Utah water board proposes 443-MW Lake Powell project

The Utah Board of Water Resources is proposing a 443-MW Lake Powell Pipeline project that would feature three powerhouses on a 135-mile-long pipeline from Lake Powell to Sand Hollow Reservoir.

In a preliminary permit application filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the water board said Lake Powell Pipeline (No. 12966) would be located in Kane, Washington, and Iron counties in Utah, and Coconino and Mohave counties in Arizona. FERC issued notice of the application Nov. 2, calling for comments by Jan. 1, 2008.

The proposal includes the 18-MW Little Creek, 415-MW Hurricane Cliffs Pumped-Storage, and 10-MW Sand Hollow plants. Its powerhouses would generate, on average, a total of 525 gigawatt-hours annually.

The largest development, the pumped-storage facility, would feature a powerhouse with two pump-generating units having a total capacity of 380 MW, and a 35-MW single peaking generating unit. Hurricane Cliffs also would include a forebay with a storage capacity of 4,000 acre-feet for the upper reservoir. An afterbay with less storage capacity would serve as the lower reservoir.

If granted, a permit would provide the water board up to three years to conduct economic analysis, prepare preliminary engineering plans, and study the environment. Based upon the studies, the water board would decide whether to prepare a license application.

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