In January, our elected Board of Commissioners approved an agreement for EWEB to make an unprecedented bulk purchase of substation transformers.Find Out More
At EWEB, we do what we can to help others in need. That’s been the reality for several of our electric and water crews over the past few weeks as we’ve responded to mutual aid requests for storm response and drinking water restoration, locally, and out of state.Find Out More
Despite an ice storm and a few windstorms in Eugene and the McKenzie Valley in the past few weeks, EWEB has so far fended off widespread weather-caused power outages – largely because of investments in year-round system maintenance and infrastructure improvements.Find Out More
EWEB makes electric mobility available to anyhone though e-bike rebates, car sharing and grants for local organizations with electric mobility projects.Find Out More
Energy Efficiency tips to help you reduce your energy usage for National Cut your Energy Costs DayFind Out More
Commissioners unanimously voted to approve a Record of Decision endorsing the General Manager's Recommendation to decommission the Leaburg Hydroelectric Project and approved Resolution 2302 directing the GM to develop a Leaburg Hydroelectric Project Decommissioning Action PlanFind Out More
At Alton Baker Park this week, Eugene 4J elementary students bid farewell to baby salmon they’d raised from eggs in their classrooms this fall. The activity was part of the Salmon Education Program funded by EWEB grants.Find Out More
EWEB is developing a plan to ensure that Eugene has a sufficient supply of reliable, affordable and clean electricity in the decades ahead, and is inviting the community to participate in the process.Find Out More
EWEB has joined 10 other Western utilities are to help ensure clean energy resources will be adequate to serve the growing demand in the region, while also managing costs and maintaining reliability for customers.Find Out More
For their final meeting of 2022, on Dec. 6, the EWEB Board of Commissioners grappled with some major decisions and looked ahead to a new year.Find Out More
Commissioners supportive of General Manager's recommendation to remove Leaburg DamFind Out More
In the years ahead, EWEB will have to make a lot of decisions about where to get the electricity that we deliver to customers.Find Out More
On a chilly November day, third graders from Adams Elementary School in Eugene learned about the lifecycle of native salmon on a field trip to Lake Creek near Triangle Lake. The field trips take place all month as part of a program funded by EWEB grants. EWEB dedicates a portion of customer rates to inspiring kids to explore the wonders of science and learn about watershed health, water quality, and emergency preparedness.Find Out More
For EWEB, preparing for harsh winter storms is a year-round responsibility. While we can’t control the weather, we can make our electric infrastructure more resilient to withstand storms that bring snow, ice and wind to Eugene.Find Out More
There’s no obvious right answer to the question of what to do about the Leaburg dam and canal. EWEB’s Board of Commissioners met this week for a work session with staff about the project.Find Out More
October 08, 2020
A team of Pacific Northwest public and private organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the development of what would be one of the largest renewable hydrogen production facilities in North America.
The partners in the hydrogen production and carbon-reduction initiative include EWEB, NW Natural and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.
"We're very excited to be part of this unique and innovative partnership that looks at energy issues holistically and includes organizations across the energy spectrum with complementary interests," said Frank Lawson, general manager at EWEB. "This is a good example of another step we can take to explore and develop sustainable and practical climate solutions for our region."
The hydrogen production facility will demonstrate how renewable and low-carbon electricity can be transformed into "green" hydrogen, through a process called "power-to-gas" and used to decarbonize the region's space heating and transportation sectors. Plans include the potential for a facility in Eugene that could range in size from 2 megawatts up to 10 megawatts.
Power-to-gas produces hydrogen from water by running electricity through a piece of equipment called an "electrolyzer." The device separates water (H2O) into hydrogen and oxygen that are then captured for storage and use. Using electricity sourced from hydro, wind, solar or other low-carbon sources, this process creates a renewable form of hydrogen ("green" hydrogen.)
Today, most hydrogen for industrial uses is made using fossil fuels through the steam reformation process. This project will instead look to renewable zero-emissions production sources.
Green hydrogen will be critical to the long-term decarbonization of the world's energy systems, including transportation, heating, manufacturing and other processes. It's the most versatile energy source available. The team also recognizes these opportunities in other sectors, like buses using fuel-cells, and are looking for additional partners to work with on the potential development.
Hydrogen can be blended with natural gas in small amounts (less than 10%) for delivery and used in existing appliances and equipment. It can also be combined with carbon dioxide to make a form of renewable natural gas through a process called methanation that can then be stored or delivered along with or in place of conventional natural gas supplies.
"By combining new technologies with renewables developed for the pipeline network and lower use through energy efficiency, we see no technical barrier to a carbon-neutral natural gas system. It's a strategy already emerging in Europe, and it's our vision forward," said David Anderson, NW Natural president and CEO.
The group will look to recreate existing models of successful power-to-gas installations, which can be found in Europe, South Korea and elsewhere. It will also explore the utilization of some of the hydrogen directly in fuel cells for backup electricity generation.
"In addition to helping the region reach its carbon-reduction goals with this project, fuel cell technology would allow us to keep our backup systems operating for several weeks, well beyond the range of diesel generators in the event of a regional emergency that affected the electric grid," EWEB's Lawson said. "These fuel cells can be used to both 'black start' power plants following a major disruption and provide stability for local power grids."
With the growth of wind and solar generation, on top of existing hydroelectric generation, there is periodically an abundance of renewable electricity available in the Pacific Northwest throughout the year. By converting some of this excess electricity into hydrogen through the power-to-gas method, utilities can store the hydrogen for months or even years.
"Now that wind and solar are the cheapest sources of new electricity, renewably produced hydrogen can couple a clean electricity system to other hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as transportation, fertilizer production, and steel refining," said Evan Ramsey, senior director of the Renewable Energy Group at Bonneville Environmental Foundation.