March 7, 2023 By Bill Parry
The new net-zero energy clubhouse for the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens in Astoria will include a Teen Academy funded by a $1.5 million contribution from Attentive Energy One, a joint venture between Rise Light & Power and TotalEnergies as part of its proposal to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
The investment is targeted to ensure the club can maximize its offerings related to STEM education and climate science, inspiring and equipping tomorrow’s leaders to participate in the green economy. For several years, the Club has undertaken a bold capital campaign to replace its current 1950s-era clubhouse. In September 2022, the Club announced that its new facility – which will expand capacity from 4,000 to 16,000 youth – will be fully carbon neutral, demonstrating dedication to environmental justice and climate goals.
“We are proud to support the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens and the important work they do to invest in our children’s futures,” said Clint Plummer, CEO of Rise Light & Power. “Investing in our youth and STEM education topics such as climate and energy builds a brighter future for us all. The Club and its leadership have stewarded a transformative vision for the new clubhouse, and we are proud to partner to continue to provide resources for residents of Astoria, Long Island City, and beyond.”
The facility could break ground as soon as the end of 2023 and will contain more than 120,000 square feet of clubhouse space alongside 229 units of affordable and supportive housing. Attentive Energy’s commitment of $1.5 million would allow for the construction and fit-out of a new Teen Center within the Club, focused on increasing the amount of STEM education and strengthening partnerships with local public schools.
“Attentive Energy is excited to propose the nation’s first renewable powering with offshore wind along with a suite of accompanying investments in workforce development and education,” said Attentive Energy Managing Director Damian Bednarz. “We fully support efforts that lead to a just transition for Western Queens and the City as a whole, and are confident in institutions like Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens to ensure young people are equipped to play a meaningful role in that opportunity.”
Attentive Energy One is an offshore wind project designed to help New York State achieve the twin goals of replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy and establishing a durable local industry with living-wage jobs.
The project will deliver a historic environmental justice victory by retiring and replacing a major fossil-fuel power plant with offshore wind power. The project will power over 700,000 New York homes via the Ravenswood Generating Station in Long Island City, permanently replacing 400MW of fossil fuel generation.
Wind power will be delivered directly to a waterfront power plant via a subsea transmission solution that avoids cable landings through beaches and other sensitive recreational areas
“We are grateful for the support of Attentive Energy and Rise Light & Power,” said Costa Constantinides, CEO of Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens. “Along with their transformative work to deliver a Renewable Ravenswood, their commitment to the community and our young people is truly inspiring. With their help, we will be able to provide even more resources and opportunities for the children of Queens.”