FERC revises scoping report for Parker Knoll hydro project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on July 11 issued a revised environmental scoping document related to a November 2011 license application by Parker Knoll Hydro LLC for the Parker Knoll Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project.

The project would be located at Parker Mountain and eastern Grass Valley in Piute County, Utah. The project would occupy 458.7 acres of federal land administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

A scoping document lays out the issues that will be covered in an environmental impact statement (EIS) on a project. Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), commission staff intends to prepare an EIS, which will be used by the commission to determine whether, and under what conditions, to issue a new license for the project.

The preliminary review of the scope of environmental issues associated with the proposed Parker Knoll project was described in the scoping document issued in November 2012. FERC requested comments on the scoping document and held scoping meetings in December 2012 to hear the views of all interested agencies and entities on the scope of issues that should be addressed in the EIS. Based on the meetings and the submission of written comments, FERC has updated the scoping document to reflect its current view of issues and alternatives to be considered in the EIS.

The Parker Knoll project would be operated as a closed-loop pumped storage system, cycling water between two newly constructed reservoirs, with an initial fill and periodic maintenance fills from the existing Otter Creek reservoir. The project would have a total capacity of about 1,000 MW and an annual energy production of around 2,630 gigawatt-hours (GWh).

Approximately one mile of 345-kV transmission line would connect the project substation to an existing 230-kV transmission line alignment.

The project would pump water from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir through the large-diameter conveyance system at times when energy in is excess or in low demand. When energy is needed, water would be released from the upper reservoir through the conveyance system and the underground powerhouse. Water for the initial fill of the lower reservoir would be supplied from the existing Otter Creek reservoir. Following the initial fill, supplemental water from Otter Creek Reservoir would be utilized to replace water in the proposed project reservoirs lost to evaporation and seepage. The project would be designed for a daily generation period of up to 10 hours and a pumping period of about 14 hours. The pumping and generation cycles would be dictated by market demand for electricity.

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.