New York City is making history by replacing its largest fossil fuel power plant with offshore wind power, the first of its kind in the US. Ravenswood Generating Station, a 2,480-megawatt (MW) facility in Long Island City, Queens, that powers 20% of NYC, will be converted into a clean energy hub. This 27-acre waterfront oil and industrial gas site will become an offshore wind hub and an operations and maintenance center for offshore wind turbines.
At the same time, this move will support the transition of Ravenswood’s Local 1-2 UWUA union workers who currently operate the fossil fuel plant with training programs and job opportunities. This change is also projected to save New York ratepayers money due to reusing existing physical and electrical infrastructure at the site. Additionally, eliminating fossil fuels in Western Queens- nicknamed “Asthma Alley” for its elevated asthma levels- will enormously impact the air quality.
US congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-7) expressed strong support for this project, saying: “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.” She added: “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.”
Today, Rise Light & Power (RLP) – a New York-based energy asset manager and developer that holds Ravenswood as it’s core asset – is proudly submitting its proposal to NYSERDA in response to their offshore wind solicitation. This proposal has been backed by prominent community and state leaders who share RLP’s mission of clean energy progress for all citizens. The plan includes bringing an HVDC conductor cable onshore at RGP’s existing power plant site, which will interconnect via underground HVAC cables to NYISO’s bulk electric system located at substations adjacent to it. Alongside creating jobs associated with this new industry, this project aims to reduce NYC’s carbon footprint by replacing one of its largest sources of emissions with clean energy from offshore wind turbines.
The conversion process from a fossil fuel-based energy generator into an offshore wind power hub has been met with tremendous support from citizens due to potential environmental impact benefits and just transition options offered for workers who currently operate Ravenswood Generating Station. As such, once fully implemented, this project could become an example for other cities across America looking towards transitioning away from traditional forms of electricity generation into cleaner renewable sources such as offshore winds.
Jonas Muthoni is an entrepreneur and renewable energy expert. He is the founder of MicroGridMedia.com, a website dedicated to bringing the latest news and information about solar energy and other renewable energy sources to the public. Jonas is passionate about promoting sustainable energy solutions and educating the public about the benefits of renewable energy. He is a regular speaker at industry events and conferences and is committed to driving the transition to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.