NYCHA Focuses Grid Resiliency in Brooklyn

Red Hook housing development will feature its own sustainable, resilient microgrid

Architects Newspaper, July 5, 2016

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is on the hunt for a developer to back a sustainable heat and power generation complex for Brooklyn’s biggest housing complex to be.

NCYHA says the developer would “finance, design, construct, and operate a campus-scale heat, hot water, and electricity generation and delivery network” that will serve the 28 buildings housing 6,000 residents in Red Hook. Officially known as the “The Red Hook Houses District Energy System,” the project will comprise two energy plants located at each end of the complex that will form a micro-grid that supplies the housing network. Additionally, as part of a post-Sandy contingency plan, the micro-grid would let the NYCHA to produce its own energy and link up with the Red Hook Community Microgrid scheme.

NYCHA believes that the distributed energy component of this project has the potential to be a self-sustaining enterprise, and the RFP provides an opportunity to raise dedicated funds for that,” said NYCHA spokeswoman Zodet Negron.

“As part of NYCHA’s Sandy Recovery program, we are working to build back stronger and more resilient than ever before,” added NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. As of last week, the NYCHA has released its “Request for Proposals” which calls for a two part submission process due on July 22 and September 9. Developers will work alongside New York firm KPF, who have produced a selection of renders, for the scheme.

Nilda Mesa, director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability also mentioned how the scheme will combat greenhouse gas emissions. “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.”

In terms of funds for the project, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has set aside $438 million for repairs on NYCHA buildings damaged by Sandy. “FEMA funds can pay for cogeneration/microgrid components that are consistent with the restoration and resiliency of electrical and heating systems that were damaged by Sandy,” a spokeswoman said.

Read More