FERC issues final environmental review for Taum Sauk relicensing

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Aug. 29 issued the final environmental assessment on a Union Electric d/b/a Ameren Missouri plan to re-license the 408-MW Taum Sauk Pumped Storage Project.

In June 2008, Union Electric filed an application with the FERC for a new license to continue to operate and maintain its 408-MW Taum Sauk project. The project is located on the East Fork of the Black River in Reynolds County, Mo. This final environmental assessment evaluates the potential natural resource benefits, environmental effects, and economic costs associated with licensing the project.

The Taum Sauk project was out of operation after the upper reservoir suffered a dramatic failure in December 2005.

The Taum Sauk project operates as a peaking and emergency reserve resource. Power is generated by releasing water from the upper reservoir during periods of peak power demand to the lower reservoir through reversible pump/generator units. Water is pumped from the lower to the upper reservoir during periods of low power demand.

Ameren Missouri proposes to continue its current pumped storage operations and proposes no changes to the project’s generation facilities as the project was recently rebuilt following a dam failure in 2005. The upper reservoir fluctuates by about 90 feet during the pump/generating cycle, the lower reservoir fluctuates by a maximum of 13.5 feet, and the outflow from the lower reservoir does not substantially fluctuate as a result of the pumped storage operations.

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.