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Southern Company joins industry decarbonization effort

Southern Company has signed on as an anchor sponsor of a newly formed low-carbon joint venture launched this week by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Gas Technology Institute (GTI). Named the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative (LCRI), the project is a unique, international collaboration spanning the electric and gas sectors that will help advance global, economywide deep decarbonization.

The goal of the five-year initiative is to accelerate the development and demonstration of low-carbon energy technologies. The LCRI is targeting advancements in low-carbon electric generation technologies and low-carbon energy carriers, such as hydrogen, renewable natural gas and bioenergy.

“Decarbonization is a major focus of Southern Company’s research strategy, and the LCRI will serve as a valuable tool in our efforts,” said Dr. Mark S. Berry, Southern Company vice president of research and development (R&D). “Delivering a decarbonized future will require an influx of advanced technologies, so it’s essential that we leverage collaboration to find and advance those next-generation and transformational solutions.”

With 18 anchor sponsors, the LCRI utilizes the collaborative research model employed by EPRI, GTI and Southern Company, bringing industry stakeholders together with other peer companies to conduct clean energy R&D.

Seeded with $10 million from the EPRI-GTI collaborative, funding for LCRI is expected to be leveraged many times over its $100 million target through public and private collaboration.

For LCRI’s anchor sponsors, the initiative represents a key step toward achieving decarbonization goals over the next 30 years.

Stan Connally, executive vice president of Operations for Southern Company, and Kim Greene, president and CEO of Southern Company Gas, are participating in a virtual roundtable hosted by EPRI and GTI on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, at 1 p.m. ET. They will discuss the importance of hydrogen and other low-carbon resources to achieving substantial, economywide decarbonization. Registration for the roundtable is available here.

In May, Southern Company committed to an enterprise-wide, long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goal across all electric and gas operations of net-zero emissions by 2050. The company also reaffirmed its intermediate goal of a 50% reduction of GHG emissions from 2007 levels by 2030.

Over the past decade, Southern Company has seen a rapid transition of its system’s generation fleet. The Southern Company system’s carbon emissions have decreased by 44% through 2019, and the company now expects to achieve the 50% reduction goal well in advance of 2030, and possibly as early as 2025.

For more than five decades, Southern Company’s R&D organization has been leading industry innovation to deliver more value to customers, while helping the company and industry keep pace with the ever-changing energy landscape. Membership in the LCRI is the latest in a long line of executions around Southern Company’s comprehensive business strategy to reduce GHG emissions.

Learn more about the LCRI at