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In a grid dominated by renewable energy, Rye’s Swan Lake and Goldendale closed loop pumped storage facilities are positioned to be the “heavily artillery” batteries US utilities will need

October 13, 2020

Experts say pumped hydro is notoriously difficult to site. But as more renewables come online, the industry is eyeing new locations and fresh technologies.

At least 32 utilities are aiming to be carbon-free or achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. This is the second of a four-part series exploring the storage technologies that could get them there.

Around three or four years ago, Jim Day, CEO of Daybreak Power, came across a Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) study that listed dozens of locations around the country that could be viable for pumped hydro storage projects.

Day picked two — one close to the Hoover Dam in Arizona, and the other located in Navajo Nation territory, near Lake Powell, on the Utah-Arizona border — as potential candidates. In 2018, his company filed a preliminary permit application for the 1,540 MW Next Generation Pumped Storage project at the first location, and the following year, a second application for the 2,210 MW Navajo Energy Storage Station at the latter.

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- UtilityDive - By Kavya Balaraman @kavya_balaraman