Haiwee Pumped Storage Update

Back in June we updated you on two proposed pumped storage projects in the Eastern Sierra. We are happy to report that the project proponent Premium Energy, has withdrawn their application for the Owens Valley Pumped Storage Project. Nevertheless, they continue to pursue the Haiwee Pumped Storage Project, for which the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission opened a 60 day public comment period on September 27, 2019.

This project would have one upper reservoir and one lower reservoir with either an underground pressure tunnel or above ground penstock connecting them. The filling of the reservoirs would be carried out by using the water conveyed through the existing LA Aqueduct. The lower reservoir would be located between the existing North Haiwee Reservoir and the privately held Butterworth Ranch. Three alternative locations are proposed for the upper reservoir. Two of these alternative upper reservoir sites are located on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management for conservation of the Mohave Ground Squirrel. The other alternative places an upper reservoir site within the South Sierra Recommended Wilderness Addition in the Final Inyo National Forest Land Management Plan, which is to be finalized on or around October 21, 2019.  The lands under review for this project have numerous biological, cultural and recreational conflicts as well as seismic activity.  Friends of the Inyo and other partners are preparing formal comments on the proposal and will make our comment available on our website once they are submitted. Additional project information and how you can provide comments can be found by entering the project’s docket number (P-14991) on the FERC web page.