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.