Rise Leads Nation’s First Renewable Repowering Of A Major Fossil-Fuel Plant With Clean Power From Offshore Wind

    Rise Light & Power Secures Ownership Stake In Offshore Wind Project With Goal Of Delivering 1.3 GW Of Clean Energy To Replace 1960's Fossil Generation

    Dozens of community leaders, environmental justice advocates, and union workers gather at Ravenswood Generating Station in support of the clean energy transition.

    At an event attended by dozens of local community leaders, Rise Light & Power LLC (Rise) announced a proposal in response to New York State’s offshore wind solicitation which will be the nation’s first renewable repowering of a major fossil-fuel plant with clean power from offshore wind. By securing an ownership stake in an offshore wind project, Rise was part of an offshore wind proposal submitted to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on January 26, 2023. The project takes advantage of existing energy infrastructure at Rise’s Long Island City’s Ravenswood Generating Station — New York City’s largest power generator. The project has community support for its goal to transition Ravenswood into a clean energy hub with a mature and cost-effective interconnection of renewable offshore wind energy into New York City.

    “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,” said Clint Plummer, Chief Executive Officer of Rise. “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.”

    “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,” said Jim Shillitto, president of the 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.”

    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 the announced offshore wind project, builds on that application by extending into Federal waters and connecting one of the two Queensboro Renewable Express 1.31-GW 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.

    Rise said that 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 US 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.

    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. 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 platform is committed to providing essential services to New York with critical grid reliability.

    The renewable repowering proposal drew praise from leading community, environmental justice, labor, business, and institutions from across New York City and New York State.

    “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,” said US 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.”

    “For years, Astoria has had the worst air quality in Queens and has been home to much of the city’s energy generation facilities. We have seen the consequences in the asthma rates of our children. I am so happy that after tireless advocacy from so many, Western Queens and NYCHA are finally beginning to chart a different course and bring forth the bold, clean energy proposals that we deserve,” said Assembly Member Zohran Mamdani. “In permanently retiring 400 MW of fossil fuel generation, this proposal to connect offshore wind to Ravenswood shows how we can transform our neighborhood from being the poster child of the climate crisis to an example of how we can build a better and greener future. The work is by no means done, but I applaud this proposal and look forward to seeing many more like it.”

    “Queens is all too familiar with the devastating impacts of climate change, supercharged by our unchecked use of fossil fuels. From stronger storms flooding our communities to higher rates of asthma in Western Queens, the health of our neighborhoods has come under greater threat every day,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “But now we’re leading New York State’s clean energy transition. To that end, there are few projects with more seismic of an impact than transforming the Ravenswood Generating Station into a hub of renewable wind energy. Doing so will both put money back in the pockets of our families and keep our communities healthier for years to come.”

    “This offshore wind proposal does the right thing by the community and we look forward to it,” said Bishop Mitchell Taylor, Co-Founder and CEO of Urban Upbound. “This neighborhood supplies 45% of the city’s power and has had to deal with the consequences for far too long. Today’s announcement is a community-driven project which will help change that dynamic as part of a Renewable Ravenswood.”