Company works on 450-MW pumped storage hydro project in Nevada

The International Consortium of Energy Managers told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Aug. 12 that it is making progress on the 450-MW Blue Diamond Pumped Storage hydro project in Nevada.

FERC in August 2012 granted a preliminary permit for this project, with the preliminary permit to last three years. The company has to file an update with the commission every six months under that permit, with the Aug. 12 version being the third to be filed. If the decision is to proceed with the project, then the applicant would need to seek a hydro license from FERC.

The company said that during the latest six-month period, it conducted a number of detailed site visits, reviewed public comments in the FERC record, and also discussed with stakeholders alternatives to the project description shown in the preliminary permit. The company held meetings in Nevada on the issues of water rights and power purchase arrangements and its representatives are participating in a number of regulatory proceedings in California relative to storage and connecting into the California grid. The company said it is discussing funding for the project with investors.

The Blue Diamond Pumped Storage Project No. 14344-000 is to be located in Clark County, Nev., near Las Vegas. The proposed project would be closed loop and would not be located on any existing water body.  The project would be located on lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The proposed project would include:

  • a new embankment creating an upper reservoir with a maximum elevation of 4,810 feet above mean sea level (MSL), and a storage capacity of 4,900 acre-feet;
  • a new embankment creating a lower reservoir with a maximum elevation of 3,320 feet MSL, and a storage capacity of 4,900 acre-feet;
  • a 21-foot-diameter, 4,300-foot-long concrete and steel penstock;
  • a powerhouse containing two pump/turbine units with a total installed capacity of 450 MW; and
  • a 132-kV, 3.5-mile-long transmission line to an interconnect with Nevada Power.

The proposed project would produce about 4,500 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy daily, and use about 5,600 MWh daily to pump water from the lower to the upper reservoir.

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.