Students from leading universities compete to solve the energy sector’s biggest challenges
Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a leading sustainable energy company and member of the Iberdrola Group, recently celebrated the energy industry’s next generation of talent during its annual Clean Energy Hackathon. The event attracted more than 40 students from seven leading northeast universities to participate in a competition to solve some of the energy sector’s biggest challenges with the top three teams earning cash prizes.
“Leading change requires us to invest in the talent that drives it,” said Pedro Azagra, Avangrid CEO. “The Hackathon is an important way for us to engage with current students and help to develop the future clean energy workforce. We were very pleased to have participation from seven universities we regularly collaborate with in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. To continue leading the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable future, our workforce will need talented and skilled employees like these students to bring innovation and efficiencies.”
The Clean Energy Hackathon asked the student teams to develop a data-driven solution to an energy challenge prompt over the course of just 32 hours and present their recommendation to a panel of Avangrid judges from across the company. This year’s event offered two prompts, which were randomly assigned to the teams: the first related to school bus fleet electrification and vehicle-to-grid charging, and the second related to repowering a wind farm. Participating universities were University of Connecticut, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Bridgeport, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Clarkson University, and Rochester Institute of Technology.
This year, the judges selected Graham Turk, Johnattan Ontiveros, and Michael Giovanniello from MIT as the winning team for their advanced analysis and thoughtful recommendations in the vehicle to grid charging prompt. All three group members are graduate students in MIT’s Technology and Policy Program. Second place was awarded to Jun Go, Dhruti Gopaluni, and Shivansh Chaturvedi from Yale and Leslie Earp, Shelby Guthrie, and Dan Rourke from University of Massachusetts Lowell earned third place.
"The Hackathon was a great opportunity to work with real data and examine the problem of school bus electrification from the perspectives of both the school district and the utility,” said Graham Turk from the winning MIT team. “The prompt was well aligned with our interests, and we enjoyed figuring out as a team how Avangrid might structure a program to leverage vehicle-to-grid technology. We tried to show that with the right incentives, a school district can save money and help reduce the need for the grid upgrades while meeting all student transportation needs, a win-win!"
“The Hackathon was an excellent opportunity for us to immerse ourselves in the challenges of the wind energy landscape,” said Chaturvedi from Yale’s second-place team. “While the three of us were aware of some of the complexities within the industry, the Avangrid Hackathon provided us with valuable real-world data from their projects—this allowed us to delve into and analyze concepts such as bidding, curtailment, and congestion. It empowered us to think critically about potential innovative solutions, giving us a wealth of knowledge that we hope to apply in our future endeavors.”
About Avangrid: Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) aspires to be the leading sustainable energy company in the United States. Headquartered in Orange, CT with approximately $41 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, Avangrid has two primary lines of business: networks and renewables. Through its networks business, Avangrid owns and operates eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Through its renewables business, Avangrid owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. Avangrid employs more than 7,500 people and has been recognized by JUST Capital in 2021, 2022 and 2023 as one of the JUST 100 companies – a ranking of America’s best corporate citizens. In 2023, Avangrid ranked first within the utility sector for its commitment to the environment. The company supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2023 for the fifth consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute. Avangrid is a member of the group of companies controlled by Iberdrola, S.A. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.