Utah board readies license application on 345-MW Lake Powell hydro project

The Utah Board of Water Resources told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a May 6 filing that it should be ready later this year to file a licensing proposal on a 345-MW pumped storage hydro project.

In May 2014, FERC had granted the board a two-year extension for a Preliminary Permit to study the feasibility of a proposed project to be located between Lake Powell on the Colorado River and Sand Hollow Reservoir, through Kane and Washington counties, Utah and through Coconino and Mohave counties, Arizona. The board reported much progress since then in getting this project ready for a license application.

During the upcoming six months, the board said its work will include: completion of the updated final Water Needs Assessment, Socioeconomics and Water Resource Economics, Land Use Plans and Conflicts, and other associated study reports; incorporation of the Bureau of Reclamation’s pending updated CRSS model results into the Surface Water Resources, Surface Water Quality, and Socioeconomics and Water Resource Economics final study reports; and complete the Final Class III Report incorporating all Bureau of Land Management and Department of the Interior comments and addressing Arizona and Utah review comments.

The board said it plans to file a preliminary licensing proposal in October of this year, and 
to prepare and file a license application in the October 2015-March 2016 period.

The Project Manager is Bill Leeflang, (801) 538-7293.

This 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. The largest of the project components would be a two-unit, 300-MW (150 MW each unit) pumped storage development at Hurricane Cliffs, with the forebay and afterbay sized to provide ten hours of continuous 300-MW output.

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 in southern Utah. From the high point, the water would flow through the pipeline and series of hydroelectric turbines, ending at Sand Hollow reservoir, near St. George, Utah. If the pipeline serves Iron County, the board proposes another pipeline, the Cedar Valley Pipeline System, from the Hurricane Cliffs afterbay reservoir to Cedar Valley in Iron County, Utah.

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.