Rise Light & Power, the owner and operator of New York City’s largest power generator, Ravenswood Generating Station, today announced a new workforce training agreement with the Utility Workers Union of America to reposition New York’s utility workforce for the emerging clean energy future.

As part of the agreement, Rise Light & Power will provide a $2.5 million contribution to UWUA's Power for Training Trust Fund to help the union train its workforce to acquire the skills necessary for operating and maintaining new renewable energy technologies. The first project planned to feature the agreement is the Catskills Renewable Connector, an innovative clean energy solution proposed by Rise Light & Power to deliver homegrown renewable energy from Upstate New York to New York City to help meet the city’s energy demand and New York State’s nation-leading climate goals.

“UWUA is proud to partner with Rise Light & Power and play a key role in building New York’s clean energy future,” said Jim Shillitto, President of Utility Workers of America Local 1-2. “The Catskills Renewable Connector is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to combat the climate crisis while creating jobs and uplifting New York’s workers. This agreement will help our workforce reap the full benefits of this important project while developing the skills we need to continue thriving in the new economy.” 

“Rise Light & Power is thrilled to announce this first-of-its-kind agreement to train New York’s utility workforce for the clean energy economy,” said Clint Plummer, Chief Executive Officer of Rise Light & Power. “Our team is fully committed to helping New York achieve its ambitious climate goals by making the transition to renewables. The Catskills Renewable Connector, our proposal to deliver homegrown clean energy from upstate to downstate, will do just that. However, to ensure an inclusive and equitable transition, we will need to equip our workers with the skills and resources that will allow them to fully participate in the emerging economy. The new workforce training agreement with UWUA is the latest—and boldest—step we’ve taken to achieve this goal.”

The Catskills Renewable Connector, offered by Rise Light & Power in response to a request-for-proposal from NYSERDA’s newly established Tier 4 REC program, would create a 1,200 MW submarine and underground transmission line that delivers clean, affordable wind and solar energy from across upstate to the downstate region.

At full output, the line could supply approximately 15 percent of New York City’s electricity needs, reducing reliance on out-of-state resources, shrinking the city’s carbon footprint and facilitating the state’s transition to clean energy. The project is a key component of Rise Light & Power’s plans to modernize its Ravenswood facility.

The Catskills Renewable Connector will consist of nearly 115 miles of fully underwater and underground cables connecting electricity converter stations in Greene County with Rise Light & Power’s Ravenswood Generating Station in Queens. Large portions of the line will traverse below the Hudson River, allowing it to bypass major transmission constraints in the Hudson Valley in a responsible, reliable and affordable manner.

The Catskills Renewable Connector offers the following unique advantages to help New York State and New York City meet their ambitious climate goals and lead the Post-COVID economic recovery:

First, the project will reduce New York’s dependence on fossil fuels through a mix of clean energy capacity and renewable energy. Using a diverse set of capacity commitments with upstate renewable energy suppliers, the Catskills Renewable Connector will deliver clean energy when and where it’s needed most, any day of the year. As a result, it will allow New York to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and provide dependable and dispatchable energy. By 2030, the Catskills Renewable Connector is estimated to reduce New York State’s natural gas demand by 11%.

Second, the Catskills Renewable Connector will create an innovative new model for transforming aging energy infrastructure into hubs of clean energy. Rise Light & Power’s proposal is the only project submitted to NYSERDA that demonstrates how New York State can transform large, aging energy infrastructure in densely populated urban areas into a modern hub of reliable, resilient and renewable energy.

Third, Rise Light & Power has established a portfolio of New York-based wind and solar generators to supply the line with clean energy. Rise continues to mature the project by entering into contracts with renewable partners as well as engaging nearly every renewable developer in New York State for potential partnerships. As a result of these partnerships, the project is estimated to increase the state’s wind energy generation by 15% by 2030 and its solar generation by 49% by 2030.

Fourth, the Catskills Renewable Connector will significantly reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. By 2030, the project is estimated to lower CO2 emissions in New York State by 10% and by 15% in New York City. These reductions will improve air quality and health around the state, especially in underserved communities that have long suffered the worst consequences of pollution and environmental injustice. The project is expected to reduce the cost of medical expenses in New York State by $6.2 million through sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide reductions.

Fifth, Rise Light & Power has committed to a comprehensive community benefit and economic development plan. In partnership with community groups, academic institutions, labor, business, and environmental justice organizations along the route, Rise has committed to expanding workforce development in disadvantaged communities, increasing public access to the waterfront in the Bronx, investing in small businesses in Hudson Valley, PILOT and community benefit agreements in Greene County, and creating a new Climate Leadership Labor Training Center (CLLTC), among other exciting programs and strategic investments.

Rise Light & Power expects construction of the Catskills Renewable Connector to begin in 2023 and achieve full operations by the end of 2026. Upon completion, the project will help advance the 70 x 30 and 100 x 40 targets mandated by New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

About Rise Light & Power

Rise Light & Power is a Queens, New York based energy asset manager and developer. Its core asset, Long Island City’s Ravenswood Generation Station, is New York City’s largest power generating facility, which provides more than 20 percent of New York City's generation capacity. Rise is also pursuing an exciting growth-oriented strategy, including modernization and resiliency upgrades at Ravenswood Generation Station, as well as new large-scale clean energy infrastructure to facilitate the renewable energy transition taking place in New York State and the region. Rise Light & Power is a wholly owned indirect affiliate of LS Power. For more information, please visit www.riselight.com.

About UWUA

The Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO (UWUA) is one of the most successful and progressive unions in all of the labor movement. UWUA has over 50,000 members working in the electric, gas, water, and nuclear industries across the United States. UWUA members are the 24/7 first responders in times of public need.

About LS Power

LS Power is a development, investment, and operating company focused on the North American power and energy infrastructure sector. Since its inception in 1990, LS Power has developed, constructed, managed or acquired more than 45,000 MW of power generation, including utility-scale solar, wind, hydro, natural gas-fired and battery energy storage projects. Additionally, it has developed over 660 miles of high voltage transmission. In New York, LS Power Grid New York supports the state’s energy infrastructure through its upcoming build-out of the nearly 100-mile Marcy to New Scotland transmission upgrade project. LS Power Grid New York was selected by the New York Independent System Operator as the most efficient and cost-effective solution in New York’s largest competitive transmission project to date. LS Power actively invests in businesses focused on renewable energy and fuels, as well as distributed energy resource platforms, such as CPower Energy Management and EVgo. Across its efforts, LS Power has raised in excess of $46 billion in debt and equity financing to support North American infrastructure. For more information, please visit http://www.lspower.com/.

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