Sustainable Economic Growth Rooted in Transparency
In the second blog post of our three-part series, we focus on how renewable energy boosts economic development, creates local jobs and strengthens communities across the United States. Catch up on the first blog post in our series, Making Earth Day a 365 Mindset. Explore our 2018 sustainability report to learn how we’re taking steps each day to work toward a better tomorrow, together.
As a leading diversified energy company, AVANGRID strongly supports economic development and community revitalization. We’ve seen firsthand how investing in communities can play an important role in upgrading infrastructure on a local level while creating jobs and jump-starting economic growth.
Strengthening community infrastructures
Since 2010, New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) have provided more than $90 million in economic development assistance to support more than 450 projects, leveraging more than $4.4 billion in private sector and capital investments in New York state. And the momentum continues.
Fast-forward to 2018, when Avangrid Networks announced a plan to invest in hardening and modernizing the New York and New England power grids to help minimize the impact of future storms. From more aggressive ground-to-sky tree trimming to targeted distribution circuit upgrades on the energy grid that serves homes and businesses, the plan better positions communities to protect their infrastructure against storm damage. A key component to the plan includes our full implementation of an Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) to help identify issues in real time, enabling faster response times.
All told, AVANGRID anticipates investing about $2.5 billion over the next 10 years on the project. This includes an existing $500 million proposal in New York for the full roll out of AMI by NYSEG and RG&E.
Colocating wind and solar benefits local economy
In 2018, the 10 MW Wy’East solar project in Sherman County, Oregon, began commercial operation, marking the first time that Avangrid Renewables co-located solar and wind facilities on the same land parcel.
The project features more than 38,000 solar panels on fewer than 100 acres, built on the same land as the 242 turbines in our Klondike Wind Farm complex. The construction effort put more than 120 workers on the job and injected nearly half a million dollars into the local economy.
Co-locating complementary technologies, like wind and solar, may provide a glimpse of the future, and continuous energy generation provides more economic and environmental benefits than having either technology working alone.
Investing in communities: The Avangrid Foundation
Across the nation, AVANGRID and our employees (including the Avangrid Foundation) made nearly $4.5 million in contributions to hundreds of organizations, schools, universities and municipalities in 2018, including the following:
Good Shepherd Food Bank: A $100,000 Avangrid Foundation grant is supporting the construction of Good Shepherd Food Bank’s new distribution center in Augusta, Maine.
Maine Community Colleges: A $250,000 grant from the Avangrid Foundation contributed in $50,000 increments over the past five years, helped fund the $1.39 million renovation of a new classroom space for the KVCC Electrical Lineworker Technology program.
Johnson Oak Park: The Avangrid Foundation, in partnership with United Illuminating and Southern Connecticut Gas, donated $50,000 to support the reimagining of Johnson Oak Park in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Connecticut Food Bank: The Avangrid Foundation announced a $25,000 grant to support the Connecticut Food Bank, whose network of more than 650 community-based food assistance programs serve an average of 148,000 people each month in Orange, Connecticut.
Single Stop at Monroe Community College (MCC): An Avangrid Foundation and RG&E investment of $250,000 enabled MCC to partner with Single Stop USA, a national nonprofit agency that helps people access free or low-cost resources and services through a single office located at MCC’s Downtown Campus in Rochester, New York.
Looking ahead: Sustainable economic growth is rooted in transparency
At AVANGRID, we believe in working together to deliver a more accessible clean energy model that promotes healthier, more sustainable communities every day. We’ve seen how doing so ethically and transparently can create jobs and boost local economies.
In 2019, we were honored to be recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute, a leading international organization that defines and advances standards for ethical business practices. The award recognized 128 companies for exemplifying and advancing corporate citizenship, transparency and the standards of integrity.
We were also honored to receive the 2019 Best Corporate Governance, USA award from World Finance magazine, an international publication directed at finance professionals and investors. The award recognized companies with a proven track record of excellence in governance, transparency and inclusivity.
AVANGRID takes seriously our responsibility to be good stewards of the natural, social and economic resources that we will rely on for years to come. We are confident that our clear focus on doing the right thing, in the right way, for the right reasons will drive us toward our goal of being ranked among the best in class in our industry while delivering a smarter, cleaner and more sustainable energy future.
Read our 2018 sustainability report and check out the next blog post in our three-part series to learn how we recruit and develop our talented workforce.