Photo: Illustration only / Courtesy of US DOE

American Southeast utility majors form hydrogen hub coalition

Several major utility companies have formed a coalition that plans to pursue federal financial support for a Southeast Hydrogen Hub, responding to the recently announced $8 billion funding opportunity from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The coalition includes Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Louisville Gas & Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company (LG&E and KU), Southern Company and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), along with Battelle and others.

Other members of the Southeast Hydrogen Hub coalition will include a growing list of hydrogen users from a variety of industries in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The coalition said it expects its membership to grow as news of the opportunity spreads and as interest in hydrogen intensifies.

A hydrogen hub in the Southeastern US is expected to bring robust economic development benefits to the region, and hydrogen is seen as an attractive energy resource because it has immediate potential to accelerate decarbonisation in the Southeast and across all sectors of the US economy – including transportation, which is said to generate the largest share of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the country.

The coalition intends to focus on developing scalable, integrated projects at key locations across the entire Southeast in support of the carbon-reduction goals and encourage the broad-based development of a regional energy ecosystem that will allow members to deploy hydrogen as a decarbonisation solution for customers and communities.

“Hydrogen will play an important role in our region’s clean energy transition and Dominion Energy’s path to net-zero emissions”, said Mark Webb, Chief Innovation Officer of Dominion Energy.

“From electricity and home heating to transportation and manufacturing, hydrogen will bring jobs, investment and clean energy to every sector of the Southeast US economy. We’re excited to partner with all the members of the Southeast Hydrogen Hub coalition to deliver on this promise for our customers and the communities we serve.”

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Back in September, the U.S. DOE opened applications for the $7 billion program to create regional clean hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs) across the country, as part of a larger $8 billion hydrogen hub program funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The H2Hubs are said to be one of the largest investments in DOE history.