FERC okays permit for 500-MW Owyhee Pumped Storage Project in Oregon

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 7 granted a June 30 application from Owyhee Hydro LLC for a preliminary permit, good for up to three years of study of the feasibility of the proposed Owyhee Pumped Storage Project, to be located on Lake Owyhee near the city of Adrian in Malheur County, Oregon.

The project would occupy approximately 6,680 acres of U.S. Bureau of Land Management and 158.86 acres of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s lands.

The proposed project would consist of:

  • a new 1,200-foot-long zoned earth and rockfill or concrete-face rockfill dam forming a lined upper reservoir with a surface area of 109 acres and a storage capacity of 4,035 acre-feet at a maximum surface elevation of 4,320 feet mean sea level (msl);
  • a new 14,100 foot-long conduit connecting the upper reservoir and the existing Lake Owyhee (lower reservoir) consisting of a 2,200 foot-long, 17.1 foot-diameter concrete lined low-pressure tunnel, a 7,100 foot-long, 17.1 foot-diameter concrete and steel-lined pressure shaft, and a 4,800-foot-long, 20.5 foot-diameter concrete-lined tailrace;
  • a new 80-feet-long by 280-feet-wide by 120-feet-high powerhouse located approximately 4,800 feet east of Lake Owyhee containing four reversible pump-turbine units rated at 125 MW each for a total capacity of 500 MW; and
  • either 2.6 or 8 miles of 500-kV transmission line interconnecting with the Boardman-Hemingway Line, depending on design of infrastructure.

The estimated annual generation of the Owyhee Project would be 1,533,000 megawatt-hours.

A preliminary permit does not authorize a permittee to undertake construction of the proposed project. The purpose of a preliminary permit is to study the feasibility of the project, including studying potential impacts. During the course of the permit, the commission expects that the permittee will carry out prefiling consultation and study development leading to the possible development of a license application.

The applicant contact is: Matthew Shapiro, CEO, Gridflex Energy LLC, 1210 W. Franklin St., Ste. 2, Boise, Idaho 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.