Thomas Hunter Honors students in the “Energy and Environment” course taught by professors Allan Frei and Steve Greenbaum toured the Ravenswood Electric Power Generating Facility in Queens on September 15 to learn about its operations and plans for transitioning to clean power.
“There is nothing quite like the heat and vibration of a nearby turbine to impart a visceral understanding of how energy is converted from one form to another,” Greenbaum said.
Students in the Thomas Hunter Honors Program pursue interdisciplinary studies, drawing on analytical methods from the physical sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities to examine a topic or solve a problem. Frei and Greenbaum’s “Energy and Environment” course aims to provide a firm scientific underpinning in addressing the major factors responsible for climate change from human activity.
Frei is a professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science and deputy director of the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities. Greenbaum is a professor in the Physics & Astronomy Department and a CUNY distinguished professor.
Ravenswood, operated by Rise Light & Power on 28 acres in Long Island City, runs on natural gas and provides about 20% of New York City’s electricity.
The company, which has operated the plant for 60 years, plans to turn it into a clean-energy hub. The “Renewable Ravenswood” initiative would replace the plant’s 1960s-vintage fossil-fuel generators with clean energy from renewable sources, such as solar and wind.