April 15, 2021

Rikers Island might turn into an ecosystem supporting renewable energy and storage technology

2 min read

New York City plans on utilizing Rikers Island to study and establish renewable energy production and battery energy storage technology. This place was initially the main prison complex before the Renewables Rikers Act shifted the ownership of the piece from the Department of Corrections (DOC) to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. Mayor Bill de Blasio participated in this process. He explained that the island is being converted to better utilization by generating more renewable energy to sustain the city. The Act calls for the prison complex’s closure and invites renewable energy developers to explore the island.

There are two bills, Intro. 1592 and Intro. 1593, which will facilitate the switch of the ownership of the island to the DCAS come mid this year. This move will allow the agency to conduct preliminary tests on the renewable energy projects that can comfortably thrive on the island. The first bill calls for the development of the Rikers Island Advisory Committee. This committee will comprise the Department of Sanitation and the Department of Parks and Recreation, people who were pardoned on Rikers Island, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS), and the Department of Environmental Protection. Blasio added that the purpose of the committee would include determining the best and sustainable use of the Rikers Island.

The latter bill requires the MOS to conduct a study investigating the feasibility of various renewable energy sources and battery storage technology on Rikers Island. This research will explore the area from economic costs, rate of return, and the sustainability of the projects that would be implemented in it. Additionally, the committee would be developing a plan that would accelerate the substitution of the gas-fired power plants in the area with renewable energy sources. Blasio articulated that the mega challenge will be mitigating climate change which in turn safeguards the city, the people, and the earth. He added that Rikers Island could be the ideal place for establishing renewable energy projects that could sustain the electricity demands of the big production facilities and the residents of New York City.

New York state’s governor Andrew Cuomo enumerated a green economy recuperation plan at the beginning of this year which will unleash 12.4GW of renewable energy and establish more than 50000 employment opportunities. The other project that this state is looking forward to is 23 large-scale solar farms and a hydroelectric energy plant whose potential surpasses 2.2GW. These projects will place the state face-to-face with the Paris agreement accords that implied climate change mitigation.


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