In a year since launching its Net Zero Plan, National Grid has made strides in its efforts to improve energy efficiency, integrate clean energy resources and reduce carbon emissions across the company’s footprint.
The details have been documented in the first annual National Grid Net Zero Plan Update report 2021. The report describes the company’s emission profile for their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, focuses on fairness, affordability, and equity, and goes into details of how the company plans to progress through the critical decade of the 2020s. The report also outlines steps the company has taken to date to achieve reductions. Major highlights include plans to collaborate on the buildout of transmission lines that will connect 1000 MW of clean energy to the New York grid.
“In just one year since the launch of our Net Zero Plan, we have rolled up our sleeves and made real progress on cutting emissions,” said Badar Khan, president, National Grid, “We have a long way to go, but the next decade will require that we move quickly. We are keeping our customers updated every step of the way, releasing annual updates. I’m proud of the work we’ve done so far and look forward to picking up speed on the race to net zero.”
The Company’s Net Zero Plan identifies key pillars of focus, including:
- Reducing demand through energy efficiency and demand response;
- Decarbonizing the gas network through the use of renewable natural gas and hydrogen;
- Reducing methane emissions from our own gas network;
- Integrating innovative technologies to decarbonize heat;
- Interconnecting large scale renewables with a 21st-century grid;
- Enabling and optimizing distributed generation;
- Advancing clean transportation; and more.
The company has set forth specific targets and commitments for each of these pillars. Some examples of these commitments efforts to date include:
- As of October 2021, the company has installed 3283 electric vehicle charging ports in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island with nearly half located within environmental justice and disadvantaged communities.
- The company’s aggressive replacement work of leak-prone gas pipes led to a 15% reduction in emissions in its gas distribution mains over five years by replacing 400 miles of pipe per year.
- National Grid established a goal of having 5% of its gas sold in 2030 be renewable natural gas.
- The company has partnered with the New York Power Authority to build the Smart Path Connect project, a US$1 billion transmission upgrade that will enable the integration of 1 GW of renewable energy to the grid. In addition, National Grid has proposed nearly US$700 million in short-term transmission upgrades in upstate New York that would unlock roughly 2.6 GW of clean energy resources.
- National Grid, along with two other utilities, issued a request for proposals for 1.6 GW of offshore wind energy for Massachusetts – energy that will power more than 750,000 homes.
- As of September 2021, the company has interconnected approximately 23,200 renewable distributed generation projects totaling approximately 900 MW in New York, approximately 67,000 projects totaling over 1500 MW in Massachusetts, and 11,800 projects totaling 382 MW in Rhode Island. Across three service territories, National Grid has interconnected the second largest amount of large-scale, non-residential solar of any utility in the United States.
Throughout this critical decade, the company will continue to grow and expand many of these initiatives, and launch new ones intended to cut emissions, integrate renewables, decarbonize heat and electrify transportation. Already, the company has reduced its direct emissions by 71% from its levels from 1990.
The company will continue to release annual progress reports as it seeks to dramatically reduce carbon emissions.
National Grid is a lead sponsor of COP 26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place from Oct. 31- Nov. 12 in Glasgow, Scotland. As one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world, National Grid plays a vital role at the heart of building a clean, fair and affordable energy future.
Learn more about National Grid’s U.S. Net Zero progress here.