Columbia Basin asks for more time on 500-MW pumped storage project

Citing much progress made lately but a ways to go, Columbia Basin Hydropower on June 29 asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an extra two years under a preliminary permit for its Banks Lake Pumped Storage Project.

The current three-year permit expires on July 31, 2016. Columbia Basin Hydropower (CBHP) now requests a two-year extension of the preliminary permit to July 31, 2018.

The preliminary permit identifies two potential alternatives for development at Banks Lake. Through investigations already completed and as outlined in previous progress reports, CBHP determined that Alternative 2 was not practical for a pumped storage project. Therefore, all additional analyses and consultations will focus on ‘Alternative 1’ only.

CBHP submitted a Notice of Intent, Request for Traditional Licensing Process (TLP), and a Pre-Application Document (PAD) to FERC on June 27, 2016. The PAD was prepared using readily available information, the studies and analyses conducted by CBHP during the last three years, and incorporated the information gathered through agency and stakeholder meetings and consultations.

The project is located at the North Dam of Banks Lake in central Washington State near the Grand Coulee Dam. This is a separate project from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s existing Keys pump-generation plant (which is sometimes referred to as the Banks Lake pumped storage plant). This new project would have a a capacity of 500 MW, made up of two to four adjustable speed pump-generating units.

CBHP provides administration, operation, and maintenance functions for hydroelectric generation facilities owned by the three irrigation districts that make up the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project.

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.