News

FERC issues original license for 393.3-MW Swan Lake North Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project

May 1, 2019

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued an original 50-year license for the 393.3-MW Swan Lake North Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project in Klamath County, Oregon.

The project, to be developed by Swan Lake North Hydro LLC, will be located about 11 miles northeast of Klamath Falls and will occupy 730 acres of federal land administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation.

The Swan Lake North Project will consist of a new upper and lower reservoir, a steel penstock connecting the upper reservoir to the powerhouse, a partially buried powerhouse containing three 131.1-MW variable speed reversible pump-turbine units, three steel penstocks connecting the powerhouse to the lower reservoir, a transmission line and substation, and access roads to the lower and upper reservoirs.

The upper reservoir will be asphalt, concrete and geomembrane-lined and impounded by a 7,972-foot-long, 58-foot-high earthen embankment. It will have a storage capacity of 2,568 acre-feet, and a bell-mouth intake with an inclined screen and head gate will withdraw water and deliver it to the powerhouse via a 13.8-foot-diameter, 9,655-foot-long penstock predominantly above ground.

The lower reservoir will be asphalt, concrete and geomembrane-lined and impounded by a 8,003-foot-long, 65-foot-high earthen embankment. It will have a storage capacity of 2,581 acre-feet.

The water needed to initially fill the reservoirs and needed annually to make up for evaporative and potential seepage losses will be supplied by the local groundwater agricultural pumping system and delivered to the lower reservoir via an existing agricultural irrigation network.

Power generated by the project will be transmitted through a new adjacent fenced substation and then through a new 32.8-mile-long, 230-kV above ground transmission line to interconnect with the existing Malin Substation.

The Swan Lake North Project is expected to generate 1.187 GWh of electricity annually. It is anticipated to provide nine hours of energy storage and create 3,360 jobs.

FERC issued a 50-year license for this project, in variance from the 40-year default established in October 2017, because “the license requires a substantial amount of new and costly construction.”

FERC issued the final environmental impact statement for Swan Lake North in January 2019.

- Hydro Review - By Elizabeth Ingram