FERC Rejects Permit for 1,000 MW Pumped Storage Project in Kentucky

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Dec. 23 rejected a July 1 application from Maysville Pumped Storage LLC for a successive preliminary permit for the proposed Maysville Pumped Storage Project, to be located on the Ohio River in Mason County, Kentucky. 

In July 2012, FERC staff issued a first preliminary permit for the proposed Maysville Project. The project would consist of one of two alternatives.

  • Alternative A would consist of the following proposed features to be constructed: an intake structure on the Ohio River and a pipeline to supply water to the upper reservoir; a roller-compacted concrete upper dam; an upper reservoir with a surface area of 126.0 acre and a storage capacity of 9,970 acre-feet; a concrete-lined headrace; a concrete-lined pressure shaft; a powerhouse/pumping station containing four pump/generating units with a total capacity of 1,000 MW; a concrete-lined tailrace;a lower reservoir created within an excavated underground mine space with a surface area of 212 acres and a storage capacity of 9,540 acre-feet; and a 6-mile-long, 345-kV transmission line. The project would have an estimated average annual generation of 2,190 gigawatt-hours (GWh). 
  • Alternative B would consist of the following proposed features to be constructed: an intake structure on the Ohio River and a pipeline to supply water to the upper reservoir; a roller-compacted concrete upper dam; an upper reservoir with a surface area of 138 acres and a storage capacity of 11,900 acre-feet; a concrete-lined headrace; a concrete-lined pressure shaft; a powerhouse/pumping station containing four pump/generating units with a total capacity of 1,000 MW; a concrete-lined tailrace; a lower reservoir created within an excavated underground mine space with a surface area of 266 acres and a storage capacity of 12,000 acre-feet; and a 2.5-mile-long, 345-KV transmission line. This version of the project would also have an estimated average annual generation of 2,190 GWh.

During the three year term through which Maysville held the initial preliminary permit, it did not file a Notice of Intent or Pre-Application Document to initiate the prefiling consultation and study development needed to prepare a license application. Instead, the six one-page reports filed every six months were very similar and listed a total of five general activities, said FERC. The reports contained little evidence of progress toward development of a license application.

Said the Dec. 23 FERC order: “The record under the prior permit shows that Maysville LLC did not pursue the requirements of its prior permit with due diligence, because it failed to demonstrate progress toward preparing a development application. Therefore, Maysville LLC’s application for successive preliminary permit is denied.”

Lead image: Stamp denied. Credit: Shutterstock.

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Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.

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