Utility Chief Discusses Wind Power Industry Centered On Bridgeport Hub

OIB friend Paul Bass, editor of the New Haven Independent, shares this interview with United Illuminating CEO Franklyn Reynolds. UI’s parent company Avangrid is creating an offshore wind farm in Bridgeport as a key energy supplier for the state.

Franklyn Reynolds sees a green wind blowing our way–and he hopes to harness it to tackle climate change.

Reynolds is the man responsible for keeping the lights on in New Haven: He is president and CEO of UIL Holdings, which includes United Illuminating and Southern Connecticut Gas.

The wind will blow, and be harnessed, in Massachusetts and in Bridgeport. UI’s parent company, Avangrid, is developing a wind farm 14 miles offshore of Martha’s Vineyard. It’s developing an offshore wind farm in Bridgeport that it hopes will supply 14 percent of Connecticut’s electricity while avoiding the emission of millions of tons of carbon.

That wind could be converted into”green hydrogen” through a process called electrolysis. It can then serve as an alternative to fossil fuels to power factories and vehicles.

Reynolds’ company has put in a bid to lead the way on developing that green hydrogen, with a proposal to the federal Department of Energy. It’s competing to obtain the money through the department’s new ​”Hydrogen Shot” program funded by President Biden’s new infrastructure law. The proposal–which would evolve in its details as potential funders and regulators weigh in–at this point is to create a ​”20 MW electrolyzer and hydrogen storage facility” for UI facilities in Connecticut, powered by offshore wind and backed up by solar energy.

“We want to make Connecticut a hydrogen hub,” Reynolds said during an interview Thursday on WNHH FM’s “Dateline New Haven” program.

Full story here.


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