National Grid head embarks on ‘Electrification Tour’ to highlight renewables

National Grid President Rudy Wynter.
National Grid President Rudy Wynter.
Photo courtesy of National Grid

National Grid President Rudy Wynter recently embarked on a three-day ‘Electrification Tour’ of New York State, where he helped highlight some of the energy conglomerate’s efforts to promote renewables. 

“I had the amazing opportunity to visit groundbreaking renewable energy, storage, and efficiency projects across New York and talk with leaders driving our clean energy transition,” Wynter said in a statement.

Wynter began his journey with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a solar-plus-storage system in Syracuse, where the company teamed up with energy storage provider Convergent Energy + Power to construct a massive solar farm that will store electricity on site. 

National Grid will use the facility to recharge batteries using solar panels when demand for electricity is low, allowing the company to use it later, when demand is high or the sun is not shining. 

The company says the facility will create enough electricity to consistently power 50,000 local homes. 

After that, Wynter headed to visit a project the energy giant funded with $250,000, spearheaded by A Tiny Home for Good, in Syracuse’s Southwest neighborhood. The homes, on a previously vacant lot, will house formerly unhoused New Yorkers, and include built-in solar panels and energy efficient appliances.   

While still in the area, Wynter highlighted the organization’s work on SUNY college of Environmental Science and Forestry campus, where company officials provided nearly $200,000 to help install charging stations for electric vehicles and visited a National Grid “Demo House” that they use as a laboratory for helping customers reduce energy usage. 

On the second leg of his trip, Wynter visited Albany, where he participated in a conversation with New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) President and CEO Rich Dewey and Executive Vice President Emilie Nelson about clean energy investments. 

He later toured ‘Industrie’ — an all-electric mixed-use development project located in the city’s downtown, where he touted the progress being made in reducing on-site fossil fuel usage in new construction. 

The company head also took time to speak with students at National Grid’s Seneca Street Training Center — a place where aspiring workers in the energy sector can get hands-on training for their future careers. 

On the last leg of his journey, Wynter headed to the Big Apple to visit the Brooklyn Navy Yard for a demonstration by air conditioning and heat pump maker Gradient. The company’s electric window unit heat pumps are more efficient than traditional methods of heating homes, which will help reduce energy consumption, while saving New Yorkers money in their monthly bills. 

“It’s easy to feel like climate change is too big a problem for us to tackle, but after seeing everything the amazing National Grid team and our partners are doing to build a robust clean energy system centered on electrification, I have no doubt that we will meet New York’s climate change goals in a way that ensures reliable, affordable energy for all,” Wynter said.