FERC warns developer of Utah pumped storage hydro project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission sent an Oct. 21 letter to Mona North Pumped Storage LLC about a late update report on the company’s 500 MW-1,000 MW pumped storage hydro project in Utah.

FERC in February 2012 issued a preliminary permit, which allows feasibility work on the project. The developer has filed two mandated six-month reports on the project since then, but not a third due on Aug. 1. The Oct 21 letter constitutes notice of the probable cancellation of the preliminary permit no less than 30 days from the date of the letter.

Project backer EDF Renewable Energy, in the second report filed with the commission in January, said progress was being made with the project. “Mona North continues to develop financial models to assist it in evaluating economic feasibility, particularly in comparison to other sites and market alternatives,” EDF wrote at the time. “Over the next six months, Mona North intends to continue to conduct market assessments and economic feasibility modeling with the goal of determining whether to pursue development of this site.”

This work is on the proposed Mona North Pumped Storage Project, to be located on Old Canyon Stream near the town of Mona in Juab County, Utah. The project would include: an underground powerhouse containing the pump-turbines and motor-generators; a waterway between 7,600 and 15,800 feet long (depending on alternative configurations being looked at); and a transmission line connecting the underground powerhouse to the existing Mona substation.

The different possible project configurations would depend on the best suited conditions, ranging from a four-unit, 500-MW configuration to a four-unit, 1,000-MW configuration allowing for 8 to 10 hours of continuous output. Interconnection would exist at the PacifiCorp d/b/a Rocky Mountain Power Mona substation. Interconnection voltage may be 230 or 500 kV and annual generation would be 1,800 to 4,500 gigawatthours, depending on the constructed option.

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.