A Successful Future Built on Innovation Today
To thrive in changing times, we must adapt and innovate. That’s why AVANGRID embraces innovation as a core value. In 2018, AVANGRID invested nearly $55 million in innovation across our businesses, an increase of 7% compared with 2017. We made a substantial commitment to innovation in our Renewables business by investing $17.7 million, more than doubling our 2017 investment. These investments are vital to ensure our renewables operations remain at the forefront of the industry. Our employees are experts at what they do, and we continually tap their expertise as a source of innovation through the Quarterly Employee Innovation Program. Through this program, we have identified innovative solutions to improve health and safety practices, work smarter and more efficiently and meet compliance standards. Our culture of internal innovation helps push us to the forefront of our sector and make AVANGRID a great place to work.
THE INTELLIGENT GRID
Avangrid Networks continues to build an intelligent, automated grid that can be remotely monitored and operated, so that we can effectively manage our systems, easily identify issues affecting customers and quickly address them — often without dispatching a crew. As of 2018, we’ve installed more than 1.3 million smart meters for our electric and natural gas customers. These devices put detailed usage data into customers’ hands, offering opportunities to save energy and money while providing operational benefits. We plan to install another 1.9 million smart meters in the years ahead. These smart meters are part of an increasingly automated grid, with a variety of “smart” components, including more than 600 digitized electric substations that can be remotely monitored and controlled. We also are evolving digitization of customer service and interactions, as well as advanced grid analytics that can help us pinpoint and resolve issues.
THE CUTTING EDGE OF GREEN
In 2018, Avangrid Renewables launched its new “green” Balancing Authority, which is among the largest of its kind. This allows us to deliver a tailored blend of energy from various sources to customers in western states, ensuring a stable, low-carbon supply even when some renewable resources may be unavailable. The Balancing Authority draws on a combined 1,300 MW of owned and contracted generation resources, hour-ahead capacity purchases and intra-hour energy purchases, which helps minimize incremental carbon emissions that result from balancing wind and solar facilities. The Balancing Authority is our advanced in-house operation and maintenance model, operated out of our new 24/7 National Control Center, which oversees operations of approximately 3,400 wind turbines, solar arrays and gas generation. It allows us to provide the highest standards of production and reliability through our Balancing Authority services and to all of our customers.