FERC receives license application for 260-MW Mineville underground pumped-storage project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission received a final license application in February from Moriah Hydro Corp. to develop the 260-MW Mineville pumped-storage project, to be located completely underground in an abandoned mine complex in New York.

The Energy Infrastructure Update for February, compiled by FERC’s Office of Energy Projects, listed the Mineville application as the sole recorded hydro activity for the month. FERC listed no hydropower activities in its report for January.

Affiliate Albany Engineering Corp. filed a draft application for the Mineville project (No. 12635) in 2013 on behalf of Moriah Hydro. Albany filed an application with FERC last year on behalf of Mohawk Hydro Corp. to license the 32-MW Middle Mohawk hydro project (No. 12636) at eight dams on the Mohawk River.

Moriah Hydro proposes that the Mineville project be constructed at the town of Moriah, N.Y., within the interconnected Old Bed, New Bed, Bonanza open pit, and Harmony mines, which had been developed by Republic Steel Corp. and its predecessors. The mine extends from a surface elevation of 1,263 feet above mean sea level downward 4,000 feet.

The project is to use no stream or other body of water nor to utilize any dam or spillway. The upper reservoir is to be located in the mine between 495 and 1,095 feet MSL, while the lower reservoir would be between -1,075 and -1,555 feet MSL. Each reservoir would hold about 2,448 acre-feet.

Mineville’s underground powerhouse is to contain 20 pump-turbine generator power trains of five reversible pump-turbines in each, totaling 260 MW and capable of generating 737.6 million kWh annually. It would connect by underground transmission lines to an existing transmission line a mile away from the project. The pumped-storage project would operate in generation or storage mode depending on system demands

FERC, which previously used the infrastructure update as an in-house tool, began making the monthly update public beginning with December 2010. The report allows the public to track the activities of the Office of Energy Projects in the areas of hydropower, natural gas, electric generation, and electric transmission.

The Office of Energy Projects’ Energy Infrastructure Update for February 2015 may be obtained from the FERC Internet site under http://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/2015/feb-infrastructure.pdf.

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