Offshore wind company will retrain NY Power Plant Union Ship’s crew


By Nicholas Groom

June 26 (Reuters) – An offshore wind energy developer partly owned by TotalEnergies said Monday it has agreed to retrain about 100 union workers from a New York natural gas power plant and keep what it intends to do repurpose for his project.

The company, called Attentive Energy One, has proposed a 1.4 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind turbine off New York to be connected to the mainland grid at the site of the Ravenswood power station in Queens and is competing with the state for a power contract.

The company is a joint venture between TotalEnergies, the French energy giant, and Rise Light & Power, the unit of New York-based energy investment firm LS Power, which operates the 1960s Ravenswood power station.

Rise Light & Power chief executive Clint Plummer told Reuters he believes the agreement to reskill and employ the plant workers is an important aspect of Attentive’s bid for a state power contract.

“But that’s not why we do it,” he said. “We see it as an important part of our stewardship of this asset and the responsibility we have to do the right thing for this workforce.”

Duties could include operating the project’s control room, handling spare parts for wind turbine maintenance and other logistical functions, the company said.

James Shillitto, president of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) Local 1-2, which represents workers at the plant, said he welcomes the deal.

“We are very confident that by working with Rise, Total and Attentive we will find the right path,” he said in an interview. “None of us are climate deniers and we know things need to change.”

President Joe Biden’s administration is promoting the development of offshore wind and other renewable energy sources and has promised its climate change agenda will create millions of well-paying union jobs.

New York has mandated that 70% of the state’s electricity must come from renewable sources by 2030, and the state has set a goal of developing 9 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2035.

The winners of the state’s third offshore wind tender will be announced this summer.

(Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by David Gregorio)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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