“By investing in new projects that lead to good-paying, greener jobs, CenterPoint Energy is helping to support local communities, while showing how energy companies can be a partner in America’s energy transition.”– Angila Retherford, Vice President of Environmental and Corporate Sustainability
As we advance our plan to retire our coal-fired power plants and transition our generation fleet to renewable resources in the coming years, new opportunities for affected workers will emerge. Existing skills will be in demand in new places, while new skills will be in demand company-wide. Employees will be provided with opportunities and the training needed to perform new jobs safely.
Based on customer growth projections, economic development will require workers who can:
- Extend our overhead transmission lines
- Upgrade our transmission capacity, distribution lines and substations
- Construct new substations
- Install miles of new overhead distribution lines and new underground distribution lines
Infrastructure resiliency will require workers who can:
- Harden our transmission, substations and distribution grids, as well as modernize our infrastructure
- Implement new distribution grid resiliency and reliability design criteria
- Expand intelligent grid and smart metering technologies for faster outage resolution
- Advance digital solutions for operational resiliency
A cleaner energy future will require workers who can:
- Construct, operate and maintain renewable energy generation facilities and renewable natural gas and hydrogen facilities
Workforce development initiatives will help to prepare Houston’s workforce to respond to the energy needs of the future.
CenterPoint Energy is developing new training centers and training opportunities to enhance employees’ development. We are partnering with the Center for Energy Workforce Development, a nonprofit consortium of energy companies, contractors, associations – including the Edison Electric Institute and the American Gas Association, unions, educators and business partners – to train and reposition workers displaced by the closing of coal-fired power plants.
Serving the Evolving Needs of Our Customers and Communities
As CenterPoint Energy transitions from fossil-based systems of energy production to cleaner sources like wind and solar, we must also respond to the changing needs of our customers and communities, especially those where this transition is felt the most.
We have a dedicated capital improvement budget for modernizing our operations and a digital transformation that will bring improved customer experiences. The expansion of electric vehicle infrastructure, redevelopment of potentially stranded assets and attraction of diverse economic investment require partnerships at all levels. Partnerships include all levels of government, advocacy groups, philanthropic foundations and the private sector to quickly maximize their positive environmental, social and economic impacts.
We seek to minimize negative local social and economic impacts, and we will continue to financially support our core giving areas that serve our communities’ needs.
Our customers and communities will see safety investments:
- Smart metering enables us to automate shutoffs in certain circumstances to enhance the safety of our customers and communities.
- Microgrid solutions will support emergency operations.
Our customers and communities will be served with cleaner energy:
- Smart metering enables us to reduce the number of times our vehicles need to mobilize, which helps reduce vehicular emissions.
- Renewable energy generation sources emit fewer air pollutants where they are located.
- EVs are less expensive to fuel and maintain than gas-powered vehicles and their use avoids air pollution from tailpipe emissions.
- Accelerated leak detection and repairs help reduce fugitive emissions of methane.
- Transitioning to a cleaner energy future creates infrastructure growth opportunities.
- Renewable Natural Gas feed-in tariffs in Indiana, Minnesota and Texas create new revenue streams for existing businesses and tax levies for government.
Our energy delivery system will be more resilient:
- Smart metering enables us to perform data analytics to improve outage identification and facilitate quicker resolution.
- Digital solutions enhance operational resiliency and reduce service disruption.
- Upgraded substations will be more resistant to extreme precipitation and flooding.
- Underground Transmission and Distribution can withstand more severe weather events.
- Leasing emergency backup generation capacity and battery storage improves our system’s resilience.
The retirement of our smaller, inefficient coal-fired power generation units and the addition of the natural gas combustion turbines will continue to reduce our operational carbon emissions and maintain our progress toward a cleaner energy future, providing our customers an affordable option for delivering energy.