FERC grants permit on 150-MW Prineville pumped storage project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on July 19 issued a preliminary permit so that Prineville Energy Storage LLC can explore, without competition from any third party, a 150-MW pumped storage hydro project in Oregon.

In August 2012, Prineville Energy Storage filed an application for a preliminary permit to study the feasibility of the proposed Prineville Pumped Storage Project No. 14453 to be located on Prineville Reservoir near the city of Prineville in Crook County, Ore.

A preliminary permit lasts for 36 months, with the company required to submit updates to FERC every six months during that period. If the decision is to proceed from there, a FERC-issued license would need to be applied for.

The proposed project would use the Bureau of Reclamation’s existing Prineville Reservoir, impounded by the Arthur R. Bowman Dam, as the lower reservoir. It would consist of various new facilities, including:

  • a submerged intake in the Prineville Reservoir;
  • two, 10-foot-diameter, 2,630-foot-long buried or semi-buried steel headrace conduits conveying flows from the intake to a new upper reservoir;
  • a 40-foot-high, 6,580-foot-long upper concrete-faced rockfill or roller-compacted concrete dam impounding the new upper reservoir;
  • an upper reservoir with surface area of 57 acres, storage capacity of 2,260 acre-feet, and maximum pool elevation of 3,920 feet mean sea level (msl);
  • a 150-foot-long, 40-foot-wide, 100-foot-high underground powerhouse containing three reversible pump-turbines with total installed capacity of 150 MW; and
  • a 15.6- to 16.2-mile-long, 115-kV overhead transmission line extending from the powerhouse to either the Pacific Direct Current Intertie (PDCI) line and then running parallel to the PDCI to the Ponderosa substation, or the Bonneville Power Administration‘s (BPA) existing transmission line corridor and then running parallel to the BPA line to the Ponderosa substation.

The estimated annual generation of the project would be 394 gigawatt-hours.

The contact on the application is Matthew Shapiro, CEO of Gridflex Energy LLC out of Boise, Idaho.

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.