FERC seeks input on 440-MW pumped storage project in Colorado

On Sept. 26, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission put out for comment H2O Holdings LLC’s Aug. 14 application for a preliminary permit on a 440-MW pumped storage hydro project in Colorado.

H2O Holdings is proposing under this preliminary permit to study the feasibility of the Phantom Canyon/South Slope Pumped Storage Project, located on Phantom Creek, near Canon City, in Fremont, Pueblo, and El Paso counties, Colo. The project would occupy federal lands administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The final transmission line corridor is still under evaluation, but portions may occupy federal lands administered by the U.S. Department of the Army.

The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the three-year permit term. With the Sept. 26 notice, FERC is asking for comments on the application, plus any offers of intervention or to file competing applications.

The proposed South Slope Pumped Storage Project would include:

  • an upper power reservoir with a storage capacity of approximately 6,000 acre-feet, retained by a new 180-foot-high, 4,925-foot-long concrete-faced earth embankment;
  • a lower reservoir with a power storage capacity of about 6,400 acre-feet and a reserve capacity for non-project use of about 44,600 acre-feet, retained by building three new dams and a 150-foot long and 24-foot-high saddle dike;
  • twin 22-foot-diameter, steel penstocks, each about 7,150 feet long, both bifurcating at the powerhouse;
  • a concrete and steel powerhouse with four 110-MW units, for a total capacity of 440 MW;
  • a 30-mile-long, 230-kV transmission line; and
  • a 5-foot-diameter, 5.5-mile-long non-project pipeline to provide water to the lower reservoir from the Lester Atterbury Ditch diversion on the north side of the Arkansas River.

The proposed project would have an average annual generation of 1,194,864 megawatt-hours.

The applicant contacts are:

  • Joy Focht, H2O Holdings LLC, 1485 Garden of the Gods Rd., Ste. 160, Colorado Springs, CO 80907; telephone: (719) 473-7763 (ext. 202); and
  • Sam Houston, H2O Holdings LLC, 1485 Garden of the Gods Rd., Ste. 160, Colorado Springs, CO 80907; telephone: (970) 948-7300.
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.