AVANGRID Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a leading sustainable clean energy company, today announced that it has received 18 letters of intent (LOI) or support (LOS), for its Excelsior Connect transmission development proposal. AVANGRID has submitted the proposed project to develop an all-underground clean energy superhighway in response to the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Tier 4 Request for Proposals.
"The Excelsior Connect project was developed alongside the communities that will surround it," said Catherine Stempien, President and CEO of Avangrid Networks. “This community-first approach is reflected in the diversity of support we have received – from labor and economic development groups, to leading environmental justice organizations. Excelsior Connect will be a significant economic driver for New York and will unlock the clean energy economy, support local communities and create a workforce as diverse as population it will serve.”
To help meet New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) goals, AVANGRID’s Excelsior Connect project will leverage the company’s global expertise to transmit 1200 MW of renewable wind and solar energy generated in upstate New York through a highly efficient and state-of-the-art High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) line to New York City. A key benefit of AVANGRID’s proposal is that the line would deliver clean renewable generation into Queens, helping retire higher emitting generation and improve air quality.
As part of the proposal development, AVANGRID has held nearly 50 meetings (and counting) with various stakeholders across the state and region. As a result of the input it has received from community stakeholders, the company has proposed a number of new and innovative ideas, including:
Excelsior Connect Clean Energy Jobs Consortium, a first of its kind consortium to develop clean energy career paths and training at various SUNY and CUNY community colleges for HVDC technology, heat pump technicians and other clean energy jobs. Additionally, as part of the program, the company and colleges will work to recruit students from low-income and minority neighborhoods and communities.
The Excelsior Connect Fund for NY will commit millions of dollars to support community development projects along the project route, with a particular focus on Environmental Justice (EJ) communities.
In support of the state’s goal to ensure that at least 40 percent of Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) benefits accrue to disadvantaged communities, Excelsior Connect is partnering with Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) and making meaningful investments in EJ communities. To help lead the effort, AVANGRID has signed a letter of intent with A.L. Consulting, a nationally known and New York-based Diversity and Inclusion firm to help identify and recruit MWBE firms for the project and ensure compliance with necessary hiring requirements.
“As two major needs of our community seamlessly coalesce, clean energy and jobs, we believe the Excelsior Connect project will meet the needs of the community we serve in a myriad fashions,” said the Rev. Dr. Kahli C. Mootoo, Vice President and Co-Founder of the 400 Foundation, a statewide, faith-based economic justice organization. “It is the type of development we need at this time to provide the energy infrastructure for the state and job opportunities to those who, for far too long, have been denied them.”
Letters of Intent and Support
As a result of the project’s outreach and innovative program designs, the company has received 18 letters of intent or support thus far. Letters of intent, which are signed by both the company and the organization, are agreements to work together on specific objectives as outlined in the agreement. Letters of support indicate support of the overall project. To date the company has received letters of intent and support from the following:
The 400 Foundation
Center for NuLeadership on Human Justice and Healing
Mohawk Community College
Bronx Community College
Trust for Public Land
West Harlem Environmental Action (WE ACT)
One Tree Planted
IBEW Local No. 1249
IBEW Local No. 3
NYS Building and Construction Trades Council
Business Council of Westchester
Council of Industry
Cranesville Block & Co. (as part of Quanta Construction material sourcing plan)
Baron Winds, LLC
Northland Power, Inc.
Carter Strickland, New York State Director for The Trust for Public Land, said: “Greening our cities with mini-forests will help make summer days less hot and can help lower air conditioning, key elements of a transition to clean, affordable energy across the state. The Trust for Public Land is pleased to work with One Tree Planted and its partners Excelsior Connect and Avangrid Networks to engage in community collaboration and stakeholder input on park design to help move New York City toward a more energy efficient future.”
Dr. Alan P. Roberts, President of Ulster County Community College, said: “This new collaboration will bring a variety of benefits to increase access and possibilities for disadvantaged students by providing new skills, pre-apprenticeship opportunities and ongoing green jobs training. We look forward to partnering with Excelsior Connect on this important project to create jobs and a career superhighway for students.”
Matt Hill, President and Founder of One Tree Planted, said: “The partnership will focus on planting trees for environmental impact in NYC. AVANGRID and One Tree Planted intend to work together to align the forest strategy with the goal of supporting diverse communities to create a tangible benefit for sustainability."
Christopher Erikson, Business Manager of IBEW Local 3, said: “AVANGRID recognizes that the Local is committed to ensuring that renewable energy jobs are good-paying union jobs and has provided consistent advocacy for the transition from the good union jobs in the fossil fuel industry to good union jobs in the renewable energy industry.”
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About AVANGRID: AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) aspires to be the leading sustainable energy company in the United States. Headquartered in Orange, CT with approximately $38 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, AVANGRID has two primary lines of business: Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks owns and operates eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. AVANGRID employs approximately 7,000 people and has been recognized by Forbes and Just Capital as one of the 2021 JUST 100 companies – a list of America’s best corporate citizens – and was ranked number one within the utility sector for its commitment to the environment and the communities it serves. The company supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2021 for the third consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.