Pine Creek Mine seeks FERC license for California hydro project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Feb. 25 went out for comment on a new minor license application, filed Feb. 12 by Pine Creek Mine LLC for the Pine Creek Mine Tunnel Hydroelectric Project, to be located at the Pine Creek Mine adjacent to Morgan and Pine creeks in Inyo County, California.

The project’s mine access tunnel, mine plug, mine water storage cavity, penstock, generator, and most of its primary transmission line would be located under federal land managed by the U.S. Forest Service. This application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

An applicant contact is: Craig N. Rossell, Member, Pine Creek Mine LLC, 228 West Bonita Avenue Claremont, California 91711, (909) 482-1000.

The proposed Pine Creek Tunnel Hydroelectric Project would include: the existing Pine Creek Mine site, mine entrance tunnels, mine shafts, and concrete plug; an existing 30-foot-long steel pipe that runs through the concrete plug, to be used as a proposed penstock; a proposed Pelton turbine generating unit located in the mine tunnel with a total installed capacity of 1.5 MW; a proposed underground power line that would run approximately 2,500 feet from the generating unit to the mine portal; and another proposed 60-foot-long transmission line from the mine portal to an existing substation on the mine site.

The project would have an average annual generation of 5.6 gigawatt-hours.

Pine Creek Mine LLC would seal the mine entrance tunnel to store about 200 feet of groundwater in the existing mine works. The groundwater would be released at around the same rate at which it recharges the mine, which is about 10 cubic feet per second.

Final amendments to the application must be filed with the commission no later than 30 days from the issuance date of the notice of the project being ready for environmental analysis.

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.