Press Release

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Authority Releases Request for Proposals for New Resilient, Energy Efficient On-Campus Heat, Power & Delivery System to Serve Nearly 6,300 Residents

NEW YORK – The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) today announced a Request for Proposals for a potential project developer to finance, design, construct, and operate a campus-scale heat, hot water, and electricity generation and delivery network for Red Hook Houses East and West. The Authority is seeking combined heat and power generation proposals that would serve 28 buildings spanning 39 acres in Red Hook, and replace the eight steam plants that were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

“As part of NYCHA’s Sandy Recovery program, we are working to build back stronger and more resilient than ever before,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye.  “A new resilient energy system at Red Hook Houses will ensure that more than 6,000 residents – many of them seniors and children – are protected in the future.”
This project is a key resiliency initiative and advances the goals of Mayor de Blasio’s sweeping energy-efficiency and greenhouse gas emission-reduction plan One City: Built to Last, and One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City, his plan for growth, sustainability, resiliency, and equity. It also helps achieve NYCHA’s 10-year sustainability commitments outlined in the NextGeneration NYCHA Sustainability Agenda, released in April 2016.

 “Hurricane Sandy vividly highlighted the need to prepare for the impacts of climate change on our city’s most vulnerable residents,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director for Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer, Office of the Mayor. “The Red Hook Houses microgrid project is an important program that will expand NYCHA’s energy resiliency and support the Mayor’s OneNYC commitment to making our neighborhoods more equitable, more sustainable, and more resilient.”
“Installing a cogeneration and district energy system is one of the most efficient ways in NYC to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring a stable power supply,” said Nilda Mesa, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “NYCHA will be harnessing the energy produced in multiple ways, and eliminating individual building systems, which is a smart way to set up a system that will be better to maintain and control. This new system will cut costs while cutting carbon, and can be a model for public housing nationwide.”

Hurricane Sandy caused significant damage to the boiler plants, as well as the mechanical and electrical systems at Red Hook Houses due to flooding in the basements, affecting heat, hot water and power service.

A district energy system generates and distributes steam, hot water, and electricity to multiple buildings from a central plant. The Red Hook Houses District Energy System will be comprised of two central generation plants, which will be housed in a floodproofed building; two heat and power distribution networks, including a medium pressure steam distribution network and a medium voltage electrical distribution network; and backup generators.

This RFP also builds on the Red Hook Microgrid Feasibility Study commissioned by the New York Power Authority, and anticipates a future Red Hook Community Microgrid, currently under design by Brooklyn Community Board 6 and Red Hook NY Rising Committee. A microgrid is an electrical network serving a small geographic area that has its own means of generating electricity and can be disconnected from the electrical grid when necessary. NYCHA’s microgrid will be comprised of two medium voltage electrical networks to serve all 28 buildings at Red Hook Houses East and West. These networks will be independent from the main grid, and capable of future interconnection to the nearby Red Hook Community Microgrid project.

"The courage demonstrated by the residents of Red Hook persevering through Superstorm Sandy shone as a light in the darkness," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. "A new cogeneration system will help sustain that light, keeping the families at Red Hook Houses safe when disaster strikes and protecting their access to critical resources such as electricity, heat, and hot water. The reduction in carbon emissions as a result of this sustainability plan will also contribute to our efforts to fight future natural disasters that threaten Brooklyn’s waterfront."

 “Ensuring NYCHA facilities are more resilient has become an increasingly critical priority since Sandy. That’s why I worked to deliver federal resources throughout New York to build back NYCHA developments stronger than before,” said Representative Nydia M. Velázquez. “This most recent project will ensure thousands of Red Hook families can access heat, power and hot water in the event of future storms and I’m pleased it is moving forward.”

"NYCHA must become more energy efficient and committed to sustainability and resiliency in the Red Hook Houses,” said New York State Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix Ortiz. “This new program should help eliminate the power outages that have happened too often in past years. Our residents’ safety and quality of life always comes first."

"Red Hook residents and businesses have long suffered from frequent power outages. They hit our community particularly hard on NYCHA Red Hook East and West properties,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “This request for proposals for a cogeneration and microgrid energy system is promising. It aligns with the resilience planning Red Hook residents have been conducting. I am hopeful that NYCHA will build reliable and sustainable energy systems that prevent outages in Red Hook."

"We're thrilled that Red Hook Houses will be able to operate under their own steam and look forward to continuing to work with NYCHA to ensure that this state-of-the-art system can supply power to the broader Red Hook neighborhood in the event of a future catastrophe," said Craig R. Hammerman, District Manager for Brooklyn Community Board 6.

“There is great potential for a Red Hook Community Microgrid to create not only a more reliable emergency power system for our community but also to spearhead a model example of how communities can be involved,” said Gita Nandan, chair, Red Hook New York Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committee. “We are thrilled that NYCHA has taken this project to heart and is embarking on the first step to make Red Hook East and West more resilient.”

“At Red Hook Initiative we are extremely excited about NYCHA's commitment to a cogeneration system and microgrid in the Red Hook Houses,” said Jill Eisenhard, Executive Director of Red Hook Initiative. “This response ensures that residents will be getting the housing infrastructure that they need and deserve and that community needs are being heard. Red Hook will now have the tools and resources necessary for improved resiliency and sustainability. “

A pre-proposal conference will be held on June 29, at 1pm at 250 Broadway, 12th Floor. Proposal submissions will be divided into two parts to provide applicants with sufficient time to develop and elaborate on their proposals. The deadline for submitting Part 1 is July 22 and the deadline for submitting Part 2 is September 9. The full RFP documentation is available on NYCHA’s website.