Electric Outage: 1-844-484-2300
Water Emergency: 541-685-7595
EWEB Main: 541-685-7000
The Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) is expanding its capacity to provide water to customers in case of an emergency.Find Out More
To maintain the reliability customers have come to know and trust, EWEB must address an aging infrastructure bubble.Find Out More
For the past year, EWEB’s electric division has been preparing for a complete reconstruction of the Currin substation. Quite simply, it’s reached the end of its useful life.Find Out More
With cold and icy weather forecasted for the next several days, we want to share some tips on how to heat your home while still conserving energy. We also have tips on how to stay warm if there is a power outage at your home.Find Out More
In January, our elected Board of Commissioners approved an agreement for EWEB to make an unprecedented bulk purchase of substation transformers.Find Out More
An EWEB-supported program provides firewood for people affected by the 2020 Holiday Farm Fire. The McKenzie Firewood program was developed by Pure Water Partners (PWP) in 2021.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
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
In response to a call for aid this week, EWEB’s water division jumped into action to assist the town of Mapleton after a leak in their water system left about 260 homes without running water.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
August 28, 2019
EWEB is interested in renewable hydrogen because of its potential to help decarbonize energy sectors and provide resiliency in the event of a large-scale disaster in the Northwest. Earlier this month, the utility hosted a Hydrogen Roundtable that was organized by Congressman Peter DeFazio's office. The event showcased a Hydrostar solar-power electrolyzer and a Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell passenger vehicle.
In spring time here in the Pacific Northwest, we often find ourselves with an oversupply of low cost, carbon-free hydro and wind energy. With no market for the energy, power generators are turned off, resulting in a lost opportunity for carbon-free energy, and hurting the economics of these green projects.
At other times of the year, typically mid-winter for heating loads and late summer for cooling loads, energy demand exceeds supply and generators run at capacity. Sometimes even that isn't enough, and utilities like EWEB import electricity into our region, largely from coal and other carbon-intensive resources located to our east. Most of EWEB's electricity-linked carbon footprint comes from purchases made by Bonneville Power Administration during these periods.
In order to decarbonize the energy sector and address the climate crisis, utilities need a way to capture excess energy and save it for when it's needed. While solar and battery storage systems are great for short-term daily cycles, deep decarbonization requires long-term energy storage that can bridge across the seasons, and function in different energy sectors, such as transportation.
Enter renewable hydrogen.
Using excess renewable power generated when wind, water and solar are plentiful, electrolyzers split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen produced from this process can be stored for future use, to help address the winter heating or summer cooling peaks, when capacity might be an issue, and it can be turned back into electricity if needed. It can also be used in the natural gas system, as a transportation fuel and as industrial feedstock for making fertilizer.
There are additional benefits to renewable hydrogen from a resiliency standpoint. Following a large scale regional disaster, the Southern Willamette valley might find itself isolated and on its own for a period of weeks or even months. Renewable hydrogen fuel cells can operate water pump stations and emergency drinking water wells. And because fuel cells are roughly twice as efficient as internal combustion engines, they can operate for significantly longer periods without refueling, compared to standard emergency generators.
The green hydrogen market is still in its infancy, especially in the Northwest. While hydrogen vehicle fueling stations can be found in California and in British Columbia, there are none in the area between. But EWEB is participating in renewable hydrogen discussions and partnerships because we see both the need and the potential.
In 2018, EWEB joined the Renewable Hydrogen Alliance as a founding member to further explore and facilitate opportunities for the advancement of hydrogen's development as an alternative fuel. EWEB is now one of eight utility members in RHA, with the others being Douglas County PUD, Fortis BC, Klickitat County PUD, Northwest Natural, Tacoma Power, Puget Sound Energy, and Portland General. EWEB plans to continue hydrogen development discussions with others in the region as the technology matures.
If you are interested in learning more about renewable hydrogen and its potential uses here in the Pacific Northwest, listen to a recording of the Aug. 1 Hydrogen Roundtable. The roundtable, which kicked off with remarks by General Manager Frank Lawson and Congressman DeFazio, included speakers from EWEB, Northwest Natural Gas, Oregon State University, the Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities Coalition, Toyota and the Renewable Hydrogen Association (RHA).
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Mailing Address: 4200 Roosevelt Blvd., Eugene, OR 97402
Toll free: 800-841-5871
Customer service phone hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday