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10/10/2019

AVANGRID Hosts Innovation Forum, Offering Glimpse into Sustainable Energy Future

AVANGRID Hosts Innovation Forum, Offering Glimpse into Sustainable Energy Future

 

AVANGRID Hosts Innovation Forum, Offering Glimpse into Sustainable Energy Future
Event features U.N. Foundation climate expert,
N.Y. ‘Energy Czar’ and scholars from top research universities

 

 

ORANGE, Conn. — Oct. 10, 2019 — Innovative minds from the energy sector, academia and non-governmental organizations showcased efforts to harness innovation to support sustainability Thursday at the third annual AVANGRID Innovation Forum.

The forum, titled “Innovation for Sustainable Development,” featured keynote addresses from national climate and energy leaders, and provided a showcase for AVANGRID employees’ innovations. It culminated in the company’s annual Innovation Challenge, in which employees teamed up with students from top universities to research and develop technologies aligned with AVANGRID’s purpose, which is to work together to deliver a more accessible clean energy model that promotes healthier, more sustainable communities every day.

“Today is about celebrating the great things AVANGRID is doing to build and enable the clean, smart grid of the future,” AVANGRID Chief Executive Officer Jim Torgerson said at the event, held at the company’s headquarters. “We’re also here to look beyond what we are doing today and spark ideas about what is possible if we think and work differently.”

AVANGRID is a diversified clean energy company and the nation’s third-largest wind power producer.

The keynote speakers, leaders of the global effort to fight climate change, included Reid Detchon, Senior Advisor for Climate Solutions at the United Nations Foundation, and Richard Kauffman, New York State’s first “Energy Czar” and Chairman of the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority.

Detchon detailed the importance of private-sector engagement against global climate change.

“The pace of innovation continues to gain speed, and the global political context is shifting dramatically,” Detchon said, addressing an audience that included top executives from AVANGRID and its global partner, Iberdrola, S.A., which is the world’s No. 1 producer of wind power and one of the biggest electricity utilities by market capitalization.

“Human ingenuity, coupled with the power of markets, can help the world achieve a zero carbon future by 2050,” Detchon said.

Kauffman, a key visionary of New York’s bold Reforming the Energy Vision program, spoke about ways to spur innovation in the utility sector to serve the needs of a modern grid.

AVANGRID showcased its own latest energy-sector innovations, including its collaboration with the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale University to create an open-source platform that uses distributed ledger technology (blockchain) and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to track the production and use of renewable energy credits against institutional climate goals.

During the event, AVANGRID and Yale signed a three-year agreement that will give the university’s world-class researchers an industry partner that is a leader in the clean energy sector, while providing AVANGRID access to the brightest minds in environmental and energy policy.  AVANGRID, which owns regulated utilities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New York in addition to its nationwide renewable energy business, partners with top universities, such as MIT and now Yale, to amplify its innovation efforts.

Thursday’s Innovation Forum was the culmination of a six-month research and development competition where five teams of AVANGRID employees teamed up with students from Cornell University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Connecticut and Yale to propose sustainable solutions for some of the energy sector’s biggest challenges.

The winner of this year’s “A Better Energy Future” Innovation Challenge developed an innovative design to control the power grid that maximizes the utilization of renewable resources while improving system reliability at lower costs. The control methodology can be deployed to manage power flows between renewable resources, battery storage and normal grid operation.

Members of the winning team were AVANGRID’s Devang Patel, Jim Mader and Mark Waclawiak, and Cornell University’s Shikhar Prakash and Tumani Edwards. Prakash credited his team’s win to a talented group that applied itself to both the business and technical aspects of the project. “I feel so proud — super-excited,” Prakash said.

The students below also participated in the Better Energy Future Innovation Challenge.

Winners receive a cash prize, as well as tuition assistance for 2019:

  • Harvard University: Milan Bhandari, Charles Hua, Keshav Rastogi
  • MIT: Janak Agrawal, Talha Faiz
  • UCONN: Himaja Nagireddy, Feifei Yang
  • Yale University: Martin Cilloniz, Marc Potin

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About AVANGRID: AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) is a leading, sustainable energy company with approximately $33 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states. With headquarters in Orange, Connecticut, AVANGRID has two primary lines of business: Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks owns eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving 3.2 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables owns and operates 7.2 gigawatts of electricity capacity, primarily through wind power, with a presence in 22 states across the United States. AVANGRID employs approximately 6,500 people. AVANGRID supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the
World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2019 by the Ethisphere Institute. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.

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About Avangrid

About Avangrid: Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) aspires to be the leading sustainable energy company in the United States. Headquartered in Orange, CT with approximately $44 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, Avangrid has two primary lines of business: networks and renewables. Through its networks business, Avangrid owns and operates eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Through its renewables business, Avangrid owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. Avangrid employs approximately 8,000 people and has been recognized by JUST Capital in 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 as one of the JUST 100 companies – a ranking of America’s best corporate citizens. In 2024, Avangrid ranked first among utilities and 12 overall. The company supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2024 for the sixth consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute. Avangrid is a member of the group of companies controlled by Iberdrola, S.A. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.

 

About Iberdrola: Iberdrola is one of the world's biggest energy companies and a leader in renewables, spearheading the energy transition to a low carbon economy. The group supplies energy to almost 100 million people in dozens of countries. With a focus on renewable energy, smart networks and smart solutions for customers, Iberdrola’s main markets include Europe (Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy and Greece), the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. The company is also present in growth markets such as Japan, Taiwan, Ireland, Sweden and Poland, among others.

With a workforce of nearly 40,000 and assets in excess of €141.7 billion, across the world, Iberdrola helps to support 400,000 jobs across its supply chain, with annual procurement of €12.2 billion. A benchmark in the fight against climate change, Iberdrola has invested more than €130 billion over the past two decades to help build a sustainable energy model, based on sound environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.

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