NAACP-NYCHA Branch Leaders and More than 1,000 Queens NYCHA Residents Endorse Catskills Renewable Connector

By National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – NYCHA-Branch | July 12, 2021

Best opportunity for State to deliver environmental justice to NYCHA residents and accelerate Ravenswood’s transition to clean energy

Long Island City – July 12, 2021 – Leaders from the NYCHA branch of the NAACP and more than 1,000 residents from Western Queens NYCHA developments today endorsed the proposed Catskills Renewable Connector – a 1,200 MW renewable energy transmission line from upstate to New York City – saying it was the best opportunity for the state to prioritize environmental justice and protect the health of residents across the city.

Working together with leaders from the NAACP-NYCHA Branch, residents organized the petition below. The endorsement comes as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority reviews a series of proposals that will help reduce New York City’s dependence on fossil-based power by developing and delivering clean, renewable energy from outside the city.

“Environmental justice is a civil rights issue. For generations, communities of color have been forced to live next to toxic plants – poisoning the air they breathe, spreading illness and asthma, and limiting the spaces where their children can play,” said Lynn Spivey, President of the NAACP-NYCHA branch. “Now is the time for justice. This proposal, this moment, is our opportunity to come together and create healthy, sustainable communities for everyone.”

“We believe that Rise Light & Power has a responsibility to serve catalyst for positive change – both in our communities and the entire industry,” said Clint Plummer, CEO of Rise Light & Power. “Our team is very proud to receive the support of the western Queens community. But we also know it’s only one step in a long journey Together with the community, we are committed to investing in large-scale renewable energy projects – helping create local jobs and a cleaner, more sustainable city for all New Yorkers.”

Developed by Rise Light & Power, the owner of the Ravenswood Generating Station, the Catskills Renewable Connector will connect the bulk transmission system from the Capital Region to Long Island City, harnessing clean wind and solar energy from New York facilities and delivering it to the city. The proposal is projected to:

  • Generate $2 billion in economic development and 5,000+ local clean-energy jobs across the state.
  • Lower CO2 emissions in New York State by 10 percent and by 15 percent in New York City by 2030.
  • Supply approximately 15 percent of New York City’s electricity needs – reducing reliance on out-of-state resources and shrinking the city’s carbon footprint by nearly 2 million tons – the equivalent of taking nearly 400,000 cars off the road.

The leaders are calling for existing fossil generating facilities, like Ravenswood, to support the energy transition by becoming hubs for delivering clean energy. Local residents applauded Rise Light & Power for listening to the community and proposing a path-breaking project to deliver environmental justice.

The more than 1,000 NYCHA residents endorsed the following petition:

We the undersigned residents of NYCHA Housing in Western Queens write to express our support for the Catskills Renewable Connector project proposed by Right Light & Power, the owners, and operators of Long Island City’s Ravenswood Generation Station. Rise Light & Power has long supported causes important to NYCHA residents and is a valued member of our community. The Catskills Renewable Connector represents hope for environmental justice for our community to breathe cleaner air and accelerate Ravenswood’s transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. We hope the Catskills Renewable Connector is made a reality for the sake of our community, for the sake of our collective health.