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March 31st, 2021
Andrew Yang Calls for Green Energy Plant in Long Island City, Creating 1,000 Jobs and Establishing a Model for Green Energy Districts
**RELEASE** March 31st, 2021
New York, NY—Today, Andrew Yang, Democratic candidate for Mayor of NYC, joined local leaders and community members to call for the development and construction of the River Green Power (RGP) plant in Long Island City.
Yang was joined by Bishop Mitchell Taylor, Senior Pastor of the Center Of Hope International, in Hunter’s Point to highlight how the proposed RGP plant could be a model for district energy plants to provide green heating and cooling services for neighboring buildings. The plant would drastically reduce reliance on fossil fuels to heat and cool buildings while helping buildings exceed the requirements of the recently enacted Local Law 97.
Said Andrew Yang, “Our City lost 700,000 jobs during the pandemic and the truth is that right now our recovery is behind much of the rest of the country. As Mayor, I’m going to be laser focused on creating jobs and getting New Yorkers back to work. Beyond the extraordinary challenge we have ahead of us to rebuild our city’s economy, we also have to think about how we can create jobs that also fight the threat of climate change. And I believe we can do both right here in communities like Long Island City. The proposed River Green Power plant is exactly the kind of innovative, job-creating green infrastructure projects we should be backing not just to get our City back on its feet, but back on its feet and sprinting towards the future. This project alone will create 1,000 of those jobs and a sustainable source of energy for years to come.”
Said April Simpson Taylor, president of the Queensbridge Houses Tenants Association, “This plant will do right by our tenants by providing reliable and sustainable energy to the Queensbridge Houses at no cost to residents. The plan will be a godsend to the 75% of families in our development who currently do not have reliable air conditioning. I am grateful that Andrew Yang has made greening NYCHA facilities core to his mayoral campaign – we all deserve to play a role in the green energy revolution.”
Said Bishop Mitchell Taylor, Senior Pastor of the Center of Hope International, “Projects such as the River Green Power (RGP) plant in Long Island City are vital not only to moving the City forward toward a greener and more sustainable future, but also in creating real equity opportunities as well as jobs that were promised to Long Island City residents. We need to modernize our NYCHA housing stock, which has been stuck in a Byzantine timewarp where our most vulnerable communities have to rely on ancient technology to keep cool or stay warm, and I want to thank Andrew Yang for his vision in pushing such innovative ideas to the forefront. This proposal is not only environmentally sound for New York City, but will also rejuvenate job opportunities for the neighborhood.”
The RGP plant would use a combination of an intake-outake system with the East River and approximately 500 geothermal bores each drilled down to 850 feet to provide sustainable heating and cooling services for neighboring buildings through a closed system of water circulation integrated with the ventilation systems of individual buildings. The system would drastically reduce reliance on fossil fuels to heat and cool buildings and help buildings exceed the requirements of Local Law 97. In addition to construction of a geothermal heating and cooling plant, the RGP plan calls for bringing in private capital to upgrade the heating and cooling systems at NYCHA Queensbridge Houses. Today, Queensbridge residents must rely on decades-old steam heating systems and window A/C units and many residents do not have any air conditioning; when connected to the River Green Power plant, the system will provide heating and air conditioning services for all residents. In addition, the RGP plan calls for job training for QueensBridge residents and scholarships for young residents. The $250 million privately financed green geothermal power plant facility would be the centerpiece of a pilot green energy district, which have already been successfully built in cities like Toronto. Local building owners in the area could, but would not be required to, opt-in to the system. Engineering for the unique facility is being provided by MEP Geothermal Engineering, which recently designed Cornell Tech’s geo-exchange system just across the east river. DTE Energy will co-develop and build the plant. It would be the first plant of its kind in New York. The project is estimated to create over 1,000 jobs as part of the construction, design, and engineering, plus ongoing maintenance and service jobs when completed.