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Agreement Calls for New York Power Plant Workers to be Trained to Work in Offshore Wind Sector

Workers at the Ravenswood Generating Station in New York will be trained to transition to work in the offshore wind industry under an agreement with a utility workers union and a joint venture that is developing an offshore wind project.

The agreement was unveiled on June 26 by Attentive Energy One, a joint venture between TotalEnergies and Rise Light & Power. The agreement is with Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2, which represents the workforce at the Ravenswood Generating Station.

Located on 28 waterfront acres in Long Island City, Queens, Ravenswood represents more than 20 percent of New York City’s generation capacity. Ravenswood Generating Station employs over 100 people, a majority of which are members of UWUA local 1-2.

In July 2022, Rise Light & Power announced plans to redevelop Ravenswood Generating Station as a new renewable energy hub. Rise Light & Power is a unit of LS Power, which owns the plant.

In connection with a 1,400-megawatt offshore wind proposal that Attentive Energy One submitted to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in January 2023, the joint venture is committing “to supporting the just transition of Ravenswood’s union workforce in the shift to renewable energy at the facility,” it said.

In the NYSERDA application, Attentive Energy said that the offshore wind project “will deliver offshore wind energy directly into a new substation at Ravenswood, beginning the transformation of the city’s largest fossil generating facility into a clean energy center.” The project will set a precedent for fossil repurposing by retiring one of Ravenswood Generating Station’s 400 MW steam turbines and replacing it with offshore wind, the filing said.

The agreement unveiled on June 26 outlines a plan for preparing the members of Local 1-2 “for the future in clean energy at Ravenswood, demonstrating the value of labor-management partnerships in stewarding a just transition for the existing energy workforce.”

Upon award of a contract, the joint venture will launch a program in coordination with UWUA Local 1-2 that will ensure its members are able to smoothly transition to work on new renewable energy equipment as well as an operations-and-maintenance hub supporting up to 3 gigawatts of offshore wind, through retraining and other transition benefits.

The Ravenswood Training Center, a NCCER-Accredited Training Sponsor and Assessment Center, provides an existing platform for introducing new curriculum related to renewable energy, maritime operations, and other relevant skills to UWUA Local 1-2 members.

The joint venture will also support training opportunities for workers statewide by partnering with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and their industry partner the National Electrical Contractors Association to open a Global Wind Organization Training Center.

This center will provide broad labor union training related to Global Wind Organization-approved courses and educational credits through an agreement with Empire State College.

All union tradespeople seeking the Global Wind Organization safety certification will be able to use this facility, one of only five in the United States expected to offer the full-suite of Global Wind Organization -certified safety courses, as well as recertifications.

At full capacity, the IBEW Global Wind Organization Training Center will issue more than 400 certifications each year.

The joint venture is also collaborating with the National Offshore Wind Training Center -- the result of a cooperative labor partnership between the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, the Building & Construction Trades Council of Nassau & Suffolk Counties, Suffolk Community College and others.

NOWTC will offer Global Wind Organization training on Long Island. Attentive Energy One is committed to utilizing the NOWTC for a portion of its training offerings, opening opportunities for Long Islanders to access training for jobs in offshore wind.

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