FERC Terminates PG&E Pumped Storage Plan

By Published On: December 19, 2014

In a Dec. 10 order, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied Pacific Gas & Electric’s request for a third extension in the licensing procedure for a new pumped storage facility on the Mokelumne River in Amador and Calaveras Counties. PG&E in 2008 won a preliminary FERC permit to study putting a pumped storage facility there capable of generating between 300 and 1,200 MW of power. Since then, however, PG&E has not shown sufficient progress to extend by another two years the time to complete and submit required studies to the federal commission. The order notes that the commission in 2011 extended the period for completing the studies needed to pursue a full license for the project, so the utility now has had six years. FERC, according to the order, has rarely extended preliminary permits beyond six years, except under extraordinary circumstances, which in this case are not present. With the federal order, others can now pursue developing similar facilities in the same location.

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