Six Major Electric Utilities Join Forces to Pursue a Southeastern Hydrogen Hub

Marking intent interest from the power sector in hydrogen’s decarbonization potential, six major utilities**—**Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Louisville Gas & Electric Co. (LG&E), Kentucky Utilities Co. (KU), Southern Co., and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)—have announced they will jointly pursue federal financial support for a Southeast Hydrogen Hub.

The utilities, along with Battelle, an independent nonprofit applied science and technology organization that manages nine national laboratories, have formed a new coalition that will respond to the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) $8 billion hydrogen hub program funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

The coalition said it expects a “growing list” of hydrogen users from a variety of industries in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. “The coalition expects its membership to grow as news of the opportunity spreads and as interest in hydrogen intensifies,” it said.

Marked Utility Interest in Hydrogen

Interest from the utilities—some of the largest in the U.S.—in the hub is a marked endorsement for hydrogen as a versatile energy carrier. Hydrogen is now being widely championed as critical to decarbonization for its potential to be transported, stored, combusted, or used as a feedstock.

According to a recent report from the Brussels-based Hydrogen Council, hydrogen will be needed across several sectors to achieve carbon neutrality. The council anticipates a demand exceeding 660 million tons (MT) by 2050. It said in October that more than 680 large-scale hydrogen project proposals have been announced, totaling $240 billion in direct investment between now and 2030—an increase of 50% since November 2021 alone—though only 10% (about $22 billion) have reached final investment decision.