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Lined reservoirs for hydroelectric power project

News | July 9, 2015 | By:

A proposed pumped-storage hydroelectric power facility in Southern California will include two lined reservoirs, according to partners in the Eagle Mountain project in Riverside County.

The $1.4 billion Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project near Desert Center, north of Interstate 10, would draw water from three wells on surrounding property and pump it 15 miles to lined reservoirs in two vacant pits at the former Kaiser Steel mine.

The 1,300-megawatt Eagle Mountain hydropower plant has been licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The project will use the inactive iron mine with a head of 1,400 feet between two reservoirs created from abandoned mining pits.

Developing partner GEI Consultants Inc. has described Eagle Mountain as an “integral component of California’s renewable energy policies and its goals for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”

The FERC licensed the project proposed by the Eagle Crest Energy Co. with some staff modifications and additional measures, primarily to mitigate environmental effects.

The project includes construction of two saddle dams and two lined reservoirs. According to GEI plans, groundwater will be pumped from a series of wells in the Chuckwalla Basin to fill the reservoirs and replace water lost to evaporation. A reverse osmosis system will be installed to remove salts and metals from the reservoirs to help maintain water quality of the reservoirs and counteract degradation associated with evaporation.

Once complete, the project will be the 15th largest pumped-storage facility in the world and the 5th largest in the United States.

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