By GREGORY ZELLER //
The multinational utility behind several Long Island-based clean-gen efforts has made a big move in Minnesota – and doubled down on its North American renewables program.
In fact, National Grid is adding “renewables” directly to the masthead: The London-based mothership, which runs its North America operations from a Massachusetts headquarters, has completed its $100 million acquisition of Minneapolis-based sustainability expert Geronimo Energy and rebranded it National Grid Renewables, new centerpiece of its U.S. renewable-energy business.
National Grid – which provides natural gas and electricity services to millions of customers via a vast transmission network across New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island – is no stranger to wind, solar and other carbon-free efforts.
On Long Island, National Grid Renewables will pick up where National Grid Ventures, the utility’s “competitive division,” and Florida-based partner NextEra Energy Resources left off: knee-deep in a 23-megawatt solar farm, proposed for 198 acres in Calverton.
National Grid Ventures and NextEra Energy have also collaborated on a pair of 5-megawatt battery-storage systems, one in East Hampton and one in Montauk, key to meeting peak summer demands and now part of the National Grid Renewables portfolio.
The action in Minnesota underscores National Grid’s ambitions, both geographically – U.S. operations are limited to the three Northeast states – and within the renewable-energy sector. But what happens in Minneapolis won’t stay in Minneapolis, promises Daniel Westerman, National Grid’s president for renewable energy.
Westerman anticipates rapid net-zero innovations – and significant economic gains – for customers on Long Island and across the utility’s expanding international domain.
“National Grid has a critical role to play in the acceleration of a cleaner energy future,” he said Wednesday. “In addition to being positive for our planet, developing new renewable-energy projects creates jobs and spurs economic development in communities across America.
“We look forward to expanding our positive social and environmental impact,” Westerman added. “All while delivering strong shareholder value.”