Grid Scale, Hydropower, News, Storage

FERC issues preliminary permit for 2,000-MW Walker Lake Pumped Storage Project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a preliminary permit to Premium Energy Holdings LLC to study the feasibility of the 2,000-MW Walker Lake Pumped Storage Project in Mineral County, Nevada.

The proposed project would consist of the existing Walker Lake (storage capacity 1.4 million acre-feet) as the lower reservoir and the proposed Bald Mountain Reservoir (storage capacity 32,419 acre-feet), Copper Canyon Reservoir (storage capacity 36,266 acre-feet) or Dry Creek Reservoir (storage capacity 21,953 acre-feet) as the upper reservoir. All three would be built and would be located in the Wassuk Range west of Walker Lake.

The proposed project would also include an underground powerhouse 500 feet long by 85 feet wide by 160 feet high containing five 400-MW pump-turbine units. And a new, 10-mile-long 500-kV transmission line would be built to deliver power generated to the grid. The project will occupy U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management lands and have an estimated average annual generation of 9,600 GWh.

Premium Energy filed the application in July 2019 and requested a permit term of 24 months. The preliminary permit is effective March 1, 2020, and lasts for 24 months.

The purpose of a preliminary permit is to preserve the right of the permit holder to have the first priority in applying for a license for the project that is being studied.

In December 2019, we reported that Premium Energy Holdings also received a FERC preliminary permit to study feasibility of the Intermountain Pumped Storage Project in Utah, with a potential capacity of 1,200 MW to 2,000 MW.