The United States Department of Energy has awarded $11.8 million to a consortium, which includes Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), to develop California’s first full-scale direct air capture and storage network of regional hubs in Kern County. The California Direct Air Capture hub is among only five projects nationwide to be selected for funding to design a carbon capture hub project under the department’s $3.5 billion Direct Air Capture Hubs program.
"This is an important step in our efforts to help California decarbonize and reach net-zero goals. California's transition to net zero will require a broad portfolio of diverse energy sources and decarbonization tools to reduce emissions, including carbon management," said SoCalGas President Maryam Brown. "This project could reduce one million metric tons of carbon dioxide directly from the air each year and aid in a more equitable energy transition. Our research has shown that carbon management, when combined with electrification and clean fuels, delivers the most affordable, resilient, and technologically proven path to full carbon neutrality."
The California Direct Air Capture hub’s consortium consists of nearly 40 organizations across multiple industries, communities, tribes, and national labs, and SoCalGas will play an integral role by advancing a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study to transport carbon captured from the air to permanent carbon storage facilities in the region.
The hub is predicted to remove more than one million metric tons of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to removing 220,000 gas-powered vehicles off the road each year. According to the DOE, the hub will also remove other air pollutants such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and sulphur oxides.