Planning for CA pumped-storage hydroelectric project underway

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SACRAMENTO, CA, May 8, 2014 -- GEI Consultants, Inc., a geotechnical, environmental, water resources, and ecological science and engineering firm, will provide certain Owner's Engineer services for the proposed Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Iowa Hill Pumped-Storage Development Project.

GEI is a member of the Jacobs Associates team -- a group that SMUD recently awarded the Owner's Engineer services contract for preliminary design and construction services to. If constructed, Iowa Hill would be a 400-megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric facility located near the town of Camino, Calif., roughly 50 miles (80 km) east of Sacramento.

GEI will lead the design of the 6,400-acre-foot upper reservoir, a lined impoundment that will be formed by an earth- and rock-fill dam with a maximum height of more than 200 feet and a crest length of 5,900 feet. The design of the dam and reservoir will be under the regulatory authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the California Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD).

The project would utilize an existing reservoir on the American River, from which water would be pumped up to a new 6,400-acre-foot capacity upper reservoir, where the water would be stored. During peak electrical demand periods, water would flow from the upper reservoir to the lower reservoir via a 1,000-foot-deep (305 m) shaft through 3,500 feet (1,067 m) of water tunnels. The electricity generated would connect the existing transmission line that connects SMUD's existing Upper American River hydroelectric project with the District's customers.

The team began the geotechnical investigation's drilling program in December. The program will include a geotechnical exploratory drift (tunnel) from the surface to the proposed underground powerhouse cavern vicinity. The results of the drilling program will help SMUD determine whether the Iowa Hill project site is viable for construction of the tunnels and underground cavern that would house the generating equipment.

The team consists of Jacobs Associates (prime), GEI Consultants, HDR Engineering, AF-Consult of Switzerland, Carlton Engineering, AMEC, IEC Corporation, Northwest Hydraulic Consultants, Stillwater Sciences, Ascent Environmental, Crux Subsurface, and Foxfire Constructors.

See also:

"Water pipeline replacement contract in San Diego goes to GEI Consultants"

"GEI assists San Diego County Water Authority with water storage needs"

About GEI Consultants Inc.

GEI's multi-disciplined team of engineers and scientists deliver integrated geotechnical, environmental, water resources and ecological solutions to diverse clientele nationwide. The firm has provided a broad range of consulting and engineering services on over 35,000 projects in 50 states and 22 countries. For more information, visit www.geiconsultants.com.

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