A New Generation of Energy | #BeatAirPollution
By: Doug Stuver, AVANGRID CFO
Tomorrow is World Environment Day, a day dedicated to raising worldwide awareness and encouraging action to protect the environment. Beginning in 1974, the event is celebrated in over 100 countries with each year representing a different theme. The 2019 theme is Beat Air Pollution and I’m particularly passionate about this theme because it is directly related to energy availability and consumption. I’ve been in the energy industry for over 25 years and am proud to be part of a company with such a strong commitment to the environment.
As a leader in renewable energy, we are committed to investing in innovative and sustainable energy solutions for our customers. Demand for clean energy goes beyond business opportunity; we have a deeply held belief that renewables are a critical component to ensuring a secure energy future. In fact, on May 14, we priced a $750 million green bond to fund renewable energy projects.
What exactly is a green bond?
Green bond proceeds are specifically earmarked for funding projects that have positive environmental and/or climate benefits. Green bonds aren’t a fad and they’re making a real impact on our world. In fact, according to Moody’s, $47.2 billion of green bonds were issued in Q1 2019—a staggering 40% increase over Q1 in 2018. At AVANGRID, the proceeds of our green bonds are intended to fund wind and solar generation projects. They are also used to fund transmission and distribution networks projects that serve the purpose of facilitating renewable energy or reducing energy usage. Meaning, they connect renewable energy sources or reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the installation of equipment that will improve system efficiency or energy use management.
Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, is the third-largest U.S. wind producer, owning and operating 6.6 gigawatts (GW) of wind and solar generation. With an owned capacity that is 89% emissions-free, the energy delivered from our renewable energy facilities has allowed customers to avoid 12 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to removing approximately 2.55 million cars from the road annually. In 2016, we became the first U.S. utility to set a goal for carbon-neutrality, pledging to reduce emissions intensity from power plants 25% by 2020, and to be carbon neutral by 2035.
I hope you’ll join me today in celebrating World Environment Day #BeatAirPollution. Learn more about our commitment to sustainability by checking out our 2018 Sustainability Report: A New Generation of Energy. If you’d like to learn more about AVANGRID’s green bonds, click here.
AVANGRID is dedicated to support of related U.N. Sustainable Development Goals including: