Reflecting its goal of achieving net zero operations while providing customers and communities with affordable, reliable and resilient energy, Southern Company today announced it has joined the Hydrogen Council, a global CEO-led coalition of companies with a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the clean energy transition.
The Council believes hydrogen will play a key role in reaching global decarbonization goals by helping to diversify energy sources, foster business and technological innovation as drivers for long-term economic growth and decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors. Its members include 134 companies from across the world, including utilities, chemicals producers, energy companies, engineers, automotive companies and investors.
“Southern Company is embracing the role of hydrogen as a potentially powerful solution to holistically serve the needs of customers while providing a resilient energy system and driving growth in a decarbonized energy economy,” said Chris Cummiskey, executive vice president and chief commercial and customer solutions officer for Southern Company. “We look forward to engaging with the Hydrogen Council to explore the opportunities for hydrogen to simultaneously serve customers and deeply decarbonize Southern Company system operations.”
Southern Company’s industry-leading research and development (R&D) organization is actively engaged domestically and internationally in a portfolio of projects focused on low-carbon hydrogen production, power generation, delivery, transportation, infrastructure and energy storage. The company leads numerous research demonstrations with the U.S. Department of Energy and its national laboratories covering the full value chain of a hydrogen economy, including development of a national road map for deployment of hydrogen-based energy.
“Southern Company’s R&D strategy continues to hold decarbonization as a primary focus,” said Dr. Mark S. Berry, Southern Company vice president of R&D. “We believe there is a compelling opportunity for hydrogen technology to deliver a sustainable energy future. Our membership in the Hydrogen Council offers a new avenue to advancing innovative energy solutions that provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy.”
In addition to the Hydrogen Council, Southern Company is an anchor sponsor of the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative, a worldwide R&D collaborative between the Electric Power Research Institute and Gas Technology Institute looking at hydrogen technologies and applications, along with other low-carbon energy carriers. The company also participates in U.S.-based advocacy organizations, including the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association and Clean Hydrogen Future Coalition, and hydrogen-related technical organizations such as the AIChE Center for Hydrogen Safety, National Fuel Cell Research Center and IEA Hydrogen Technology Collaboration Programme.
Additionally, Southern Company subsidiary Southern Company Gas spearheads the HyBlend initiative to address the technical barriers to blending hydrogen into existing natural gas infrastructure, as well as a partnership focused on advancing technology to generate hydrogen from food waste. The goal of the latter project is to help decarbonize the transportation and distributed energy sectors and commercialize this clean, renewable fuel.