DIPLOMATIC ECONOMY

US: National Grid Plans To Invest About US$75 Billion In UK And US Over Next Five Years

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National Grid plans to invest an estimated US$75 billion across its service territory in the UK and US over the next five years, with about half of the funding for the US energy system improvements in Massachusetts and New York.

The funding of about US$35 billion represents an increase of more than 60 per cent on National Grid’s investment in the region in the last five years.

“Today’s announcement is a clear illustration that National Grid is committed to playing our part in achieving the ambitious decarbonization targets that New York and Massachusetts governments have set,” said Group CEO of National Grid, John Pettigrew. “The increased investment we’re announcing today follows positive engagement with our regulators in these states, reflecting a willingness to upgrade electricity networks to provide long term affordable energy to all, and reduce emissions across our gas networks.”

According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), lack of transmission infrastructure directly contributes to higher electric bills, and more frequent and longer power outages. Preliminary findings from DOE’s National Transmission Needs Study also found that developing new transmission in the New York-New England corridor will not only improve reliability, but also support the increasing electric demand in the region.

The federal analysis found that the region requires a 255 per cent increase in transmission development to support the clean energy growth expected under New York and Massachusetts policies. The announcement will enable National Grid to unlock economic growth across New York and Massachusetts and support 127,000 jobs by the end of 2030.

In New York, National Grid is investing around US$21 billion between now and 2029. The investments include the Upstate Upgrade which incorporates more than 70 transmission enhancement projects across Upstate New York.

The portfolio of projects will transform the grid, improve reliability and resilience, and enable National Grid to deliver renewable energy to homes and businesses across the state. This investment will also generate new jobs and create additional economic growth, all while ensuring the grid is able to meet the growing demand for electricity.

In New England, the five-year investment will total roughly US$14 billion. As part of this investment, National Grid will implement solutions, like smart meters, to help consumers manage energy use; build modernized energy infrastructure; construct and upgrade infrastructure to make it less susceptible to extreme weather events; and maintain and improve the quality of our existing gas and transmission assets.

The Massachusetts Electric Sector Modernization Plan (ESMP) will help create a path to upgrade and expand the electric grid, accelerate the connection of renewables to the grid, and introduce new customer programs to encourage energy efficiency, and the adoption of clean energy.

National Grid has also proposed a three-year investment plan to modernize the Downstate gas businesses, reducing emissions, and making them more resilient and reliable. This includes a focus on disadvantaged communities and accelerating gas main replacements to reduce emissions, with a target of 45 miles/year of replacements in New York City and 119 miles/year on Long Island.

National Grid has replaced 1,500 miles of gas main since 2013, helping lower system emissions by 102,385 metric tons of CO2e, equivalent to removing 22,257 cars from the road.

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