Annual AVANGRID Innovation Challenge Crowns Winning Team from Cornell University
ORANGE, Conn. — Oct. 5, 2020 — AVANGRID (NYSE: AGR), a leading sustainable energy company, hosted its 4th annual Innovation Forum last week, which featured company employees teaming up with university students to compete in a “Green Grid Innovation Challenge.”
AVANGRID spent approximately $68 million on innovation projects in 2019 and is on track to increase that number in 2020 despite challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A highlight of AVANGRID’s Innovation Forum is its annual Innovation Challenge, which pairs teams of students from Cornell, Harvard, the University of Maine, MIT and Yale with AVANGRID employees to develop solutions to some of the energy sector’s most difficult challenges. This year’s winning team, led by Cornell University students Anmol Singh, Ritika Jain and Rashika Mittal, proposed an innovative way to enable utilities to leverage ever-increasing electric vehicle adoption to benefit the grid through vehicle-to-grid technology. Students on the winning team will receive a total of $30,000 in tuition scholarships from AVANGRID.
“As we continue down dual paths of delivering reliable power to our customers while also helping lead the U.S. transition to clean, renewable electricity, AVANGRID is positioned to advance and model energy innovation,” said AVANGRID CEO Dennis Arriola. “Thank you to all participants and congratulations to the Cornell University team. How appropriate that during National Drive Electric Week, their spirit of innovation will help us learn more about how electric vehicles can benefit the energy grid.”
Held virtually for the first time due to the pandemic, the 2020 Innovation Forum focused on “The Green Grid” by showcasing AVANGRID’s latest innovation projects and partnerships with technology companies, promising startups and academic institutions. More than 200 employees tuned in virtually to the event.
The event was the culmination of months of research on behalf of the six competing teams which showcased innovative solutions across each of AVANGRID’s business areas – from cybersecurity to working with startups to develop technologies that protect marine life in the water where AVANGRID is developing the country’s first large-scale offshore wind farm through its Vineyard Wind joint venture with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
“We are fortunate to operate in a region with some of the leading academic institutions in the world,” Arriola added. “Innovation can happen quickly, but it is also something we must work diligently to achieve every day. Through strategic, customer-centric innovation, AVANGRID is preparing for the future and positioning ourselves to achieve our ambitions as one of the nation’s leaders in clean energy.”