In its Energy Infrastructure Update for August 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission listed 335 MW of hydro activity: a capacity amendment for the Bad Creek Pumped Storage Project.
FERC issued an order to Duke Energy Carolinas LLC for increasing the capacity of the project to 1,400 MW from 1,065 MW. The actual order was issued Aug. 6.
Bad Creek Pumped Storage, on Bad Creek and West Bad Creek in Oconee County, South Carolina, began operating in 1991. It consists of a 367-acre upper reservoir with a storage capacity of 33,900 acre-feet, a rockfill impervious core dams with crest elevation at 2,315 feet msl across Bad Creek and West Bad Creek, an ungated water intake structure in the upper reservoir, a main shaft and power tunnel 5,026 feet long connecting to four penstocks about 386 feet long, an underground powerhouse, four concrete-lined draft tube tunnels about 316 feet long, and an intake/outlet structure in the lower reservoir (Lake Jocassee).
The powerhouse contains four Francis-type pump-turbines. Work to increase its capacity will involve installing a more efficient and powerful pump-turbine, a new generator and higher-rated generator output circuit breakers.
“The upgrade is part of our strategy to increase renewable energy and reduce our carbon footprint,” says Kim Crawford, Duke Energy corporate communications. “The additional energy storage will provide a benefit to more renewables in the region. It will also help meet our winter peak demand in the morning hours – when solar power is typically not available.”
In September 2016, Duke Energy announced its plans to expand the project by 200 MW, with an anticipated completion date of 2023.