FERC seeks input on permit app for 1,000-MW pumped storage project in California

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on April 14 put up for public notice an application from Bison Peak Pumped Storage LLC for a successive preliminary permit allowing it to continue to study the feasibility of the Bison Peak Pumped Storage Project, to be located in the Tehachapi Mountains south of Tehachapi in Kern County, California.

The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term.

The proposed project would be a closed-loop pumped storage project with an upper reservoir and one of three alternatives for the placement of a lower reservoir, termed “West,” “South,” and “East”. Water for the initial fill of each of the alternatives would be obtained from local water agency infrastructure via a route that would be identified during studies. A ring dam of varying heights and a perimeter of 6,000 feet would form the project’s upper reservoir. The upper reservoir would have a total storage capacity of 4,196 acre-feet and a surface area of 45.4 acres at an elevation of 7,800 feet mean sea level (msl) and a concrete lined intake/tailrace facility.

  • The West lower reservoir alternative would consist of: the upper reservoir; a 43-acre lower reservoir at 5,380 feet msl created by a dam with a crest height of 250 feet, crest length of 1,435 feet, and a storage capacity of 5,347 acre-feet; four 10-foot diameter, 5,890-foot-long penstocks from the concrete lined intake/tailrace facility at the upper reservoir; an underground powerhouse with four 250-MW reversible pump-turbines; and an intake/tailrace facility. The estimated annual generation of the Bison Peak Pumped Storage Project West lower reservoir alternative would be about 2,190 gigawatt-hours.
  • The South lower reservoir alternative proposal would consist of: the upper reservoir; a 41.8-acre lower reservoir at 4,875 feet msl created by a dam with a crest height of 260 feet, crest length of up to 1,285 feet, and a storage capacity of 4,616 acre-feet; four 10-foot diameter, 9,420-foot-long penstocks from the concrete lined intake/tailrace facility at the upper reservoir; an underground powerhouse with four 250-MW reversible pump-turbines; and an intake/tailrace facility. The estimated annual generation of this lower reservoir alternative would be about 2,190 gigawatthours.
  • The East lower reservoir alternative would include: the upper reservoir; a 47-acre lower reservoir at 5,800 feet msl created by a dam with a crest height of 320 feet, crest length of 1,150 feet, and a storage capacity of 5,724 acre-feet; three 12-foot diameter, 5,890-foot-long penstocks from the concrete lined intake/tailrace facility at the upper reservoir; an underground powerhouse with three 250-MW reversible pump-turbines; and an intake/tailrace facility. The estimated annual generation of this lower reservoir alternative would be about 1,642 gigawatt-hours.

The applicant contact is: Mario Lucchese, Bison Peak Pumped Storage LLC. 9795 Cabrini Dr., Ste. 206, Burbank, CA 91504; phone: (818) 767-5552.

The deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications is 60 days from the issuance of this April 14 notice.

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.