GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
In 2020, the emissions intensity from our owned generation was 51 grams of CO2 per kWh of electricity produced (113 lbs. per MWh). This is a 30% reduction compared to 2019, a year with an unprecedented need for power from the Klamath cogeneration plant which compensated for an atypically low level of hydroelectric generation in the Northwest last year. As we continue to grow our renewables footprint, the intensity of the emissions from our generation fleet keeps a downward trajectory.
Compared to our baseline year 2015, CO2 emissions intensity decreased 20%. Although we didn’t reach our internal goal for 2020, mainly due to external factors that limited production like local transmission events or renewable supply curtailments experienced during the year, AVANGRID is one of the cleanest energy companies in the U.S. with an intensity emission seven times lower than the U.S. utility average in 2020.* As a leader in renewable energy, we are strongly committed to reducing our carbon intensity rate by investing in wind and solar generation technologies and to keeping that level well below the industry average. Because our renewable energy facilities generate electricity with little or no emissions of CO2 and other byproduct pollutants, our customers can receive credit for the carbon emissions they have offset through the purchase of renewable energy.
The 19,391 GWh of renewable electricity produced by AVANGRID in 2020 allowed customers to avoid 14 million metric tons of CO2 emissions. That’s roughly equivalent to the emissions avoided by removing 3 million cars from the road for a year.**
AVANGRID works to reduce environmental risks, improve management of resources and optimize investments in our facilities. Our companies strive to use resources and products wisely in day-to-day operations, choosing non-hazardous products where possible for facilities maintenance. We also seek to reuse and recycle materials at every opportunity.
AVANGRID has pledged to integrate Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and Electric Vehicles (EVs) into the fleet to assess their capabilities in different vocations and geographical regions. In 2020, SCG received their first two EVs, and Berkshire Gas Company received its first, all being used in a daily field work capacity.
AVANGRID also launched our Clean Fleet Project with very aggressive green fleet targets, the most prominent of which is 60% of the fleet being clean energy by 2030.
2020 also welcomed to RG&E an industry-leading, full-size EV backhoe. Development of the unit from concept to delivery has been a multi-year project, and the unit was on site and ready for construction season. To assist in increasing and encouraging the purchase and use of PHEVs and EVs, AVANGRID has installed charging stations at multiple company locations – allowing employees to charge their PHEV or EV at no cost.
Our companies strive to recover, recycle or reuse waste whenever possible. Most of our facilities now have “zero-sort” recycling programs in place: multiple varieties of recyclable goods go into a single receptacle, making recycling a simple matter.
Water is consumed across a variety of processes at AVANGRID companies, including generation, sanitation, fleet maintenance, heating, cooling and more. Installation of water-saving equipment such as low-flow toilets has helped to manage the amount required, even as we expand our activities.
With 90% of AVANGRID’s installed renewable capacity being predominately wind that does not need water to generate electricity, we have one of the lowest water use intensities per MWh generated in the U.S.