B.C. government and industry partners working to develop hydrogen as a low-carbon energy option

January 24, 2024. Enbridge Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. announced funding, with contributions from the British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, for their own respective studies to produce an integrated summary that will examine how hydrogen, a low-carbon energy source, can be safely and reliably delivered using the province’s existing gas pipeline infrastructure.

This hydrogen blending study will look at the percentage of hydrogen that can be safely transported through gas pipeline infrastructure, such as Enbridge’s Westcoast natural gas transmission system, as well as FortisBC’s gas transmission and distribution systems, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help develop a low-carbon energy economy. If upon completion it is determined that hydrogen can be safely transported in this infrastructure, the study will be used to inform the development of codes and standards to regulate its transportation and help to inform the development of a commercial hydrogen market in the province.

Enbridge’s Westcoast system operates more than 2,900 kilometres (km) of pipeline from the northeast of the province to the U.S.-Canada border and east to the B.C.-Alberta border. This pipeline system supplies natural gas to FortisBC’s approximately 51,000 km gas transmission and distribution system. The gas transported on these systems is ultimately used to heat homes, hospitals, businesses and schools.

B.C.’s gas infrastructure can play an important role in enabling the energy transition and providing people with the energy they need and use every day. As the energy transition progresses, the type of energy transported on this infrastructure can change to include more low-carbon and renewable sources. B.C. is well positioned to make this happen and has significant potential to produce the energy needed to transition to a low-carbon future that creates new opportunities for communities and Indigenous groups to participate in the energy transition.