Red Hook’s power system proved to be incredibly vulnerable during Super Storm Sandy, with the entire community without power for days, some areas for weeks and NYCHA residents for months. The system is made of above-grade power lines, a rarity in NYC, and is vulnerable in a wide variety of conditions like ice storms, high winds, salt intrusion and simply due to it’s aging frailty.
RRH has embarked on a serious effort to make Red Hook a low-carbon community to lower our contributions to GHG emissions and therefore combat climate change at the local level. RRH advocates to move our community in an innovative direction, with the implementation of a community based micro-grid that encourages the use of low-carbon de-centralized power generation.
RRH has been instrumental in guiding a community process to create a localized Community Microgrid, forming the The Red Hook Community Microgrid (RH-CMG) team comprised of local NGOs, private building owners, and government agencies. Resilient Red Hook in collaboration with Community Board 6, was awarded The NY Prize through the NYSERDA funded grant process. The RH-CMG consists of a partnership with the local Community Board 6 through Friends of Brooklyn Community Board 6, Inc; along with engineering expert Smarter Grid Solutions, and financing expert IMG Rebel. Together, the team has assessed how to create improved power resilience for critical facilities and operations that can sustain this South Brooklyn waterfront community both on a day-to-day basis, and in future emergency events by using clean distributed energy and innovative microgrid controls that are financed through pioneering infrastructural investments. Microgrids are local energy networks that are able to separate from the larger electrical grid during extreme weather events or emergencies, providing power to individual customers and crucial public services. The RH-CMG proposal and Red Hook community’s interest in the creation of a reliable and decentralized power system is an outcome of the Red Hook NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan and Brooklyn Community Board 6’s interest in expanding solar PV installations throughout the community district. A final report can be found below in the links and in the Reports section of the website. The outcome of the feasibility study acknowledges challenges to the creation and benefits to the community but RRH believes that this continues to be a positive direction for Red Hook in the future.