Pumped Storage - How it Works
Simple in concept and technology, the Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project acts as a reserve supply of potential power to provide energy on demand to utility customers. Two reservoirs comprise the storage capacity. During off-peak nights and weekends water is pumped through an underground turbine system to the upper reservoir, where it is stored for release back through the same turbines to generate electricity at periods of peak demand. To the extent possible, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar will be used for this recharging. The project features four reversible pump-turbine units, with combined generating capacity of 1,300 MW. All water conveyance and powerhouse elements will be constructed below ground.
The project has several unique attributes that make its development for pumped storage very attractive in comparison to other potential projects in the region: The geology of the project area is dominated by rock formations comprised of good quality materials for water conveyance tunnels and underground chambers associated with a pumped storage project.
The only features visible above ground other than two reservoirs will be the switchyard and the transmission line. All other major project features will be underground and out of sight.
The site is within 10 miles of a major electrical transmission line corridor, the Palo Verde to Devers corridor, which extends from Palo Verde Nuclear plant in Arizona to the Devers Substation near Palm Springs. Interconnection is proposed at the Red Bluff substation located south of the project site. Ongoing transmission expansion planning is currently being performed by Southern California Edison in cooperation with the California ISO to assess requirements for accommodating this project and multiple solar and wind renewable energy projects in the region.
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Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project