FERC grants extra time for feasibility work on 2,000-MW pumped storage project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on March 4 agreed to extend by two years a preliminary permit that allows Longview Energy Exchange LLC to explore the feasibility, without fear of a competing application, of a 2,000-MW pumped storage hydro project in Arizona.

On Feb. 27, Longview Energy Exchange filed an application for a two-year extension of its existing preliminary permit for the proposed Longview Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project. That prior permit was issued in April 2012, and was due to expire on March 31, 2015. The proposed closed-loop pumped storage project would be located at man-made reservoirs near Ash Fork City, Yavapai County, Arizona.

Section 5(b) of the Federal Power Act states that a preliminary permit term can be extended once for not more than two additional years if the commission finds that the permittee has carried out activities under the permit in good faith and with reasonable diligence. In the fifth progress report filed during the term of the prior permit, Longview indicated that it developed plans for environmental baseline studies, obtained proposals for geologic studies, and consulted with a hydrologist on groundwater availability.

“Upon review of the application for extension, as well as the progress reports submitted under the preliminary permit, Longview has demonstrated that it has carried out activities under the permit in good faith and with reasonable diligence,” said the March 4 FERC order. “Therefore, the request for extension of the preliminary permit term is granted. It is expected that during the remaining term of the permit, as extended, agency consultation will continue, studies will be completed, and a development application will be prepared.”

The project conceptually consists of: six to eight variable speed pumped storage units with a total generation capacity of 2,000 MW; two or three transmission lines interconnecting the project to the existing 500-kV grid; and a daily operational cycle of generating for 10 hours and pumping water uphill for 12-14 hours to be ready for more generation.

The project contact is: Longview Energy Exchange LLC, Mitchell Wexler, Manager, 314-292-5333.

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.