FERC works on application for 1,000-MW Parker Knoll hydro project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on June 13 said it will be conducting a July 16 on-site tour related to a November 2011 application for a major new license on a 1,000-MW pumped storage hydro project in Utah.

The application was filed by Parker Knoll Hydro LLC for the Parker Knoll Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project. The project is located at Parker Mountain, near the town of Richfield in Piute County, Utah. The project would occupy 458.7 acres of federal land administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

This application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time. The applicant and FERC staff will conduct a project Environmental Site Review beginning on July 16.

The proposed project would be a closed-loop pumped storage system, with an initial fill from the existing Otter Creek reservoir. It would have various new facilities, including:

  • an approximately 175-feet-high upper main dam with a crest length of about 1,650 feet and one saddle dam;
  • an upper reservoir with a storage capacity of around 6,780 acre-feet and a surface area of about 110 acres;
  • an approximately 100-feet-high lower dam with a crest length of about 1,750 feet and two saddle dams;
  • a lower reservoir with storage capacity of around 6,760 acre-feet and a surface area of approximately 130 acres;
  • a 2,390-feet-long and 27-feet-diameter headrace tunnel;
  • a 2,200-feet-long and 27-feet-diameter vertical shaft;
  • a 1,000-feet-long and 27-feet-diameter steel-lined penstock tunnel;
  • a 7,126-feet-long and 35-feet-diameter tailrace tunnel;
  • a powerhouse containing four variable speed, reversible pump-turbine units with a minimum rating of 250 MW each;
  • an approximately 585-feet by 340-feet substation;
  • a 16-inch diameter and 68,000-feet-long fill pipeline and system; and
  • about one mile of 345-kV transmission line.

The project would have an estimated annual generation of 2,630 gigawatt hours.

The application said that Parker Knoll Hydro is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Symbiotics LLC, which is a domestic corporation incorporated under the laws of the state of Utah.

Project needed to even out grid inputs for solar and wind projects

“As development of renewable resources continues to grow, a reliable method for integration and storage becomes more important,” the application noted. “Hydroelectric pumped storage works as an energy storage system. The system includes two reservoirs, an underground powerhouse with reversible pump-turbines, and a pipe, or penstock, connecting the system. Electricity is used to pump water from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir. When power is needed, the water can be released back to the lower reservoir through the turbines to generate on-demand electricity. This creates a reliable way to integrate energy into the system. Pumped storage helps stabilize the transmission grid, reduces the need for costly transmission upgrades, and supports the development of variable renewable such as wind and solar.”

The Parker Knoll substation would be located outside the access tunnel portal and is needed to provide the interconnection of the transmission line to the generation and pumping equipment. The substation will include a 345-kV ring bus for a total of six bays.

Four of the six bays would provide the connection points for the turbine-generators. The fifth bay would connect to a dead-end structure where the new 345-kV transmission line from the Sigurd Substation would enter. The sixth and final bay would connect a 345/230-kV autotransformer with a 12.47-kV tertiary winding. This autotransformer would be connected with the existing PacifiCorp 230-kV transmission line from the Glen Canyon Substation on its 230-kV bushings. The 12.47-kV tertiary of this autotransformer would provide power to the fill pipeline lift stations in conjunction with the grounding transformer, the application explained.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.