FERC okays permit revisions for California pumped storage hydro project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Jan. 8 approved several revisions to a March 2012 preliminary permit that is allowing Haiwee Ridge Hydro LLC exclusive time to look at the feasibility of a major pumped storage hydro project in California.

On July 2, 2014, Haiwee Ridge Hydro asked to amend its preliminary permit for the proposed Haiwee Ridge Pumped Storage Project, to be located on the South Haiwee reservoir near the town of Olancha in Inyo County, California. The project would be located almost entirely on land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

As a result of preliminary investigations, the permittee proposed to make the following changes to its project proposal:

  • eliminate the “New Reservoir” Alternative;
  • change the total installed capacity of Alternative B from 500 MW to 250 MW; and
  • adjust the project boundary to incorporate additional lands needed for the project alternatives that remain under consideration.

The Jan. 8 order approves the requested changes and amends the preliminary permit. No comments were filed in response to the commission’s notice of the application for amendment of the preliminary permit. 

As permitted, Haiwee Ridge had proposed to consider three project alternatives: alternatives A, B, and New Reservoir. Alternatives A and B would use the existing South Haiwee dam as the lower reservoir. The New Reservoir Alternative would not have used the existing South Haiwee dam, but would instead have involved constructing a new lower reservoir. Each of these alternatives would have consisted of four reversible pump-turbines with a total capacity of 500 MW.

The project would interconnect either with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s 230-kV Owens Gorge-Rinaldi line or with Southern California Edison’s 115-kV Control-Inyokern lines via a new three-mile interconnection line.

A project contact is: Matthew Shapiro, CEO, Gridflex Energy LLC, (208) 246-9925, e-mail: mshapiro@gridflexenergy.com.

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.