Utah seeks extra permit time from FERC for major hydro project

The Utah Division of Water Resources on March 28 asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a two-year extension of a preliminary permit for a major hydroelectric project.

The division, acting as the agent for the Utah Board of Water Resources, said that it has been working on a license application for the Lake Powell Pipeline project during the present term of the three-year preliminary permit issued in May 2011. The division said it has been working in various areas, including biological studies, related to this project, but needs the extra time that a two-year permit extension would give it to finish that work.

The proposed project would be located on Lake Powell, the Colorado River and Sand Hollow Reservoir, in Kane, Washington, and Iron counties, Utah, and in Coconino and Mohave counties, Ariz. The project would consist of: building and operating 139 miles of 69-inch-diameter pipeline and penstock, 35 miles of 48- to 30-inch-diameter pipeline, and six miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline; a combined conventional peaking and pumped storage hydro station; five conventional in-pipeline hydro stations; and transmission lines.

At Lake Powell, a water intake would convey water from the Bureau of Reclamation’s Lake Powell up to a high point within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. From the high point, the water would flow through a series of hydroelectric turbines, ending at Sand Hollow reservoir near St. George, Utah. To serve Iron County, the Utah Board proposes another pipeline, the Cedar Valley Pipeline System, from the Hurricane Cliffs afterbay reservoir to Cedar Valley in Iron County, Utah.

At the time the 2011 preliminary permit was issued, the following energy generation components were being studied:

  • an inline single-unit, 1-MW facility at Hydro Station 1 in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument;
  • an inline single-unit, 1.7-MW facility at Hydro Station 2 east of Colorado City, Arizona;
  • an inline single-unit, 1-MW facility in Hildale City, Utah;
  • an inline single-unit, 1.7-MW facility above the Hurricane Cliffs forebay reservoir;
  • a two-unit, 300-MW (150 MW each unit) hydroelectric pumped storage development at Hurricane Cliffs, with the forebay and afterbay sized to provide ten hours of continuous 300 MW output;
  • single-unit, 35-MW conventional energy recovery generation unit built within the Hurricane Cliffs development; and
  • a single-unit, 5-MW facility at the existing Sand Hollow Reservoir.
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.