The Bureau of Land Management in the U.S. has approved a transmission line and a water pipeline project associated with the 1,300-MW Eagle Crest Energy Hydroelectric Pumped Storage Project in California.
BLM authorizes a right-of-way for the construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of a 500-kV, 12-mile-long transmission line and water supply pipeline on BLM-managed public lands near Desert Center.
BLM says the gen-tie line would transmit electricity to the South California Edison Red Bluff substation and the water line would draw water from an area below private land, traverse BLM land, and fill the reservoirs at the pumped-storage facility. Eagle Crest involves about 1,150 acres of public land and 1,377 acres of private land.
“Our public lands provide for a wide variety of uses, including opportunities to facilitate secure, American-generated energy to our local communities,” said Doug Herrema, BLM Palm Springs-South Coast field manager. “This right-of-way is anticipated to transmit hydroelectric energy to power 900,000 homes in California each year.”
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the Eagle Crest project in 2014. The project is expected to cost $2.5 billion to build and create 4,300 jobs during construction and 360 jobs annually during operations.
Eagle Crest is a closed loop system that would involve using two vacant pits from an iron ore mine to supply water to an underground powerhouse.
Next steps on this project are not clear.