EWEB Recognized with Excellence in Communications Awards from American Public Power Association
We are proud to have been recognized with two Excellence in Public Power Communications Awards for 2023 from the American Public Power Association (APPA).Find Out More
Let's talk turkey. If a disaster strikes, is your family ready?
Many of us avoid discussing politics over the dinner table in the spirit of family peace and harmony. But here's a topic that can bring everyone together: emergency preparedness.Find Out More
River Road Substation returns to service after infrastructure upgrades
Supply chain shortages and proactive infrastructure investments, including constructing seismic foundations and implementing control modernization, have played a role in the substation's return-to-service timeline.Find Out More
EWEB’s water infrastructure projects designed for reliability during major disasters
As communities nationwide Imagine a Day Without Water, EWEB strives to ensure such a day never happens.Find Out More
Fall is the perfect time to prepare for winter storm season
Winter is coming, which increases the likelihood of storm-related power outages. It's important to be prepared, and there are simple actions you can take right now.Find Out More
EWEB seeks public input on electric vehicle, demand response standards
EWEB is seeking public input on the potential adoption of updated standards for electric vehicles (EVs) and demand response programs. The potential standards are derived from the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, or PURPA.Find Out More
Public Power Week Poster Contest 2023
It’s that time of year again! October 1-7 is Public Power Week. To celebrate, EWEB is holding our annual poster contest for fifth graders in our service area. Help us pick the winners.Find Out More
EWEB programs reflect community values
EWEB is here to serve our customer-owners and provides programs that reflect the values of our community.Find Out More
EWEB Prepares for the Annual Observance of "Imagine a Day Without Water"
Water infrastructure is essential, invaluable, and in need of continuous investment. Read how EWEB's Staff and Board of Commissioners are working to safeguard Eugene's water future.Find Out More
Where is EWEB in planning our future electricity supply?
In August, we reached a milestone: EWEB’s five-member elected Board of Commissioners approved an action plan to guide our energy supply choices for the next 2-3 years. How did we get here?Find Out More
National Preparedness Month: Older adults take control in 1, 2, 3
We know older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the extreme weather events and emergencies we face, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, depend on electricity for medical needs, or live in rural areas.Find Out More
Women in STEM: EWEB Engineer Laura Ohman's second degree brings a lifetime of benefits
EWEB Engineer Laura Ohman shares how getting her second degree was one of the most difficult and rewarding things she's ever accomplished.Find Out More
Planning for a Future of Reliable, Affordable, Environmentally Responsible Energy
The challenges revealed by Eugene Water & Electric Board’s integrated resource planning process mirror those facing the Northwest.Find Out More
Bethel neighbors boost emergency preparedness during Emergency Water Station event
Staff gave out about 300 emergency water containers to enthusiastic community members eager to learn more about the water station.Find Out More
EWEB’s heat driven call to conserve energy yields major savings
EWEB is likely to implement similar, formalized “demand response” programs in the future.Find Out More
- Show More
EWEB Hosts Renewable Hydrogen Roundtable
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).