Through a preliminary permit issued on Jan 9, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has granted permission to Corral Creek South Hydro to study the feasibility of developing a 1,100 MW pumped storage project near Twin Falls in Twin Falls County, Idaho.
Citing differences between the co-applicants of the Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage (LEAPS) Project, which would be located on Lake Elsinore and San Juan Creek in Riverside County, CA, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has dismissed the application for the project submitted in 2004.
Since its inception in the 1930s, pumped storage hydro has provided significant benefits to our energy supply system including storage, load balancing, frequency control and reserve generation. Pumped storage is now being applied to firm the variability of renewable power sources, such as wind and solar generation. Pumped storage absorbs load at times of high output and low demand, while providing additional peak capacity. With the advent of state by state Renewable Portfolio Standards driving the planning and commissioning of a tremendous amount of variable renewable energy projects across the country, America’s electrical energy infrastructure needs storage capacity more than ever. Pumped storage hydro is proving to be an enabling technology for these growing variable renewable power sources’ penetration into the United States energy supply system.While the 31 GW of new pumped storage project proposals now before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission demonstrates the hydropower industry’s commitment to building new pumped storage capacity to support variable renewable sources, developers still face significant obstacles, including an uncertain investment climate and long development timelines. Expanding the current investment and production tax credits, the possible creation of an energy storage credit, coupled with policies that recognize pumped storage as a part of the transmission system for purposes of qualifying for the transmission rate incentives currently afforded to transmission system upgrades and expansions, would encourage investment in pumped storage. This growth would displace the need for additional fossil-fuel based peaking generation, and provide the load management capacity necessary to meet our national renewable energy goals