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Law change could pave way for 1,200-MW pumped-storage facility

YAKIMA, Wash. 3/19/12 (PennWell) -- A proposed change to a Washington state law could open the door for a US$2.5 billion pumped-storage station, sources report.

The plan is being pushed by the Klickitat Public Utility District and would use surplus wind power to pump water for a 1,200-MW plant on the Columbia River.

The proposal is tailored specifically to Klickitat PUD's needs and would allow utility districts along the Columbia River to sell water rights to a privately owned utility to generate electricity.

The measure is sponsored by Sen. Jim Honeyford, passed both of Washington's chambers unanimously and now awaits a signature from Governor Chris Gregoire.

An application for a preliminary permit was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in March 2009.

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