FERC accepts application on 600-MW Arkansas hydro project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on July 10 accepted a December 2012 application by Control Technology Inc. for a preliminary permit on a 600-MW pumped storage hydro project in Arkansas.

In November 2012, FERC rejected a preliminary permit application filed by International Consortium of Energy Managers (ICEM) for this site, prompting Control Technology (CTI) out of Vista, Calif., to submit for filing an application for a preliminary permit for its River Mountain Advanced Pumped Storage Project. A preliminary permit grants a company the exclusive right to look at the viability of a project, with a license application then filed with FERC if the decision is to proceed.

The commission issued an original license to JDJ Energy for a substantially similar project in 1994. In 2003, the commission terminated that license without any construction work having been started. In addition, a preliminary permit granted to The Nevada Hydro Co. in April 2009 expired, and then the application of ICEM was rejected in November 2012.

The proposed project for CTI is an approximately 600-MW pumped storage facility to be located in Logan County, Ark. The proposed project will use as its lower reservoir Lake Dardanelle, which is part of the Arkansas River and is impounded by the Dardanelle Dam. The project will require the construction of a new upper reservoir that will be constructed on the crest of River Mountain.

The pumped storage project will be operated in conjunction with the existing Arkansas River Navigation System Project, and by utilizing Lake Dardanelle as the lower reservoir and thereby avoiding the construction of a new lower reservoir, CTI said it will develop, conserve, and utilize in the public interest the water resources of the region.

The project powerhouse would contain three vertical Francis-type single stage pump/turbines directly connected to vertical synchronous generator/motors operating at 20 kV and rated for continuous operation at all power levels according to the design head range.

After stepping up generating voltage of 20 kV to 500 kV at the powerhouse transformers, the applicant proposes to extend a 500-kV transmission line from the facility approximately 2,700 feet via oil-filled cables and 9,600 feet via overhead lines to an existing line of Arkansas Power and Light.

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.