CSPA Files for Party Status on Mokelumne Pumped Storage

By Chris Shutes, FERC Projects Director
CSPA has filed for party status in a proceeding before the Public Utilities Commission. In the proceeding, Pacific Gas & Electric Company seeks permission to charge its ratepayers $40 Million to initiate a FERC licensing process to study and likely construct a pumped storage project in the Mokelumne River watershed. The proposed project would pump water from Salt Springs Reservoir to a higher reservoir, likely Lower Bear River Reservoir. The water that was pumped at night, when power is relatively inexpensive, would be released back into Salt Springs through a powerhouse during hours of peak electrical demand.

CSPA, in a series of stakeholder meetings, repeatedly criticized the project for its probable impacts to cold water in the Mokelumne drainage. CSPA also has concerns about effects to fishing at Lower Bear River Reservoir.

In its filing before the PUC, CSPA recommends modeling the water temperature impacts prior to spending initiating an expensive and time-consuming FERC proceeding. CSPA estimates that construction of water balance and water temperature models would cost about one tenth of the amount for which PG&E has asked the PUC. (More…)

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