SMUD awards owner’s engineer contracts for Iowa Hill pumped-storage project


The Sacramento Municipal Utility District has selected a number of companies to provide owner’s engineers services for its proposed 400-MW Iowa Hill pumped-storage hydroelectric plant.

Amongst those selected by the utility are Jacobs Associates, GEI Consultants, HDR Engineering, AF-Consult of Switzerland, Carlton Engineering, AMEC, IEC Corporation, Northwest Hydraulic Consultants, Stillwater Sciences, Ascent Environmental, Crux Subsurface and Foxfire Constructors. reported in September 2011 that SMUD had received close to US$5 million from the Departments of Energy and the Interior under the Sustainable Pumped-Storage Hydropower grant topic area. The money was to help reduce risk and subsequent costs by funding geotechnical investigations of the mountain where Iowa Hills’ water conveyance and powerhouse are to be located and by analyzing the value of energy and ancillary services the project would provide.

The Iowa Hill project will include a GEI-designed 6,400 acre-foot upper reservoir impounded by an earth- and rock-fill dam with a maximum height of more than 200 feet and a crest length of 5,900 feet. Water will flow through a 3,500-foot-long tunnel, with power generated distributed to SMUD customers via existing transmission lines already in place for its 648-MW Upper American River complex.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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