FERC approves 50-year license for Gordon Butte pumped storage project in Montana

FERC has issued a 50-year license to construct and operate the 400-MW Gordon Butte pumped storage hydro project located in Montana.

Final design is to be completed in 2017 with construction anticipated to begin in 2018, the Montana-based developer, Absaroka Energy said in a Dec. 22 news release.

Pumped storage is a robust and rechargeable utility-scale battery that will address one of the most difficult challenges facing the nation’s electrical grid today by creating the ability to store energy as well as respond instantaneously to variations in demand and generation, Absaroka Energy said in a news release.

The Gordon Butte project, also referred to as the GB Energy Park, is sited in Meagher County and located about three miles west of Martinsdale and less than six miles from the Colstrip twin 500-kV transmission lines, the backbone of Montana’s electric system. 

This interconnection location will give the facility access to markets in Montana and throughout the region, the company said.

"This is a tremendous milestone achieved by a world-class team including Barnard, SNC-Lavalin and GE Renewables," said Carl Borgquist, President of Absaroka Energy.  "I’m so proud of our team who have worked diligently together to accomplish this significant milestone on the journey to project completion."

The project will utilize best-in-class ternary equipment provided by GE Renewables, which will allow the plant to move seamlessly between pumping and generating, the company said.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.