Revitalizing Red Hook


Bright Power and The Netherlands’ energy experts explore the Brooklyn neighborhood

On the heels of New York Energy Week, Bright Power and a delegation of Microgrid experts from the Netherlands teamed up for a bicycle tour of the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. Even two years after Superstorm Sandy, Red Hook has not completely recovered, but where they’ve seen hardship, there is also opportunity.

At home, the Dutch have mastered comprehensive energy planning for entire communities, leading the global energy sector in smart microgrids, energy storage and electric mobility solutions. The Dutch delegation of energy experts, convened by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York and Energy Transition New York, included progressive grid operators Alliander and Cogas, and other advanced battery storage experts. Recognizing the need for a local advocate, Bright Power invited Gita Nandan, Red Hook resident, founding partner of sustainable architecture firm Thread Collective and co-chair of the Red Hook NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program, which recently released a comprehensive plan for making the neighborhood more resilient against climate risks.

Joined by Bright Power’s Henry Misas and Klaar De Schepper, the team took to the streets in traditional Dutch fashion, on Dutch bicycles. The team toured the neighborhood from IKEA to New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)’s Red Hook Houses while stopping along the way to hear first-hand accounts of Red Hook’s tumultuous history. The community stands to see an economic and cultural resurgence. Ideally, these efforts would revitalize the neighborhood through an influx of jobs, affordable housing and new businesses. A large-scale energy project is the perfect catalyst for holistic changes such as these.

It’s important to modernize Red Hook’s energy profile not only to revitalize the neighborhood, but also to protect it from the next storm and preserve it for generations to come. This global team of innovators is well-positioned to consult on protecting cities against future climate risks, as demonstrated by fact that four of the five winning projects of New York City’s “Rebuild by Design” competition are US-Dutch collaborations. The forward-thinking neighborhood is making resiliency a priority and we are excited to see how strategic energy solutions can shape this promising neighborhood.