FERC seeks input on permit for 700-MW Seminoe Pumped Storage Project in Wyoming

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a June 30 notice about a June 13 application from Black Canyon Hydro LLC for a preliminary permit under which the company would study the feasibility of the 700-MW Seminoe Pumped Storage Project, to be located at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Seminoe Reservoir on the North Platte River near Rawlins, Carbon County, Wyoming.

The project would occupy lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application with FERC during the three-year permit term.

The proposed project would consist of:

  • two new intake structures located in Reclamation’s 20,291-acre Seminoe Reservoir;
  • two new concrete-faced, rock-fill upper reservoirs located on either side of, and about 1,000 feet above, Seminoe Reservoir;
  • a 3,000-foot-long, 18.8-foot diameter, low pressure tunnel and 1,250-foot-long, 18.8-foot-diameter, pressure shaft leading to a powerhouse located 1,300 feet east of Seminoe Reservoir in an underground cavern with a 2,800-foot-long access tunnel and a 1,300-foot-long, 22.6-foot-wide tailrace;
  • a 1,300-foot-long, 22.6-foot-diameter, low pressure tunnel and 1,800-foot-long, 16.1-foot-diameter pressure shaft leading to a powerhouse located 2,800 feet north-northwest of Seminoe reservoir in an underground cavern with a 800-foot-long access tunnel and a 2,800-foot-long, 19.3-foot-diameter tailrace;
  • three 133.3-MW adjustable-speed, reversible pump turbines in the east powerhouse; and
  • three 100-MW adjustable-speed reversible pump-turbines in the west powerhouse.

The project would also include a double-circuit, 230-kV transmission line connecting either at PacifiCorp’s planned Aeolus Substation located northwest of Medicine Bow, Wyoming, or the planned northern terminal for the TransWest Express DC Line near Sinclair, Wyoming. If the Aeolus interconnection alternative is built, the line would parallel the existing Western Area Power Administration Miracle Mile-Cheyenne-Ault 230-kV transmission line. If the TransWest interconnection alternative is built, the line would parallel or consist of a rebuild of the existing WAPA Miracle Mile-Sinclair, 115 kV transmission line.

The estimated annual generation of the project would be 1,839,600 MW-hours.

The applicant contact is: Matthew Shapiro, Chief Executive Officer, Gridflex Energy LLC, 1210 W. Franklin Street, Suite 2, Boise, ID 83702, phone: (208) 246- 9925.

The deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications is 60 days from the issuance of this June 30 notice.

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.