Contributed by -

Rudolph Wynter


You don’t have to look hard to find evidence of enduring racial inequities affecting Black America. The pandemic exposed disparities in healthcare, access to technology and other conditions that affect economic mobility in disadvantaged communities. Now, as the transition to a clean energy future builds momentum, we have an obligation to leave no one behind and advance environmental justice in support of the safety and well-being of all, especially those who have been historically disenfranchised.

As one of the largest energy companies in the world, our fundamental commitment is to provide energy that is safe, reliable, and affordable to all the communities we serve.  Our dedicated colleagues work hard every day to keep the lights and the heat on for our customers no matter what. Our actions are guided by our commitment to our customers and communities.  And we’re dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive energy workforce now and into the future, by leading the way in clean energy investments, through partnerships with organizations like the National Urban League, and through our renewed community engagement program called Project C.

Project C focuses on four priorities: clean energy, workforce development, neighborhood investment, and environmental justice and social equity. We kicked off Project C with a day of service, when more than 1,000 of our employees volunteered at 60 events across New York State.  I was proud to join my colleagues participating in cleanups, food distributions, and more because we recognize our role, not just as an energy company, but as integral members of our communities. To date, we’ve invested $7 million in our local communities, logged 5,000 employee volunteer hours, assisted 6,000 small businesses, joined forces with 85 community partners, and engaged over 230 young people in workforce development training.

Our many partnerships help bring about tangible changes in the communities we serve. For example, we are proud to be a founding partner with the United Way of New York City’s expanded Campaign for Equity to help close systemic disparities in Black and Brown communities by inspiring partners across many sectors to address the interconnected root causes of social and racial injustice – access to healthcare, quality education, economic mobility, and criminal justice reform.

Our workforce development programs include partnering with BlocPower, a Brooklyn-based climate technology company focused on green energy, and New York Edge, a nonprofit which bridges opportunity gaps to students in underserved communities. New York Edge does this by providing heat pump awareness training for young people, helping develop the clean energy workforce and advancing new and innovative technologies. We also partnered with the Dunbar Center in Syracuse,  and other after school programs, to mentor and engage Black students in potential future career opportunities in STEM and the energy sector. As result of the success of Project C in New York, we have plans to roll out a similar program for our Massachusetts customers.

We do this because we are deeply aware that Black workers are the most under-represented of any racial group in clean energy jobs, making up only 8 percent of clean energy jobs despite being 13 percent of the national workforce, according to a recent report by a coalition of energy organizations. As we’ve seen in many other transitions across industries, dedicated, passionate, and brilliant Black students and workers can be left behind.  I’m proud of the ways our workforce development programs equip our communities with the skills needed to thrive in today’s economy, as well as in the clean energy future. As we make the transition to clean energy, we need to ensure women and people of color are not left out of these exciting, new, job opportunities.

As we look ahead to a decarbonized future – ultimately eliminating fossil fuels from both the gas and electric networks – we remain steadfast in our commitment to clean energy for all. We’re investing in a new project called Community Offshore Wind through a joint venture with RWE Renewables, a global leader in offshore wind, securing the largest lease area in the first offshore wind energy auction under the Biden-Harris Administration. With solar, we’ve interconnected 42 percent of all community solar projects in New York State and are leading the way in creating interconnections to make this clean energy source affordable to all. To that end, we partnered with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to launch the Solar-For-All program, to ensure that our low- and moderate-income customers can realize its benefits.

We’re committed to advancing safe green hydrogen, recently joining a multi-state coalition proposal for the Northeast to become one of the federally designated clean energy hydrogen hubs – making climate and environmental justice central, delivering opportunities and improved quality of life to under resourced areas across the region. We are demonstrating the role of green hydrogen to decarbonize the natural gas network and provide heating, announcing last December the HyGrid project with the Town of Hempstead on Long Island to build one of the first and largest clean hydrogen projects in the U.S. We’ve deployed over 3,280 electric vehicle charging ports throughout our service area in New York and New England, making electric vehicle charging more available to all.

Our investments in renewable technologies in both electric and gas will ensure that customers, businesses, and our most vulnerable neighbors have access to safe, affordable, and reliable energy, as well as opportunities for clean energy jobs while allowing us to achieve a decarbonized future together. We are determined to harness the potential of clean energy to improve health, reliability, affordability, and opportunity for all– especially our Black and Brown communities.

We’re proud to partner with the National Urban League in this year’s State of Black America report.

Our commitment to environmental justice isn’t just a commitment to clean energy. It’s a commitment to our customers, our communities, and our shared future together. While we’ve accomplished a lot, we know we have to do even more to achieve an equitable future for all.


Rudy Wynter is the President of National Grid’s New York business, managing one of the largest utility entities in New York State with 8,000 employees providing electricity and natural gas services to 4.2 million customers.

Our Partners

Key partners supporting the National Urban League's mission for State of Black America Report

Subscribe our newsletter!

Scroll to Top