The regionally significant proposed John Day Pumped Storage project took another step forward. The Portland Business Journal reports: “A proposed $2 billion pumped-hydro energy storage project alongside the Columbia River has taken a “small but very important step” forward, as backers termed it, winning a permit from federal regulators to explore its feasibility. Other similar proposals at the site, 110 miles upriver from Portland, have made it to this point before, then faded away in the face of a tangle of financing, regulatory and energy market issues. But the project leader this time around, Rye Development, along with partner National Grid, believes the rising need for flexible generating capacity on a grid with evermore variable wind and solar provides a compelling rationale for what it calls the Goldendale Energy Storage Project. The preliminary permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission runs for three years and gives the Rye group dibs on applying for a license to actually build a facility.” Read more from the Portland Business Journal here.