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U.S. developer renews plan for Mount Hope pumped-storage

The former licensee for the 2,000-MW Mount Hope pumped-storage project has renewed plans to develop the project at an inactive mine in New Jersey, but scaled back the project's capacity to 1,000 MW.

Mt. Hope Waterpower Project LP filed a new application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, asking for a preliminary permit to study the project (No. 12784). FERC issued notice of the application April 16, and called for comments, protests, and motions to intervene by June 15.

Mount Hope proposes to use water from the Mt. Hope Mine Complex in Rockaway Township of Morris County, N.J. The project would consist of four 250-MW developments, each with a powerhouse and an upper and lower reservoir.

The applicant said the project would be built in four stages. Each powerhouse would feature one reversible pump-turbine. Once all four stages are completed, the project would be expected to generate a maximum of 2,080 gigawatt-hours annually.

FERC rescinded a license for the original 2,000-MW project (No. 9401) in December 2005, saying construction did not commence in a timely manner, forcing termination under the Federal Power Act. FERC previously extended the construction schedule twice at the direction of Congress. However, construction never began due to what Mt. Hope Waterpower called market uncertainties and ownership changes of the licensee. The original license was issued in 1992 to Mt. Hope's predecessor, Halecrest Co.

In June 2006, FERC blocked an attempt by Mt. Hope Waterpower to revive the project. At that time, FERC dismissed the company's application for a preliminary permit (No. 12641), and established a �cooling off� period for applications. (HNN 6/27/06) That cooling off period ended March 7, and Mt. Hope Waterpower Project LP filed its application the next day.

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