Developer files FERC application for pumped-storage/solar power project

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Green Energy Storage Corp. applied Feb. 24 at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a preliminary permit for the proposed Sacaton Pumped-Storage Project in Arizona, which would include both hydroelectric and solar power elements.

A preliminary permit would allow the company to secure and maintain priority of application for a license for this project under Part I of the Federal Power Act while obtaining the data and performing the acts required to determine the feasibility of the project and to support an application for a license.

This project (No. 14589), located in Pinal County, will consist of a 150-MW closed-loop pumped storage facility and a 100-MW solar plant. Both are to be located at an existing open pit mine with the pump storage plant utilizing an existing 1,200 foot deep open pit mine for the lower reservoir and an adjacent waste-rock dump for the upper reservoir. The 100-MW solar-panel plant is to be built adjacent the upper reservoir.

Other existing features include 137-kV power lines located adjacent the waste-rock dump, and access roads throughout the project area.

Located in the powerhouse will be two 75-MW pump/turbine units, associated switchgear, and controls. Located adjacent to the upper reservoir will be a 200MVA substation for converting the 20 kV generator/motor voltage to 137 kV for overland transmission. New 137-kV transmission lines shall be installed extending some 2,500 feet from the new substation to the existing 137-kV transmission lines owned by Arizona Public Service.

The initial fill water will come from the mine (the bottom presently is over 300 feet deep) and purchased from existing water rights holders.

“The project will provide services for firm power for the proposed totally renewable energy 100 megawatt solar-panel plant to be located adjacent the pumped storage project, and to provide support for other renewable energy plants in the state,” said the company. “In addition, it will put to good use an abandoned mine.”

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