SUper eMitters of Methane Detection Using Aircraft, Towers, and Intensive Observational Network (SUMMATION)

Conducting a comprehensive field study to identify and mitigate methane emissions in the southern San Joaquin Valley

Project Overview

Recipient: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Program: Natural Gas

Award Amount: $6,000,000

Co-funded Amount: $1,980,970

Agreement Number: PIR-17-015

Project Term: 5/17/2018 - 3/31/2022

Project Status: Active

Recipient Location:  Berkeley, CA

Site Location(s):  Bakersfield, CA; Tupman, CA

The Issue

Multiple atmospheric studies have identified a significant underestimation of methane emissions reported by greenhouse gas inventories. These regional and local uncertainties present barriers to accurate methane accounting and cost-effective mitigation. Other studies show that the methane footprints of the natural gas supply chain are dominated by a small number of super-emitters; in many cases, 1-10 percent of potential sources contribute more than half the emissions. Existing measurement systems in the southern San Joaquin Valley cannot apportion emissions between sectors or provide information with the space-time resolution and timeliness needed for mitigation guidance for super-emitters.

Project Innovation

The project SUMMATION establishes persistent regional-scale methane (CH4) emissions monitoring, conducts high spatial resolution remote sensing of point source detection and quantification, organizes intensive field campaigns including low-cost sensors assessment, and brings together and analyzes a large data set for the southern San Joaquin Valley.

Project Benefits

This project is directly responsive to the directive in Assembly Bill 1496 to improve the monitoring and measurement of CH4 emissions, particularly high-emission CH4 hot spots, using the best available and cost-effective methods. Facilitating an end-to-end multi-scale and scalable approach for CH4 monitoring can identify cost-effective investments in natural gas infrastructure and in natural gas IOUs' monitoring programs. This will effectively lower the cost and risk for maintenance crews, in addition to sheltering ratepayers from unnecessary monitoring and measurement costs, resource losses, and damages from associated smog forming compounds, hazardous air pollutants, and climate impacts from greenhouse gas emissions.

Greater Reliability: Identifying methane super-emitters will shorten the time needed to mitigate and fix the leaks and result in the improved resilience of California's natural gas system.

Increase Safety: Early detection and mitigation of methane emissions could reduce risk of catastrophic events such as pipeline explosions.

Environmental Benefits: Early detection of methane fugitive emissions will shorten time needed to fix the largest leaks and, hence, reduce the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Public Health: Detection and mitigation of methane emissions will protect the public from long-term exposure to gases and odorants contained in natural gas delivered by California's Investor Owned Utilities.

Energy Security: Early detection of gas leakage could prevent potential disruptions to California's natural gas system caused by pipeline shutdowns, and hence interruptions of natural gas fired electricity plants.




Project Overview

Recipient: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Program: Natural Gas

Award Amount: $6,000,000

Co-funded Amount: $1,980,970

Agreement Number: PIR-17-015

Project Term: 5/17/2018 - 3/31/2022

Project Status: Active

Recipient Location:  Berkeley, CA

Site Location(s):  Bakersfield, CA; Tupman, CA

Project Team

CEC Project Manager: Susan Wilhelm

Recipient Contact: Sebastien Biraud

Match Partner(s): Leland Stanford Junior University; University of California, Riverside; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Subcontractor(s): Leland Stanford Junior University; University of California, Riverside ; Central California Asthma Collaborative


 

 

For questions or additional information, please email RandDProjectinfo@energy.ca.gov

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