FERC gets late report on 1,000 MW hydro project in N.J.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sent an Aug. 12 letter to Reliable Storage 2 LLC saying that a six-month progress report is overdue and that a preliminary permit for the 1,000-MW Rockaway Pumped Storage Hydro Project in New Jersey is in danger of being cancelled.

A preliminary permit, which requires six-month progress reports, grants a party a three-year exclusive right to explore the feasibility of a hydro project. A license application at FERC would then be needed if the decision is to proceed with the project. The missed report is the fourth that needed to be filed for the Rockaway project, which got a preliminary permit in August 2011.

On Aug. 13, the day after the FERC warning letter, FFP filed the tardy report, saying: “FFP is performing a preliminary evaluation of this project in order to determine its economic feasibility, including identification of prospective off-takers and investors. Over the next six months, FFP intends to utilize available information to refine assumptions within its economic model in order to support decision-making regarding the economic feasibility of the proposed project.”

The Rockaway project would be located at the Mount Hope Mine site in Rockaway Township, Morris County, N.J. The project would be comprised of four stages of developments, each with a powerhouse and an upper and lower reservoir. Some of the reservoirs would be included in more than one development; with a lower reservoir for one development serving as an upper reservoir for another.

  • Stage 1 of the project would include a new upper reservoir on a 60-acre upland site west of Mount Hope Lake. The upper reservoir would be filled with water pumped out of the Mount Hope Mine Complex and have a normal maximum water surface elevation of 900 feet mean sea level (msl). It would also include a powerhouse approximately 1,300 feet below ground level containing one reversible pump turbine with a total installed capacity of 250 MW. The proposed Stage 1 would generate over 500 gigawatt-hours per year.
  • Stage 2 of the project would include the lower reservoir utilized in Stage 1, located 1,000 feet below the ground surface, which would serve as the upper reservoir in Stage 2. It would have a powerhouse about 2,000 feet below ground containing one reversible pump turbine with a total installed capacity of 250 MW. The proposed Stage 2 would generate over 500 gigawatt-hours per year.
  • Stage 3 would include the lower reservoir utilized in Stage 2, located 1,700 feet below the ground surface, which would serve as the upper reservoir in Stage 3. The powerhouse would be approximately 2,800 feet below ground containing one reversible pump turbine with a total installed capacity of 250 MW. The proposed Stage 3 would generate over 500 gigawatt-hours per year.
  • Stage 4 would be a separate development with identical features as of Stage 3, including the lower reservoir utilized in Stage 2, located 1,700 feet below the ground surface, which would serve as the upper reservoir in Stage 4. The powerhouse would be approximately 2,800 feet below ground containing a reversible pump turbine with a total installed capacity of 250 MW. Stage 4 would generate over 500 gigawatt-hours per year.

The proposed project would also include two parallel 10.60-mile-long, 500-kV transmission lines interconnecting with the proposed Jefferson Substation, located about 5.3 miles north-northwest of Mt. Hope Lake. The transmission line right-of-way would parallel an existing transmission line owned by Public Service Electric and Gas for 4.3 miles and would traverse mostly undeveloped forest lands, two lakes, and five streams. The transmission line would traverse a portion of the northern and eastern edge of the U.S. Army’s Picatinny Arsenal for a total of approximately 2.4 miles.

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.