Rise Light & Power Scholars Visit Ravenswood Generating Station

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY (March 2, 2023)LaGuardia Community College students had the opportunity to visit the Ravenswood Generating Station to learn about New York City’s energy landscape. The visit was hosted by Rise Light & Power (Rise), a New York-based energy asset manager and developer.

Rise is pursuing an exciting growth-oriented strategy, including modernization and resiliency upgrades at Ravenswood, as well as new large-scale clean energy infrastructure to facilitate the renewable energy transition taking place in New York State and the region. On January 24, Rise announced its proposal to create the nation’s first renewable repowering of fossil generation with offshore wind through the Attentive Energy One (“AE1”) project. AE1 is designed to help New York State achieve the twin goals of replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy and establishing a durable local industry with high-quality jobs. The project will deliver a historic environmental justice victory by retiring and replacing fossil-fuel power generation with offshore wind power, powering over 700,000 New York homes.

LaGuardia has partnered with Rise to develop the Rise Light & Power Scholars program, which offers students, who are majoring in STEM fields, scholarship support and opportunities to learn about new forms of sustainable energy. The visit to Ravenswood provided Rise Light & Power Scholars to learn about the proposed project announced on January 24.

During the visit, the Rise Scholars had an opportunity to meet with Wil Fisher, Manager of External Affairs with Rise Light & Power; Simar Gill, P.Eng., Human Performance Engineer with Ravenswood Generating Station; Tania Marinos, Workforce & Economic Development Manager with Attentive Energy; and Andréa Savage, Communications Specialist with Attentive Energy.. The Scholars asked a variety of questions related to renewable energy and the Ravenswood powerplant.

Fisher said partnering with LaGuardia has presented many opportunities to get future generations involved in finding solutions to environmental issues and renewable energy.

“Welcoming the students to Ravenswood offers students a chance to learn about what energy transition means, in terms of economic development and workforce opportunities,” Fisher said. “They are the next generation that is going to need to lead this change and the lead the shift to renewable energy.”

Fisher added, “In addition to receiving STEM scholarships through our corporate giving and charitable giving programs, the students get a hands-on experience and opportunity to speak directly with engineers who are out in the field. I hope we can make an impact and connect classroom theory to the reality on the ground.”

The Rise Light & Power Scholars are Muhammad Abbasi, programming and software development major; Andrea Hernandez, computer technology major; Karissa Cook, biology major; Sayidjon Babkhodjaev, electrical engineering major; Abid Ramsamooj, biology major; Afra Taher, computer science major; Ling Lin, computer science major; Joe Gonzales, engineering science/civil engineering major; Julian Poli, engineering science/civil engineering major; Kevin Coronel, network administration and information security major; Jean Gabriel Decimus, engineering science/civil engineering major; and Bhupendra Pariyar, computer science major.

Julian said the tour at Ravenswood gave him a new perspective and ideas for career exploration. Julian, who is also a leader for the Student Success Mentors, says he plans to share a lot about what he learned during the tour with other students.

“I originally wanted to get into transportation, buildings and construction,” Julian said, “but taking a second look at what we saw in this powerplant and how it works, I might look into working in renewable energy.”

Karissa, originally from Ohio, originally entered LaGuardia majoring in biology, because she was interested in the medical field. While participating in the CUNY Research Scholars Program, Karissa had the opportunity to work in the entomologist concentrating the environmental sciences. Karissa’s experience motivated her to change majors and pursue a career in wildlife science to learn about how communities and wildlife can live together.

As she continues her studies, she says the top of climate change resonates with her and her fellow scholars.

“By the time most of us started attending school it was known that things are changing due to global warming, and it was in our heads from an early age,” Karissa said. “It definitely gave us the incentive to say, ‘Hey, we need to be able to do something about this, because by the time our kids are in school, we don’t want this to be the case.’ Little by little, I think the more people get involved with it (climate change) the more likely we can do something about it.”

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LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), located in Long Island City, Queens, educates thousands of New Yorkers annually through degree, certificate, and continuing education programs. LaGuardia is a national voice on behalf of community colleges, where half of all U.S. college students study. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his championing the underserved. Since our doors opened in 1971, our programs regularly become national models for pushing boundaries to give people of all backgrounds access to a high quality, affordable college education.


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