Duke Energy is exploring the use of hydrogen at its plants to meet future state mandates for net-zero carbon emissions. It's part of a study that's taking place at Clemson University.

The pilot project is called H2-Orange.

Siemens Energy is also part of the collaboration. The company is the technology developer behind Duke Energy's latest natural gas plants.

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Siemens a $200,000 grant for the research initiative.

The study is underway at a Duke Energy power plant on the Clemson University campus. It includes research on multiple forms of hydrogen production, such as green hydrogen, which is created from water and has no by-products. It is also looking at hydrogen storage capabilities and pairing it with natural gas.

Company spokesman Bill Norton says Duke Energy's newer facilities are already hydrogen capable.

“We are going to continue evaluating that and use the research happening down there to see if there are ways to make that happen on a larger scale,” says Norton.

Norton says all of this could help Duke Energy meet a long-term net-zero carbon goal by 2050 in accordance with North Carolina's recent clean energy legislation

Last October, Gov. Cooper signed North Carolina's new clean energy legislation, The bipartisan law requires the state utilities commission to take steps needed to achieve a 70 percent carbon reduction from public utilities by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050.

Duke Energy says it just wrapped up public input sessions on its proposed clean energy plan. The company has until mid-May to file it with the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

Siemens Energy and Clemson University also have plans to reach net-zero carbon goals by 2030.

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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