The U.S. Department of Energy announced the Goldendale pump storage hydro-power (PSH) project as one of only two pump storage projects awarded a Notice of Opportunity for Technical Assistance (NOTA) to perform a techno-economic study on the project. Not only will the study give project developer GridAmerica Holdings’, and project partners detailed estimates on the technical and economic value of the proposed project, but it’ll be an important part of a multi-year research strategy to understand the capabilities and value of pump storage projects to the grid across the United States.
The Department of Energy announced its selections for its Notice of Opportunity for Technical on December 3rd. The other technical assistance recipient is Absaroka Energy for their proposed Banner Mountain pump storage project located in central Wyoming.
The award is the result of three years of effort by regional leaders and GridAmerica Holdings in collaboration with Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler in Washington and Senator Jeff Merkley in Oregon. $3 million in project funds were allocated through the House and Senate Appropriations Committees for the in-depth financial analysis of two pump storage hydro projects.
“The region and the renewable energy community appreciate the work Representative Herrera Beutler and Senator Merkley did to get this study funded. Pump storage hydro is well-understood as a technology, with close to 40 projects in operation nationwide. These analyses will help put a financial value on new projects operating in conjunction with renewable energy facilities,” was how Goldendale Chamber of Commerce executive director Dana Peck described the grant award.
The Department of Energy email announcing the selection, said this about the Goldendale project:
“GridAmerica Holdings’ proposed Goldendale project would be located on the border of Oregon and Washington at the northern terminus of the Pacific AC and DC intertie transmission lines. This project, if constructed, could facilitate the storage and export of the growing amount of wind energy available in the Northwest to nearby states. Using existing pumping infrastructure from an old aluminum smelting facility, the closed-loop system would include three variable-speed reversible pump-turbines for a total generating capacity of 1200 MW and a total pumping capacity of 1552 MW. The project would provide a range of services to the grid to support reliability and resilience in addition to specifically balancing variable wind generation. A preliminary permit for the project was issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in March 2018.”