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PG&E considers pumped-storage projects totaling 2,280 MW

Pacific Gas &Electric Co. proposes to study the feasibility of two new pumped-storage projects totaling as much as 2,280 MW. The utility filed preliminary permit applications with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking to study development of the two California projects. Each has proposed capacity ranging from 380 MW to 1,140 MW: Kings River Pumped-Storage (No. 13220) in Fresno County, and Mokelumne Pumped-Storage (No. 13221) in Amador and Calaveras counties. Kings River Pumped-Storage PG&E proposes to study two possible designs for the Kings River Pumped-Storage project. FERC issued notice of the preliminary permit application in July, calling for comments, competing applications, or notices of intent to file competing applications by Sept. 8. One proposed design features a 200-foot-tall, 700-foot-long dam in the Lost Canyon area; a reservoir with a surface elevation of 7,720 feet and an estimated storage capacity of 15,695 acre-feet; and an 8,000-foot-long power tunnel, including intake structure, penstock, and tailrace. The other proposed design features a 175-foot-tall, 1,700-foot-long dam in the Lower Short Hair Creek area; a reservoir with full pool elevation of 8,245 feet and storage capacity of 16,290 acre-feet; and a 14,000-foot-long power tunnel, including intake structure, penstock, and tailrace. Wishon Reservoir, which has a surface area of 1,025 acres, storage capacity of 128,639 acre-feet, and a normal water surface elevation of 6,550 feet, would serve as the lower reservoir for either of the proposed plans. The proposed projects would be expected to generate annually between 304 and 912 gigawatt-hours, PG&E said. Mokelumne Pumped-Storage In the other application, PG&E proposes to study three possible designs for Mokelumne Pumped-Storage. FERC also issued notice of the application being filed in July, seeking comments, competing applications, or notices of intent to file competing applications by Sept. 8. One design features Lower Bear River Reservoir, with a surface area of 746 acres, storage capacity of 49,079 acre-feet, and a normal water surface elevation of 5,822 feet, as the upper reservoir; possible heightening of the dam to increase capacity; and a 16,000-foot-long power tunnel, including intake structure, penstock, and tailrace. A second design features Upper Bear River Reservoir, with a surface area of 320 feet, storage capacity of 6,756 acre-feet, and a normal water surface elevation of 5,876 feet, as the upper reservoir; possible heightening of the dam to increase capacity; and a 20,000-foot-long power tunnel, including intake structure, penstock, and tailrace. A third design includes construction of a 150-foot-tall, 700-foot-long dam in the Cole Creek area; a reservoir with a surface elevation of 6,139 feet and capacity of 12,856 acre-feet; and an 11,700-foot-long power tunnel, including intake structure, penstock, and tailrace. Salt Springs Reservoir, which has a surface area of 960 acres, storage capacity of 141,817 acre-feet, and a normal water surface elevation of 3,959 feet, would serve as the lower reservoir for all three proposed plans. The proposed project would be expected to generate annually between 523 and 742 GWh, PG&E said.

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