Gridflex seeks permit on 600-MW pumped storage hydro project in Nevada

Black Mountain Hydro LLC, through Gridflex Energy LLC, re-applied April 26 to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a three-year preliminary permit for the proposed Southern Intertie Pumped Storage Project.

This application is made in order that the applicant may secure and maintain priority of application for a license for this project under Part I of the Federal Power Act while obtaining the data and performing the acts required to determine the feasibility of the project and to support an application for a license.

The location of the proposed project is in Mineral and Lyon counties, Nevada.

This revised application responds to a deficiency letter of April 21 and features a narrower project boundary, which has been labeled “Project Boundary” in lieu of “Project Study Boundary,” the application noted. Black Mountain Hydro previously held a preliminary permit for this site for one term, which expired on July 1, 2015, and did not pursue a successive preliminary permit. This was due in part to the absence of a protocol for applying for interconnection to the Pacific DC Intertie via a tap. Such a protocol is now being put into place.

No applications were filed by other parties during the nine-month gap since the initial preliminary permit expired.

The present application is significantly reduced in scale and in water requirement. Only a local AC-side interconnection point is proposed. The proposed powerhouse configuration is significantly different, and evaporation control measures are also planned in order to further minimize water consumption beyond the initial reservoir fill.

The project will consist of two artificial reservoirs, one in a natural depression and the other created by the construction of an embankment, joined by approximately 12,400 feet of conduit, and a shaft/surface powerhouse. Maximum hydraulic head will be 2,000 feet. Equipment will tentatively consist of three 200-MW ternary sets of Pelton turbines and multi-stage pumps, totaling 600 MW of generating capacity, although variable speed reversible pump-turbines will also be considered.

Annual energy production is projected to be approximately 1,576,800 megawatt-hours. The project will propose to interconnect with the Pacific DC Intertie located 4.6 miles from project, and with a local 120-kV line.

The project would provide peaking capacity and fast-responding ancillary services support to markets in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California. The project would also be operated to provide support to new renewable resources that may be developed in the region of the project. It may also enhance the reliability of the Pacific DC Intertie for meeting loads, the application added.

A project contact is: Matthew Shapiro, CEO, Gridflex Energy LLC, 1210 W. Franklin St., Ste. 2, Boise, ID 83702, Phone (208) 246-9925,

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.