FERC may axe permit for 1,100 MW pumped storage project in N.M.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sent an Oct. 21 letter to Yegua Mesa Hydro LLC warning that the company needs to file a mandatory update on its 1,100-MW pumped storage project in New Mexico.

The commission in September 2012 had granted the company a successive preliminary permit on this project, with a mandate that reports be filed every six months on the progress of the project. FERC said in the Oct. 21 letter that according to its records, the first progress report due March 1 has not been filed. The Oct. 21 letter is a notice of probable cancellation of the preliminary permit no less than 30 days from the date of the letter.

The September 2012 preliminary permit approval allowed the company to continue studying the feasibility of the Yegua Mesa Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project, to be located near the city of Las Vegas, in San Miguel County, N.M.

The proposed project would be closed loop and would not be built on an existing body of water. It would consist of:

  • an upper earthen dam with a height of 94 feet and a length of 11,088 feet;
  • an upper reservoir with a surface area of 380 acres, a capacity of 9,868 acre-feet, and a maximum pool elevation of 6,800 feet above mean sea level (msl);
  • a lower earthen dam with a height of 99 feet and a length of 5,597 feet;
  • a lower reservoir with a surface area of 380 acres, a capacity of 9,365 acre-feet, and a maximum pool elevation of 5,380 feet msl;
  • a 27-foot-diameter, 9,690-foot-long steel penstock;
  • a powerhouse containing four pump/turbine units with a total installed capacity of 1,100 MW; and
  • a 14-mile-long, 500-kV transmission line.

The proposed project would have an annual production of 3,993 gigawatthours that would be sold to a local utility.

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.