas Innovation Act (NGIA) – a landmark state energy law passed in 2021. NGIA creates a new regulatory framework for natural gas utilities to invest in renewable energy resources and innovative technologies that aim to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Our innovation plan is subject to review and approval by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
Under NGIA, at least 50% of an innovation plan’s total investments must be dedicated to procurement or distribution of certain alternative gases. CenterPoint Energy proposes investing in low-carbon, zero-carbon and even carbon-negative energy resources that can supplement or replace conventional natural gas, including RNG and green hydrogen.
Tapping Minnesota-made RNG
RNG is produced by capturing and recycling organic waste materials from farms, food waste, wastewater treatment facilities and other sources to produce pipeline-quality gas. We would purchase RNG for our gas supply, reducing lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions attributed to the energy used by customers. Our proposal includes obtaining RNG through requests for proposals, as well as from a planned Hennepin County organics recycling facility in Brooklyn Park and a similar planned facility for the Ramsey/Washington County organics recycling program.
We secured regulatory approval in 2020 to begin accepting RNG into our system from Minnesota suppliers, with plans to seek additional regulatory approval for a green tariff program to give our customers the option to purchase RNG for their own gas supply.
Benefits of RNG:
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
- Diversifies energy sources
- Supports rural economic development
- Improves waste management
Piloting a Green Hydrogen Project
CenterPoint Energy is proud to be one of the first natural gas utilities in the United States to produce and add green hydrogen to its distribution system. In 2022, we launched a green hydrogen pilot project in Minneapolis, using renewable electricity to safely split hydrogen from water and then blend the hydrogen at low concentrations with natural gas. Because there are essentially no carbon emissions from either its production or end-use, green hydrogen has the potential to be an important zero-carbon supplement to conventional natural gas.
Our NGIA plan proposes a second green hydrogen facility, powered by a dedicated solar array, on CenterPoint Energy property in the Mankato area.
Offering Carbon Capture Solutions
CenterPoint Energy and Radisson Blu Mall of America, part of Choice Hotels International, recently announced the groundbreaking installation of a carbon capture technology unit, CarbinX™, developed by CleanO2 to capture GHG emissions from heating equipment. We are deploying the CarbinX technology in a pilot program with 10 of our commercial customers in Minnesota.
Additional CarbinX installations are being proposed as part of our first five-year innovation plan under the NGIA.