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Developer pursues five 1,000-MW U.S. pumped-storage projects

Canada-based developer Riverbank Power Corp. has applied for U.S. preliminary permits to study development of five 1,000-MW pumped-storage projects in New Jersey, Maine, and New York. New Jersey: Sparta pumped-storage Riverbank Sparta LLC, an Albany, N.Y.-based subsidiary of Riverbank Power Corp., filed a preliminary permit application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in January for the 1,000-MW Sparta pumped-storage project, at Limecrest Quarry in Sparta, N.J. The project, to be called the Riverbank Sparta Energy Center, would feature four 250-MW units generating a total of 2,190 gigawatt-hours annually. Riverbank said the project would bring $2 billion in private investment to New Jersey, create an estimated 1,000 construction jobs for about four years, and support 50 to 75 full-time jobs when fully operable. Riverbank said it would begin a drill testing program and a formal environmental assessment at Limecrest Quarry. Once the suitability of the site is confirmed, the approval and construction process is expected to take four years. FERC acknowledged receipt of Riverbank's proposal in a letter Jan. 28, in which it asked for more information before it decides whether to accept the company's application. Four projects proposed for Maine, New York Riverbank Power subsidiaries also filed preliminary permit applications to study the feasibility of other pumped-storage projects including: o Riverbank Energy Center LLC, 1,000-MW Riverbank Energy Center, Back River, Wiscasset, Maine, on Bailey Peninsula, north of a decommissioned nuclear power plant; o Riverbank Ogdensburg LLC, Ogdensburg Pumped-Storage project, St. Lawrence River, Ogdensburg, N.Y.; o Riverbank USA Holdings Corp., Verplanck Pumped-Storage project, Verplanck Quarry, Verplanck, N.Y.; and o Riverbank USA Holdings Corp., Tomkins Cove Pumped-Storage project, Tilcon Tomkins Cove Quarry, Stony Point, N.Y. As of Feb. 4, FERC had not accepted any of the five applications as complete and ready for public comment. In a news release, Riverbank Power, of Toronto, Ontario, said it wants to develop five or more 1,000 MW pumped-storage plants to serve growing electricity demand and assist in the integration of wind power.

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