Major Southeast utilities form hydrogen alliance

Major utility firms will be a part of a newly formed alliance that will look for federal funding for a Southeast Hydrogen Hub.

Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Louisville Gas & Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company (LG&E and KU), Southern Company, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Battelle, and other energy companies are members of the coalition. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently offered a financing opportunity that includes $8 billion for regional hydrogen hubs as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The alliance will react to this opportunity (IIJA).

A growing number of hydrogen consumers from different industries in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee will also be part of the Southeast Hydrogen Hub partnership. The alliance anticipates that as word of the opportunity spreads and as interest in hydrogen increases, so will the number of its members.

A hydrogen hub in the Southeast of the United States is anticipated to have a significant positive impact on the region’s economy. Hydrogen is appealing as an energy source because it has the immediate potential to speed up the decarbonization of the Southeast and of all U.S. economic sectors, including transportation, which accounts for the largest proportion of GHG emissions in the nation.

In addition, hydrogen is a dispatchable energy source, which allows power providers to integrate more erratic renewable resources into the energy system. Each coalition member may need hydrogen to achieve its declared carbon-reduction goals if it is to succeed in combating climate change.

By 2050, Dominion Energy’s all electric and natural gas activities must have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across Scopes 1, 2, and 3. Reaching net-zero carbon emissions from power generation by 2050 is a goal of Duke Energy. The business has set interim goals for reducing carbon emissions from electric generating by at least 50% by 2030 and 80% by 2040.

Together with their parent company, PPL, Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company (LG&E and KU) have set a goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. The companies have also established interim reduction targets of 70% from 2010 levels by the year 2035 and 80% by the year 2040. By 2050, Southern Company’s electric and natural gas activities must have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

TVA plans to achieve a 70% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and an about 80% decrease by 2035. Aim for net-zero status is by 2050.

Together, the coalition can concentrate on creating scalable, integrated projects at strategic locations throughout the Southeast to help achieve these carbon-reduction objectives. Additionally, the coalition can support the broad creation of a regional energy ecosystem, which will enable its members to use hydrogen as a decarbonization tool for customers and communities.

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