Groundbreaking $5.2M hydrogen blending project aims to green Ontario’s natural gas grid

Initiative launched by Enbridge Gas and Cummins is the first of its kind in North America

Hydrogen gas is not just colorless and odorless—it’s also an effective tool in the shift toward sustainable energy.

And it’s the foundation for a trailblazing partnership between Enbridge Gas Inc. and Cummins Inc. designed to green the natural gas grid.

Today, Enbridge Gas and Cummins announced a $5.2-million project which will blend renewable hydrogen gas into the existing Enbridge Gas natural gas network, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

This hydrogen-blending pilot project, supported by Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is the first of its kind in North America—and represents an important step in greening the gas supply that millions of Ontario homeowners and businesses depend on to heat their homes and energize industry.

The renewable hydrogen gas to be blended is currently produced at an existing utility-scale power-to-gas (P2G) facility in Markham, established in 2018 by Enbridge and Cummins with financial support from the Canadian government.

“Today’s announcement is great news for Ontario families and businesses in the Markham area. I’m excited to see the results of this innovative renewable hydrogen pilot project, which has the potential to play an important role in our province’s energy future,” says Bill Walker Ontario’s Associate Minister of Energy. “Our government is proud to support the use of clean, reliable and affordable energy sources.”

“I applaud Enbridge for their leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through this home-grown hydrogen-blending project,” says Jeff Yurek, Ontario’s Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks. “This kind of innovation and investment in clean, renewable energy programs aligns with the commitments in our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan to combat climate change and help create a healthy and prosperous future for all Ontarians.”

Over the past two years, the Markham P2G facility has been converting excess energy from renewable sources into hydrogen gas, using electrolysis. The facility has been used by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to balance electricity supply and demand—and it’s proven an effective solution to the challenge of storing the province’s surplus electrical energy using existing pipeline infrastructure.

“Zero-carbon hydrogen can play a role in Ontario’s shift to lower‐carbon, sustainable energy solutions, and is an important example of 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,” says Cynthia Hansen, Enbridge's Executive Vice President and President, Gas Distribution and Storage.

This hydrogen blending pilot project will allow Enbridge Gas to initially provide blended gas distribution service to about 3,600 customers in Markham in fall 2021, abating up to 117 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere.

If successful, this project will help Enbridge Gas pursue additional and larger-scale hydrogen blending activities in other parts of its distribution system.

Enbridge Gas is helping to drive Ontario’s transition to a clean energy future through investments in clean energy opportunities across multiple markets—not just via hydrogen, but also renewable natural gas (RNG) produced from organic waste, which can also green the natural gas supply by displacing traditional natural gas and reducing emissions.