EDF takes full control of 1,000 MW pumped storage project

EDF Renewable Energy reported Oct. 11 to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it has taken over sole control of the 1,000-MW Swan Lake North pumped storage hydro project along the California-Oregon line and is now working on a power interconnect deal with PacifiCorp.

The Oct. 11 report was a six-month update under the preliminary permit for this project. EDF noted that the timeline for a license application with FERC for this project has slipped from the third or fourth quarter of this year, to the second quarter of 2014 at the earliest.

EDF said it originally was a joint venture partner with Swan Lake Holdings LLC on this project, but it became the sole owner as of July 26. It said it has done a revised analysis of the project site, is working with PacifiCorp on a large generator interconnection agreement and is also working with PacifiCorp Merchant for the purchase of electricity needed for the pumping part of the operation, where water is pumped uphill to be released at peak power demand periods.

The November 2012 preliminary permit is held by project company Swan Lake North Hydro LLC. The project is to be located near Klamath Falls in Klamath County, Ore., and Newell in Modoc County, Calif.

The project would include:

  • a 111-foot-high, 6,560-foot-long rockfill east dam, and a 111-foot-high, 5,990-foot-long rockfill west dam enclosing an upper reservoir;
  • an upper reservoir with a surface area of 215 acres and a storage capacity of 10,622 acre-feet at a maximum surface elevation of 5,491 feet above mean sea level (msl);
  • a 100-foot-high, 5,245-foot-long rockfill main dam, and a 9-foot-high, 360-foot-long rockfill saddle dam enclosing a lower reservoir;
  • a lower reservoir with a surface area of 193 acres and a storage capacity of 11,583 acre-feet at a maximum surface elevation of 4,275 feet msl;
  • an underground powerhouse with four 250-MW reversible pump-turbine units with a total installed capacity of 1,000 MW; and
  • about 33 miles of 500-kV transmission line connecting to a terminal switchyard to be constructed adjacent to the existing California Oregon Transmission Project 500-kV line in California.

The project would be a closed-loop system using groundwater and would not use any existing surface body of water. The estimated annual generation of the project would be 2,630 gigawatt-hours.

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.