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05/01/2024

Avangrid’s innovative Condor Conservation Plan contributes to rearing of 12 California Condors

Avangrid’s innovative Condor Conservation Plan contributes to rearing of 12 California Condors

Precedent-setting plan approved in 2021 by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) helped fund recovery efforts at the Oregon Zoo for the endangered California condor

Avangrid funding resulted in 10 condors reared to a releasable age so far, with two more expected in Fall of 2024

PORTLAND, Ore. — May 1, 2024 — Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a leading sustainable energy company and member of the Iberdrola Group, today announced that it has successfully met and exceeded conditions under a precedent-setting California condor conservation plan developed for the company’s Manzana Wind Power Project in Kern County, California. The company will have doubled its commitment to condor recovery by supporting the rearing of 12 California condors at the Oregon Zoo.

“I am heartened to see this news coming from Oregon and California, which demonstrates Avangrid’s commitment to responsibly accelerating a clean energy transition,” said Pedro Azagra, Avangrid CEO. “This complements the already strong protections we have in place for birds and other wildlife at all of our wind facilities, and I am proud of the hard work that went into this truly innovative initiative. Our success with this program is an example of Avangrid’s environmental stewardship as a renewable energy leader.”

"The Service is proud to be a part of this collaborative effort, which is not only a success for our agency, Avangrid, and the Oregon Zoo, but also for our iconic California condors,” said Paul Souza, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Southwest Regional Director. "We worked closely with Avangrid to identify an innovative and scientifically sound path forward to balance recovery of condors with development and delivery of renewable energy. We thank our partners for their commitment to this strategy."

Avangrid developed this first-of-its-kind conservation plan in close collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Oregon Zoo in 2021. This plan stipulated that Avangrid fund a full-time employee at the zoo’s condor breeding facility to support the captive rearing of six California condors to mitigate the potential impacts of two incidental condor mortalities over a 30-year period. The USFWS issued Avangrid an incidental take permit for the Manzana Wind Power Project following completion and approval of the conservation plan.

To date, there have been no California condor mortalities detected at any wind facility. Funding from the company supported the successful rearing of 12 condors, 10 of which were releasable in 2022 and 2023. It is anticipated the remaining two will be releasable in the Fall of 2024. 

"Conservation is all about partnerships, especially when it comes to a species like the California condor," said Travis Koons, who oversees the Oregon Zoo's recovery efforts. "We are so thankful to everyone for helping bring this iconic, critically endangered bird back from the very brink of extinction."
Avangrid proactively minimizes and mitigates risks to wildlife at renewable facilities across its 24-state fleet. The USFWS has outfitted most free-flying California condors with a GPS transmitter to track their locations. A geofence at Manzana allows Avangrid to detect when California condors are near the project and respond by curtailing turbines to avoid potential wildlife interactions.

This conservation plan has served as a model for the industry. In 2023, the USFWS issued an incidental take permit to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and another permit to a group of 24 wind energy companies. Both permits have a similar condor conservation plan. Now that Avangrid has met its commitment, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has implemented its permit mitigation and taken over funding for the full-time employee at the Oregon Zoo.

The California condor is an endangered species protected under the Endangered Species Act. After dwindling to just 27 individuals in the mid-1980s, the global population has increased to over 500 individuals, with over 300 of those birds in the wild, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of a broad coalition of federal, state, and local governments, and nonprofits across the western United States and other interested stakeholders, including the Oregon Zoo.
 

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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