FERC seeks input on license for 240-MW Mineville pumped storage project

Editor’s Note: This content was originally featured on GenerationHub.com. GenerationHub.com is a sister site of HydroWorld.com that covers power generation in a number of renewable and non-renewable forms.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an Oct. 4 notice about a February 2015 original major license application from Moriah Hydro Corp. for the 240-MW Mineville Energy Storage Project, to be located in an abandoned subterranean mine complex in the town of Moriah, Essex County, N.Y.

The deadline for filing motions to intervene and protests is 60 days from the issuance date of this Oct. 4 notice.

The proposed project consists of:

  • an upper reservoir located within the upper portion of the mine between elevations 495 and 1,095 feet above mean sea level (msl), with a surface area of four acres and a storage capacity of 2,448 acre-feet;
  • a lower reservoir in the lower portion of the mine between elevations -1,075 and -1,555 feet msl, with a surface area of 5.1 acres and a storage capacity of 2,448 acre-feet;
  • a 14-foot-diameter and 2,955-foot-long upper reservoir shaft connecting the upper reservoir to the high-pressure penstock located below the powerhouse chamber floor;
  • a 14-foot-diameter and 2,955-foot-long lower reservoir shaft connecting the lower reservoir and the lower reservoir ventilation tunnel;
  • two 6-foot-diameter emergency evacuation shafts located between the powerhouse chamber and the electrical equipment chamber;
  • a 25-foot-diameter main shaft extending 2,955 feet from the surface down to the powerhouse chamber;
  • 15-foot-diameter high- and low-pressure steel penstocks embedded beneath the powerhouse chamber floor;
  • a 320-foot-long by 80-foot-wide powerhouse chamber, containing 100 reversible pump-turbine units, each with a nameplate generating capacity of 2.4 MW; and
  • a 274-foot-long by 36-foot-wide underground electrical equipment chamber adjacent to the powerhouse chamber;
  • an inclined electrical tunnel connecting the electrical equipment chamber to a new 115-kV substation constructed adjacent to an existing single circuit 115-kV transmission line located about one horizontal mile from the underground powerhouse chamber.

The project would operate as a closed-loop system to meet energy demands and grid control requirements. It would have an average annual generation of 421 gigawatt-hours (GWh). The average pumping power used by the project would be 554 GWh.

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Barry Cassell formerly was Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He  has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report . He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report . He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University. Barry can be reached at barryc@pennwell.com.

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