Long time GEI client, Eagle Crest Energy Company, received its license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project thanks to an incredible 7 year effort by GEI. What makes this accomplishment even more notable is the fact that, to date, FERC has only authorized a total of 24 pumped storage projects that are constructed and in operation within the U.S., with a total installed capacity of approximately 16,500 megawatts (MW). In addition, most of these projects were authorized more than 30 years ago.
The Eagle Mountain Hydroelectric Pumped Storage Project will operate as an energy storage facility, like a water battery. Water will be stored in two reservoirs in an out-of-use iron ore mine. Water in the higher elevation reservoir will be run through turbines in an underground powerhouse during times when electrical demand exceeds generation. The water will be stored in a lower elevation reservoir, until times of low electrical demand, and then it will be pumped back up to the upper reservoir for re-use. The project is located on the site of the inactive Eagle Mountain Mine, in Riverside County, California, near the town of Desert Center. The pits at the mine have been unused for decades; two pits will be modified to become water storage reservoirs.
The Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project will be 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 Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project, once completed, will provide up to 1,300 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.