Staff of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has endorsed the relicensing of Appalachian Power Co.’s 636-MW pumped storage project on the Roanoke River in southern Virginia.
The proposed relicensing of the Smith Mountain project does not call for adding capacity. FERC staff approved the proposal “with some recommended modifications to the proposed management plans.”
The proposal requires Appalachian Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, to implement: a water management plan; an erosion and sedimentation monitoring plan; a water quality monitoring plan; a habitat management plan; and an aquatic vegetation management plan.
The two-dam project serves as a peaking facility. During off-peak periods, water that passes through Smith Mountain Dam into Leesville Lake is pumped back into Smith Mountain Lake, where it can be used again to generate electricity. (HydroWorld 7/16/09)
According to FERC, the proposal “would provide nearly optimal habitat for the species of concern in the Roanoke River, mainly blackbass and striped bass.”