Rise Light & Power Achieves Major Milestone to Bring Offshore Wind to New York, Advancing Transformation of City’s Largest Fossil-Fuel Plant

Commencement of Permitting Enables Offshore Wind Power to be Delivered to Ravenswood Years Ahead of Other Projects, Helping New York Achieve its Nation-Leading Climate Goals  

Enables Nation’s First Renewable Repowering, Replacing Fossil Fuel Generators with Offshore Wind, Delivering Victories for Environmental Justice and Union Labor

Long Island City, New York, May 14, 2024 – Rise Light & Power achieved a significant milestone in its plan to deliver offshore wind to New York City when the New York State Department of Public Service (NYS DPS) deemed its application complete last week and officially launched public review under Article VII of the New York State Public Service Law, which governs siting of major utility transmission facilities. 

“Today’s action keeps us on track to transform New York City’s largest power plant into a clean energy hub, with offshore wind at its center. We are grateful to Governor Hochul, our partners in government, labor and our community for sharing the vision for a Renewable Ravenswood,” said Clint Plummer, CEO, Rise Light & Power. “We are looking forward to a robust public review that will set the standard for a responsible energy transition by listening to our neighbors, collaborating with labor, and delivering benefits for all New Yorkers.”

Rise Light & Power owns and operates New York City’s largest fossil power plant, the Ravenswood Generating Station, which provides 20% of the City’s generating capacity.  In July 2022, Rise published a comprehensive redevelopment plan called Renewable Ravenswood, which seeks to transition Ravenswood into a state-of-the-art clean energy hub using a variety of renewable energy technologies including offshore wind.  

Rise submitted this Article VII application in December 2022, after completing 255 miles of geophysical surveys in New York Harbor to determine the safest and most efficient location for buried, underwater, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission cables. Multiple sets of these cables will bring up to 2.6 GW of offshore wind power from the Atlantic Ocean, through the Verrazzano Narrows, Upper New York Bay, and East River to the Ravenswood site. This approach avoids any impacts to beaches, public streets, or other private property, while also leveraging existing energy infrastructure at Ravenswood to lower costs and improve efficiency. Also in December 2022, Rise acquired an interest in the 1.4 gigawatt Attentive Energy One offshore wind project.

The Article VII permit is a key step towards Renewable Ravenswood, unlocking the delivery of clean energy and numerous other economic and environmental benefits. Offshore Wind, as part of the Renewable Ravenswood vision, has numerous benefits to New Yorkers, including:

Retirement of Fossil Generation

Offshore wind power, delivered directly into New York City, can replace existing fossil fuel generation and reduce the city’s emissions. The first offshore wind project interconnecting at Ravenswood will permanently retire an operating fossil-fired generator and replace its output with renewable energy from offshore wind.

Creation of Permanent Jobs

The Renewable Ravenswood plan also includes a new multi-story industrial building that contains a permanent offshore wind operations and maintenance hub, including control rooms, training facilities, and warehousing. The addition of the operations and maintenance hub at Ravenswood reactivates a portion of New York’s industrial waterfront, providing new, high-quality union jobs that will allow members of the UWUA Local 1-2 to continue powering New York.

New Onshore Clean Energy Hub (Illustrative concept only):This figure illustrates a preliminary design concept that illustrates the largest necessary volume that could be required.  More detailed architectural and design elements will occur in the future as the project progresses, and changes to the illustrative concept are expected. 

Job Training and Workforce Development

Rise and its partners will invest in local job training for its existing union workforce, members of the Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2, while also investing in a pipeline of workers from nearby disadvantaged communities to operate the offshore wind industry in the years ahead.

Cost Effectiveness and Ratepayer Protections

By repurposing existing power infrastructure, reducing the need for expensive transmission upgrades, and bundling multiple cables into one corridor, this offers New York a highly cost-effective offshore wind interconnection solution.

Reuse of Industrial Land to Preserve Public Space

All new onshore infrastructure will be located on existing industrial real estate. Unlike almost every other offshore wind farm in the United States, as well as other proposed cable landings in New York, this project will not require disturbances to public beaches, nor will it require the disturbance of land outside of the existing Ravenswood site.

Community Involvement

Rise Light & Power maintains a commitment to transparent and accessible community engagement, engaging with over 600 individuals last summer and fall in interactive forums. Rise will host additional forums in the coming months to share project updates and receive feedback from community members, environmental advocates, labor leaders, elected officials, and local organizations. In addition to forums hosted by Rise Light & Power, the Department of Public Service is expected to facilitate Public Information Sessions and Public Statement Hearings this summer.

Today’s milestone, and the continuing progress of the Renewable Ravenswood plan, drew broad support from across the City and State:

“Achieving climate justice lies in making the investments to create impactful renewable energy projects,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. “I am extremely excited by Renewable Ravenswood plan to transition New York City’s largest fossil fuel burning generating facility to renewable energy. This project can set a national precedent as the first renewable repowering of a fossil burning generator. Ravenswood Generating Station becoming ‘Renewable Ravenswood’ means supporting our climate goals with a new clean energy operations and maintenance hub for offshore wind, generating new green union jobs, and benefiting frontline environmental justice communities from Queensbridge to Ravenswood and beyond. This new offshore wind and land-based renewable energy project will not only sustainably power our communities but also lower energy costs and create more jobs for working families here in Queens and upstate New York.”

“Congratulations to Rise Light & Power, whose achievement today puts us one step closer to meeting our State’s renewable energy targets and one step closer to bringing clean air, affordable energy, and high-quality union jobs to this community for generations to come,” said State Senator Kristen Gonzalez.

“I am very pleased to see Renewable Ravenswood taking this significant step toward becoming a reality,” said State Senator Liz Krueger. “This project will have a significant positive impact on the air my constituents breathe and the climate we all share, and it demonstrates the kind of across-the-board wins that are possible when New York State embraces the transition to a decarbonized future.”

“Today’s announcement is a great step toward bringing green union jobs and investments to this historically marginalized environmental justice community,” said Council Member Julie Won. “We need to continue to invest in renewable energy in our city that will continue to lower harmful emissions, provide sustainable power, and bring us one step closer to our long term environmental goals.”

“This permitting milestone represents significant progress in the journey towards a cleaner, greener future,” said Chair of the New York City Council Energy Committee James Gennaro.  “Rise Light & Power is at the forefront of transforming New York City’s largest power plant into a state-of-the-art clean energy hub, and today brings us ever closer to that goal. We applaud Rise Light & Power’s dedication to environmental stewardship and forward-thinking initiatives as they pave the way to a more sustainable energy landscape.”

“For the future of our city and the health of our planet, it is vital that we get clean energy production facilities online, swiftly and at scale,” said Council Member Tiffany Cabán. “I applaud this advancement of the vision for a fully renewable NYC and am excited for the further steps toward a fossil-free future that it will make possible.”

“UWUA Local 1-2 members have kept the lights on in New York for 60 years. That passion and commitment deserves the kind of respect and acknowledgement that Rise Light & Power will deliver,” said James Slevin, President of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA). “As the Renewable Ravenswood vision becomes reality, we are proud our members will be the first conventional power plant workers in the United States to retrain to operate and maintain an offshore wind project. There’s nobody better to power this groundbreaking new project.”

“Renewable Ravenswood reflects the need to undertake a just transition as we move to clean energy,” said James Shillito, President of Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2. “We are off to a great start with Rise Light & Power’s progress on developing clean energy transmission and look forward to upskilling our members and ensure our workers who keep New York City’s lights on aren’t left in the dark. These are the first steps to advance the Renewable Ravenswood vision, which will create even more opportunities for organized labor.”

“There is no clean energy transition without transmission and this milestone shows a true commitment by Rise Light & Power and New York State to replace aging fossil fuel generators in Western Queens and to deliver gigawatts of offshore wind power to New York City,” said Julie Tighe, President of New York League of Conservation Voters. “The Renewable Ravenswood plan is the perfect example of how building our green economy goes hand-in-hand with advancing environmental justice.”

“New York has been a leader on fighting climate change and protecting our residents and businesses by transitioning from fossil fuel power generation to clean, renewable sources,” said NYC Chief Climate Officer Rohit T. Aggarwala. “Not only does today’s announcement bring us an important step closer to making offshore wind power a reality in New York City, it continues the momentum for a strong statewide program and the promise of cleaner, healthier air in Western Queens.”

“This milestone is a meaningful step towards completing our strategy to ensure a just energy transition for all New Yorkers,” said Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice Executive Director Elijah Hutchinson. “The City is  focused on helping repurpose aging power plants that have burdened disadvantaged communities into renewable energy projects and economic hubs that deliver meaningful benefits to our frontline communities.”

“The renewable repowering of the Ravenswood site in Long Island City will play an integral role in advancing New York City’s just transition to a clean energy future and establishing the city as a national hub for the offshore industry,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President & CEO Andrew Kimball. “We congratulate the Rise Light & Power team on its progress towards transforming a major fossil-fuel plant into a clean energy hub and empowering the existing workforce in the community to be part of the opportunities the green economy presents.”

“Today we are one step closer to the transformation of the Ravenswood Generating Station that public housing families in Western Queens have long awaited,” said Bishop Mitchell Taylor, CEO of Urban Upbound. “We applaud New York State and Rise Light & Power for their tireless work advancing this critical project. Our community deserves cleaner air and environmental justice, and we will continue to fight for the Renewable Ravenswood vision until it is a reality.”

“When it comes to environmental justice, it doesn’t get much better than replacing fossil fuel generators with wind power,” said Corinne Haynes, President of Queensbridge Houses Residents Association. “Queensbridge, the largest public housing development in the United States, was built more than 20 years before the power plant. After decades of living on the front lines, we thank Rise Light & Power for their proposal to clean up our air and create good jobs for the local community.”

“This announcement is a breath of fresh air that Ravenswood has needed for a long time,” said Carol Wilkins, President of Ravenswood Houses Residents Association. “My neighbors and I appreciate the commitment that Rise Light & Power has shown to this neighborhood and welcome new clean energy to Queens!”

“Rise Light & Power shows up for our community time and time again,” said Nan McKie, President of Woodside Houses Residents Association. “We’ve been waiting a long time for this vision to become a reality and I am proud of the advocacy of my neighbors in Woodside to make this happen. Congratulations and let’s get to work.”

“My neighbors and I have advocated for years to turn Asthma Alley into Renewable Row,” said Costa Constantinides, Chief Executive Officer of Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens. “The decision by the NYS DPS to proceed with its review of this project is a watershed moment for environmental justice in Queens and beyond. I applaud everyone who pitched in to make this happen and look forward to the swift implementation of the entire Renewable Ravenswood vision.” 

“Long Island City is ready to welcome new offshore wind energy into our neighborhood,” said Laura Rothrock, President of Long Island City Partnership. “Complex infrastructure projects like Renewable Ravenswood require careful planning, and I am thrilled to see Rise Light & Power reach this important permitting milestone. We are excited to support their work in building the green economy right here in Western Queens.” 

“Renewable Ravenswood is a futureproof investment in New York’s power grid,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President & CEO of the New York Building Congress. “Leveraging existing infrastructure like Ravenswood to deliver offshore wind energy to our homes and businesses is a smart, low-risk, and affordable way to tackle the climate crisis while providing high-quality union jobs.” 

“Renewable Ravenswood marks a significant leap forward in building healthier, more sustainable communities in New York. By shifting from fossil fuels to wind power, Renewable Ravenswood is not only advancing New York’s climate goals but also bringing about profound environmental justice victories for public housing residents,” said Public Housing Community Fund Executive Director Alex Zablocki. “This transition promises to substantially reduce carbon emissions, which is crucial for the well-being of NYCHA residents especially in Western Queens. Furthermore, the plan’s commitment to economic opportunities is unprecedented, offering public housing residents a unique chance to be at the forefront of the green economy. Renewable Ravenswood is a transformative initiative that empowers and uplifts NYCHA residents by providing them with sustainable, long-term economic prospects, and will improve long-term health for public housing residents and all New Yorkers.”

“Clean energy in Astoria and in Long Island City is a commitment to a sustainable future and an investment in public health,” said Dr. Cameron R. Hernandez, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Mount Sinai Queens. “Reducing the use of traditional energy sources helps combat climate change and ensures cleaner air in the community, ultimately reducing respiratory illnesses and contributing to a healthier neighborhood for generations to come.”

“Projects like Renewable Ravenswood are critical to reach New York State’s aggressive climate goals,” said Kenneth Adams, President of LaGuardia Community College. “They also provide tremendous economic opportunities for New Yorkers to access high-quality green jobs; public colleges like LaGuardia will play a critical role in creating and shaping new green energy curricula with certification programs. With this project, the Western Queens community will have access to opportunities and resources providing STEM education, workforce skills training, and referral services to build a pipeline of candidates from disadvantaged communities towards long-term careers in offshore wind and renewable energy. It’s a project that meets the needs of our community and our environment.”

About New York State’s Article VII Process

Article VII establishes a comprehensive, state-level siting process for the construction and operation of major transmission infrastructure in New York. The process is overseen by the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC). The PSC regulates electric, gas, steam, telecommunications, and water corporations in the state and reviews transmission projects to assess their environmental impacts and determine their purpose and need. Article VII requires a complete review of a project’s location, design, construction, and operation within New York State. You can find out more about the Article VII process on the New York Department of Public Service’s website.

To monitor the Article VII proceeding for the project, members of the public may visit the PSC’s website at www.dps.ny.gov, go to “Search”, and enter case number 22-T-0670 to navigate to the case file. Click the “Subscribe to Service List” button in the upper right of the page. Subscribers will receive email notifications when a filing is posted. Once the Article VII proceeding has begun and the project’s application is determined complete, members of the public will be given the opportunity to provide comments on the application. The PSC will provide advance notice of such opportunities, including public statement hearings and a written public comment period once they have been scheduled.

The public can also stay up to date on engagement opportunities and project information by visiting the project website, QueensboroRenewableExpress.com

About Rise Light & Power
Rise Light & Power is a Queens, New York based energy asset manager and developer, and is actively transforming its core asset, Long Island City’s Ravenswood Generating Station, into a new clean energy hub Renewable Ravenswood. By redeveloping New York City’s largest power generating facility, Rise will permanently replace fossil fuel power with homegrown renewable energy, while providing a just transition for its existing union workforce and economic opportunities for surrounding communities. Renewable Ravenswood is at the forefront of the ambitious clean energy transition taking place in New York State and will continue to provide reliable and cost-effective electricity for New York City for decades to come. Rise Light & Power is a wholly owned affiliate of LS Power.  

Press Contact: Ben Branham ben@pythiapublic.com

About Rise Light & Power

Rise Light & Power is a New York City based energy asset manager and developer, and is actively transforming its core asset, the Ravenswood Generating Station, into a new clean energy hub. By redeveloping New York City’s largest power generating facility, Rise will permanently replace fossil fuel power with renewable energy, while providing a just transition for its existing union workforce and economic opportunities for surrounding communities. Renewable Ravenswood, core to Rise’s growth-oriented strategy, is at the forefront of the ambitious clean energy transition taking place in New York State and will continue to provide reliable and cost-effective electricity for New York City for decades to come. Rise Light & Power is a wholly owned affiliate of LS Power. For more information, please visitwww.riselight.com.