Rise Light & Power today announced another decisive step in support New York State’s bold climate goals, debuting Queensboro Renewable Express (Queensboro), a mature offshore wind transmission project that will bring renewable energy to Queens and replace existing fossil fuel generation. This announcement follows the release of Rise’s Renewable Ravenswood vision, which set ambitious targets to transition Ravenswood Generating Station from New York City’s largest fossil fuel power plant to a hub of renewable energy. It also follows Governor Kathy Hochul’s landmark announcement of New York’s third offshore wind solicitation, which will procure at least 2 GW of offshore wind energy. Queensboro is an innovative solution to the most challenging problem facing the offshore wind industry: delivering energy from the Atlantic Ocean to consumers efficiently and cost-effectively. With years of surveys and engineering work already complete, Queensboro offers unparalleled project maturity for interconnecting offshore wind in New York Harbor.
“As home to New York City’s largest power generator, there are countless reasons to interconnect gigawatts of new offshore wind energy at the Ravenswood site,” said Clint Plummer, Chief Executive Officer of Rise Light & Power. “We can leverage our existing infrastructure and waterfront location to deliver a low-cost, low-risk offshore wind transmission system. Queensboro Renewable Express, as part of the larger Renewable Ravenswood vision, is designed in partnership with our neighbors and community, and we are excited to make it a reality.”
Rise has been developing the Queensboro project for more than two years, completing 255 miles of geophysical surveys in New York Harbor to determine the safest and most efficient location for buried, submarine, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cables. Multiple sets of transmission cables will bring up to 3.9 GW of offshore wind power from the Atlantic Ocean, through the Verrazano Narrows, Upper New York Bay, and East River to the Ravenswood site in Queens, avoiding any impacts to beaches, public streets, or other property. By landing the cables at Ravenswood – a 27-acre waterfront industrial site in Queens – the project will leverage existing infrastructure to lower costs and improve efficiency.
In addition to providing cost advantages, Queensboro allows the opportunity to permanently replace 1960s-era fossil fuel generation capacity and provide continued employment for Ravenswood’s union workforce that has kept New York’s lights on for decades. Queensboro, as part of the Renewable Ravenswood vision, has numerous advantages, including:
- Retirement of Active Fossil Fuel Generation – Rise’s project brings offshore wind power to the City, permanently retiring existing fossil fuel units and reducing the City’s reliance on fossil fuels, reducing emissions, while also keeping the lights on for New Yorkers.
- Jobs, Training, & Local Economic Benefits – Queensboro will invest in local job training for our existing Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2 employees, while also investing in a pipeline of workers from nearby disadvantaged communities to power the offshore wind industry in the years ahead.
- Matured Project Ready for Permitting – Rise has already performed 255 miles of comprehensive marine surveys to establish a mature and feasible in-water route. These preparations advance permitting, design, and engagement with regulatory agencies.
- Cost Effectiveness and Ratepayer Protections – By repurposing existing infrastructure, reducing the need for expensive transmission upgrades, and bundling multiple cables into one corridor, Queensboro offers New York a highly cost-effective offshore wind interconnection solution.
- No Disruption to Community or Public Space – The project will use existing infrastructure to connect to adjacent substations, significantly reducing community impacts, risk, and cost. Unlike almost every other offshore wind farm in the United States, as well as other proposed cable landings in New York, Queensboro will not be buried under a public beach, nor will it require the disturbance of municipal roads or any real estate outside of the existing Ravenswood site.
The Queensboro Renewable Express drew praise from elected leaders, environmental justice, and labor advocates.
“After years of advocacy for retiring Big Allis, I am thrilled to see this concrete proposal to bring offshore wind energy to Queens, directly replacing fossil fuel generation,” said U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12). “Renewable Ravenswood offered a compelling vision for the site, and this announcement is the next step in making that vision a reality. The table is set for a just transition to renewables, and I look forward to collaborating with our partners in New York State government to make this happen.”
“There are many advantages for using Ravenswood as the gateway for New York City’s offshore wind future but none more important than it retires active fossil generation and puts environment justice at the forefront,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. “This proposal has the potential to transform the smokestacks of Big Allis into an offshore wind and renewable energy hub.”
“Today’s announcement by Rise Light & Power presents an intriguing construct for delivering clean and renewable offshore wind power to the New York market consistent with the ambitious targets set out under the Climate Leadership Community and Protection Act,” said Fred Zalcman, Director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance. “By directly replacing fossil fuels with offshore wind power, we will accelerate the transition to a clean and renewable energy economy as we create good-paying jobs and reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change.”
“We applaud Rise Light and Power’s announcement in supporting New York State’s sustainable energy transition by working expeditiously to replace inefficient, high-emitting peaker plants in Western Queens with energy storage and offshore wind transmission infrastructure,” said Cortney Koenig Worrall, CEO and President, Waterfront Alliance. “The Renewable Ravenswood vision, including this proposal to bring new offshore wind resources to Queens, will directly replace fossil fuel generation while minimizing impacts to public waterfront resources.”
“Bringing new sources of renewable energy to Ravenswood Generating Station is a surefire way to ensure that UWUA Local 1-2 will continue to play a role in keeping the lights on,” said Jim Shillitto, President of Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2. “By making investments to modernize and transition Ravenswood to clean energy, Rise will maintain electric reliability for New Yorkers and keep union workers at the forefront.”