CA pumped storage hydroelectric project to provide state clean energy

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SACRAMENTO, CA, July 23, 2014 -- Today, GEI Consultants, Inc., a global geotechnical, environmental, water resources, and ecological science and engineering firm, announced that client Eagle Crest Energy Company has received its license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its Eagle Mountain Hydroelectric Pumped Storage project in Southern California. FERC has authorized a total of 24 pumped storage projects that are constructed and in operation, with a total installed capacity of approximately 16,500 megawatts. Most of these projects were authorized more than 30 years ago.

The project will operate as an energy storage facility -- water will be stored in a lower elevation reservoir and then pumped to a higher elevation reservoir during periods of low electrical demand. Water in the upper reservoir will be held until energy is needed to meet electrical demand, then it is released through a powerhouse where it will generate more valuable on-peak energy. The project is closed-loop, in that there is no connection to any existing lake or river. The project is located on the site of the inactive Eagle Mountain mine in Riverside County, Calif., near the town of Desert Center. The pits at the mine have been unused for decades and will be modified to become water storage reservoirs.

The Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project will serve as an integral component of California's renewable energy policies and its goals for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It will play a major role in satisfying peak energy demands, integration of renewable energy resources located in the California desert, and management of the regional transmission grid so that on-demand reliable energy can be delivered throughout Southern California. The project, once completed, will provide up to 1,300 megawatts (MW) of energy for peak demand periods, which would make it the 15th largest pumped storage project in the world and the 5th largest in the United States.

Under contract to and working closely with Eagle Crest Energy, GEI Consultants led the consultant team responsible for licensing efforts, which began in 2007. GEI's responsibilities included preparation of the License Application including the Supporting Design Report, Environmental Assessment, Project Schedule, and other exhibits. GEI also assisted the client with stakeholder consultation; identification of potential sources of water supply; development of project configuration; technical analyses for the upper reservoir dams, water conducting tunnels, and underground powerhouse; conceptual designs for project water supply; reservoir seepage control and monitoring measures; drainage and flood management as well as access roads and tunnels; and the reservoirs' water quality management system.

See also:

"Planning for CA pumped-storage hydroelectric project underway"

"Hydroelectric Power Plant Upgrades Penstock, Improves Costs, Operations"

About GEI Consultants

GEI's multi-disciplined team of engineers and scientists deliver integrated water resources, environmental, ecological, and geotechnical engineering 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


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