New York Company Proposes Repowering Fossil Fuel Plant with Offshore Wind

US energy asset manager and developer, Rise Light & Power, has submitted a proposal in response to New York State’s offshore wind solicitation which the company says will be the nation’s first renewable repowering of a major fossil-fuel plant with offshore wind power.

Rise Light & Power

By securing an ownership stake in an offshore wind project, Rise said it will be an integral part of an offshore wind proposal to be submitted to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on Thursday, 26 January.

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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 project is also said to have strong 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.

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”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 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 now, 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 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, Rise said.

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.

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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, the company said.

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.

”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.”

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