“To provide safe, reliable, sustainable energy at a reasonable cost to our customers.” That’s the mission PPL Corporation is aiming to achieve. And in its latest US$50mn investment into the advancement of clean energy technologies, it seems to be taking this pledge seriously.
In an effort to lead innovation for a future full of sustainable energy, PPL has joined forces with Energy Impact Partners’ (EIP) global investment platform to unite companies worldwide and drive the urgency of sustainable solutions and updated energy technology.
Through its collaboration with EIP, the company hopes to accelerate the transition to economy-wide decarbonisation and instigate a higher value placed on the importance of a future encompassed by clean and renewable energy.
"Investing in research and development is a key component of PPL's clean energy strategy," said PPL President and Chief Executive Officer Vincent Sorgi. "We recognise that it will take new systems and technologies to achieve net-zero emissions while preserving energy reliability and affordability, and we look forward to partnering with EIP to fuel this innovation."
The investment hopes to benefit companies with a focus on decarbonisation, electrification, and tech-enabled infrastructure.
"Advancing the clean energy transition and fostering greater diversity, equity and inclusion are core to our long-term strategy and commitments at PPL, and we see a perfect marriage of these two objectives in EIP's Elevate Future Fund," said Sorgi. "We believe cultivating diversity in our workplace, partners and suppliers fosters innovation and delivers positive outcomes for the customers and communities we serve.”
"I look forward to working with PPL on creating a more equitable, diverse and inclusive energy transition through the Elevate Future Fund," said Anthony Oni, Managing Partner of the fund at EIP. "With the creation of the Elevate Future Fund, we are addressing the need for the venture capital community to come together to provide better opportunities for underserved communities in our industry, and PPL's commitment will help us address this need."
PPL sets a powerful example
In addition to its partnership with EIP, PPL is also supporting other notable sustainably-focused causes. The Low-Carbon Resources Initiative being steered by the combined forces of the Electric Power Research Institute and Gas Technology Institute is a prime example.
But PPL aren’t satisfied to settle for anything less than sustainable perfection in their field. In its 2020 sustainability report, it showed a steady decrease in emissions and laid out its four pillars of strategy in order to transition towards a clean energy future:
- Decarbonise its generation
- Decarbonise its non-generation projects
- Enable third-party decarbonisation
- Further research and development
PPL’s solar future looks bright
A PPL project of note is its Keystone Solar Future Project. Through the development of a “distributed system platform”, the company aims to utilise its current smart grid technology to “plan for, monitor and control distributed energy resources” - solar panels, for instance. US$3.3mn was provided by the US Department of Energy to help fund the project in 2017.
PPL is confident in the Keystone Solar project’s potential to showcase how solar and other alternative customer-owned generation holds significant benefits for society.
“Our smart grid technology has already enabled large strides forward in terms of reliability improvements,” Stephanie Raymond, Vice-president of Distribution Operations, said. “Now, we’ll take innovation to a new level to help manage the way distributed energy installations interact with the grid. Over the longer term, our goal is to manage all emerging technology, such as battery storage and smart thermostats, in a way that produces a sustainable and reliable two-way distribution grid.”