Skip to main content

Greenville Business Magazine

The Business Narrative: Hydrogen Coalition

Nov 07, 2022 01:03PM ● By David Dykes

Major Southeast Utilities Establish Hydrogen Hub Coalition

 A newly formed coalition including major utility companies 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, announced its plan to pursue federal financial support for a Southeast Hydrogen Hub.

The coalition will respond to the recently announced funding opportunity from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which includes $8 billion for regional hydrogen hubs and is part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

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

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

Hydrogen also is a dispatchable energy source, meaning it can be turned on or off as needed, enabling power companies to add more intermittent renewable resources to the energy system.

Hydrogen may be poised to play a major role in addressing climate change and could be essential for each coalition member to meet its stated carbon-reduction goals:

Dominion Energy: Achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across Scopes 1, 2 and 3 for all electric and natural gas operations by 2050.

Duke Energy: Achieve net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050. The company has interim carbon emissions targets of at least 50 percent reduction from electric generation by 2030 and 80 percent reduction by 2040.

Louisville Gas and Electric Company & Kentucky Utilities Company: Along with parent company, PPL, LG&E and KU has set a goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, with interim reduction targets of 70 peercent from 2010 levels by 2035 and 80 percent by 2040.

Southern Company: Achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across electric and natural gas operations by 2050.

TVA: Achieve 70 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and approximately 80 percent carbon reduction by 2035. Aspire to net-zero by 2050.

By working together, the coalition said it can focus on developing scalable, integrated projects at key locations across the entire Southeast in support of these carbon-reduction goals and encourage the broad-based development of a regional energy ecosystem that will allow members to deploy hydrogen as a decarbonization 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 U.S. 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.”

“Duke Energy is excited to work with our peers to explore this funding opportunity, which is vital to our industry-leading clean energy transformation for our customers and our communities,” said Swati Daji, Duke Energy senior vice president of enterprise strategy and planning.

“A Southeast hydrogen hub will provide economic and workforce-development benefits that will extend well beyond the timeline for these projects. We are pleased to have Battelle’s leadership and experience on our side as we work together with the coalition to make this hub a reality.”

“Southern Company views hydrogen as a powerful opportunity to provide an energy system that is abundant, affordable, reliable and resilient in a net-zero future,” said Chris Cummiskey, executive vice president, chief commercial officer and customer solutions officer, Southern Company.

“With the nation’s leading utilities forming a solid, customer-centered foundation, the Southeast Hydrogen Hub promises to become a new catalyst for economic development and growth, while bringing broad, economywide decarbonization to the customers and communities we serve.”

Comporium Expands Fiber Network Around Woodford, SC

Hundreds of residents in and around the town of Woodford now have access to reliable broadband.

Comporium’s construction crews have been working near this northern Orangeburg County town to extend the company’s fiber-optic network.

The project, combined with a similar expansion in 2020, makes high-speed internet available at speeds up to 1 gigabit per second to approximately 300 addresses in the rural community.

Comporium also established free public wi-fi access at the Woodford Community Center and the North Town Pavilion.

“Comporium started expanding our network throughout this area in 2020 in order to provide modern services to this economically challenged region,” said Ben Spearman, Comporium’s vice president of Midlands and External Affairs.

“Working with local, county and state leaders, such as Rep. Jim Clyburn, we were able to identify a need in Woodford. Partnering with the State of South Carolina made it possible for us to bridge the digital divide in this community and deliver greater access to its citizens.”

Comporium said it continues to work with state and federal agencies to find ways to supply service to rural customers.

The company upgraded its network in those areas with the help of a Rural Broadband Grant. Comporium obtained the grant, made possible through funding from the South Carolina Department of Commerce, by working with the South Carolina Broadband Office within the Office of Regulatory Staff.

Through combining private investment with the State’s funding, Comporium said it has been able to make service available to more than 1,650 addresses in South Carolina this year.

Earlier in 2022, the company completed a similar network expansion around the town of North, S.C.

Over the past two years Comporium has expanded services within Lexington, Orangeburg, and Saluda counties.

Southern Tide Announces Sponsorship Deal with PGA TOUR Rookie Kevin Roy

Greenville, S.C.-based Southern Tide announced a new sponsorship deal with emerging PGA TOUR Rookie, Kevin Roy, as his official on- and off-the-course apparel partner.

After much success on the Korn Ferry Tour, Roy enters his first year on the PGA TOUR sporting Southern Tide’s signature Skipjack logo on the left chest on all on-course polos and pullovers.

Roy becomes Southern Tide’s first PGA TOUR-sponsored golfer.

Synovus Names New BSA/AML Director

Synovus Financial Corp (NYSE: SNV) announced the hiring of Stephanie Wise as Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering executive director, effective Oct. 31, 2022.

Wise reports to Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer Shellie Creson and is based in Atlanta, Ga.

She is tasked with oversight of Synovus’ enterprise-wide operations related to compliance with financial crimes regulations – BSA, AML, and Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions.

Wise has more than 20 years of financial industry and financial crimes compliance experience. She joins Synovus from Walmart, where she served as director of global financial services compliance analytics since February 2021.

Prior to Walmart, Wise held several leadership roles at SunTrust and Truist, including senior vice president and senior manager of financial crimes innovation, strategy, and analytics and senior manager of AML policy and operational execution management.

Wise is a graduate of Georgia State University and holds a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist designation from the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists.

Synovus Financial Corp. is a financial services company based in Columbus, Ga., with approximately $59 billion in assets.

Synovus provides commercial and consumer banking and a full suite of specialized products and services, including private banking, treasury management, wealth management, mortgage services, premium finance, asset-based lending, structured lending, capital markets and international banking.

Synovus has branches in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee.

Allow us to tell your company's Business Narrative. Send your press release to David Dykes or for more information email [email protected]