Rise Submits Proposal to Repower Fossil-Fuel Plant with Offshore Wind

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Rise Light & Power LLC is submitting a proposal in response to New York State’s offshore wind solicitation that would be the nation’s first renewable repowering of a major fossil-fuel plant.

By securing an ownership stake in an offshore wind project, Rise Light & Power will be an integral part of an offshore wind proposal to be submitted to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The project takes advantage of, and will utilize, existing energy infrastructure at Rise’s Long Island City’s Ravenswood Generating Station—New York City’s largest power generator.

“The renewable repowering of Ravenswood will serve as a model of how to work with communities and repurpose transmission infrastructure to save ratepayers money. The repowering of Ravenswood with offshore wind is a community-driven approach to invest in a disadvantaged community and support New York in meeting its clean energy and economic goals,” says Clint Plummer, CEO of Rise Light & Power. “Importantly, the project commits to the just transition and upskilling of the Local 1-2 UWUA union workers at Ravenswood through training programs and job opportunities associated with the project.”

In late 2022, Rise submitted an Article VII application requesting that the New York State Public Service Commission approve a submarine electric system – the Queensboro Renewable Express – to deliver offshore wind energy over transmission in New York State to Ravenswood. This project, combined with the ownership stake in an offshore wind project announced, builds on that application by extending into federal waters and connecting one of the two Queensboro Renewable Express 1,310 MW circuits to an offshore wind farm, which would lead directly to the retirement of one of the plant’s 1960s era fossil fuel generators. This retirement is in addition to already retiring 500 MW of peakers at Ravenswood.

“The union employees of Local 1-2 who have been proudly running Ravenswood for decades are ready to put their valuable expertise to work in operating new renewable energy infrastructure for New York,” states Jim Shillitto, president of Utility Workers Union of America, Local 1-2. “We thank Rise for their commitment to our workers’ inclusion in the new green economy. This proposal to interconnect offshore wind, responsibly transition fossil fuel generation, and build a new operations and maintenance hub has our full support.”

The renewable transmission project will reuse existing physical and electrical infrastructure, maximizing cost-effectiveness for New York ratepayers and minimizing the interconnection challenges that have plagued U.S. offshore wind developments. Additionally, the project will establish an offshore wind operations and maintenance hub at Ravenswood, which will support the opportunity for a just transition of the existing fossil fuel workforce as well as drive substantial economic investment into a historically underserved community.

“America’s first renewable repowering of a fossil-fuel burning plant can happen right here in Long Island City, Queens, home to the city’s largest power generating facility. This project would greatly advance our state’s climate goals and be a win for environmental justice communities living nearby,” comments U.S. Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-7). “I believe that the repowering of the Ravenswood Generating Station can serve as a model for the rest of the country as we work to cut our dependence on fossil fuels while also providing a just transition for residents and workers.”

The project would bring an HVDC conductor cable onshore at the existing Ravenswood site where it would interconnect via underground HVAC cables to the NYISO bulk electric system at existing substations adjacent to Ravenswood.

“As a climate organizer, I ran for office to ensure that we have a Green New York,” adds Senator Kristen Gonzalez. “I am thrilled to see Rise Light lead the way in transitioning to renewable energy, our district and our city will be better off for it. I am excited to work with them to support this new partnership.”

The renewable repowering of Ravenswood through an offshore wind project is a culmination of years of community and stakeholder engagement.  Rise has worked extensively with historically marginalized groups, particularly its neighbors living nearby in the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), to craft the Renewable Ravenswood vision, which will transform the 27-acre waterfront industrial site to a clean energy hub. Beyond the benefits for clean energy advocates and ratepayers with the delivery of offshore wind to the New York City grid utilizing existing transmission infrastructure, the broader Rise Light & Power platform is committed to providing essential services to New York with critical grid reliability.

“The announcement that Rise Light & Power is making today is just the kind of project that will lead our city and our state into a future energy system that is cleaner, more reliable, more resilient, and more affordable for all New Yorkers,” says Senator Liz Krueger. “I am thrilled to have it in my backyard, so that all my constituents can breathe a little easier.”

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