A low-carbon economy requires us to embrace scientific, engineering and institutional innovation.
Carbon Reduction Technologies
CenterPoint Energy is committed to evaluating innovative solutions to advance a clean energy future and lower the carbon intensity of the energy we deliver to our customers.
In mid-2022, we successfully launched our green hydrogen pilot project in Minnesota. We are using renewable electricity to safely split hydrogen from water, and the hydrogen is then blended at low concentrations with the natural gas in a small area of our local distribution system. Because there are 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. CenterPoint Energy is one of the first natural gas utilities in the United States to produce and add green hydrogen to its distribution system.
The Natural Gas Innovation Act was a landmark energy law proposed by CenterPoint Energy that passed the Minnesota Legislature in 2021. The act creates a new regulatory process that supports cost-effective utility investments in innovative resources and technologies to reduce emissions from natural gas use. We expect to submit our first innovation plan in 2022 for review and approval by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
We’re actively pursuing multiple options for adding RNG to our gas supply portfolio in the near future.
Tapping Minnesota-made RNG
We are promoting the new Made-in-Minnesota Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) energy resource, produced by capturing and recycling biogas from farms, food waste, wastewater facilities and other sources.
We secured regulatory approval in November 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. We are pursuing multiple options for adding RNG to our gas supply portfolio in the near future.
Benefits of RNG:
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
- Diversifies energy sources
- Supports rural economic development
- Improves waste management
Piloting End-Use Carbon Capture Technology
In Minnesota, we are testing carbon capture technology, which captures carbon dioxide from business customers’ natural gas equipment and converts it into a safe, nontoxic powder that can be reused in commercial products, such as soap and glass. In addition to reducing emissions, it can increase efficiency to achieve both energy and cost savings for customers.
CenterPoint Energy is piloting this technology for potential future Conservation Improvement Program rebates. Pilot participants, including schools, hotels, assisted living and nursing homes, warehouses, multifamily housing and a water treatment facility, receive equipment and installation at no cost. Participants can choose to keep the equipment after the one-year pilot.