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Industry News

FERC Accepts Application for 2,200-MW Navajo Energy Storage Station

LCG, January 24, 2020--Daybreak Power Inc. recently announced that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has accepted the company's application for a preliminary permit for its proposed 2,200-MW Navajo Energy Storage Station (NESS). Achieving this milestone is an important, early step towards approving the project, which is estimated to cost $3.6 billion. The pumped storage hydro system would be located at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's (Reclamation) Lake Powell Reservoir on the Colorado River in Arizona.

The proposed NESS would use energy produced from solar and wind plants in the desert Southwest to pump water to a new reservoir on the Cummins Plateau above Lake Powell, then release the water to flow through turbines each day to generate 10 hours of renewable electricity. The project would use existing transmission infrastructure at the retired Navajo Generating Station coal plant to deliver power to loads in California, Arizona, and Nevada.

Daybreak's CEO stated, "Everyone knows we're going to need massive amounts of storage to integrate high levels of renewables, and we need to do it smartly and cost-effectively. The NESS does that. This project marks a turning point for this region to begin its transition from coal to solar and wind at a scale never seen before, here or anywhere else."

The proposed project would utilize Reclamation's Lake Powell Reservoir, created by the Glen Canyon Dam, for its lower reservoir and would include: a 15,150-foot-long, 131-foot-high rockfill concrete dam that would impound an upper reservoir with a usable storage capacity of 18,600 acre feet; an approximately 6,550-foot-long water conveyance structure between the two reservoirs that will include a single 35-foot-diameter headrace tunnel, eight 11-foot-diameter penstocks, eight 15-foot-diameter draft tubes, and two 31-foot-diameter tailrace tunnels; a powerhouse that includes eight, variable-speed pump turbine generating units with a combined capacity of 2,210 megawatts; and an 18-mile-long, 500-kV transmission line that will connect with the existing 230-kV line owned by Western Area Power Administration (WAPA). The estimated annual generation of the NESS would be 3,365 GWh.

The NESS facility is Daybreak's second huge energy storage project, following its proposed 1,540-MW Next Generation Pumped Storage facility that would use water from Lake Mead and transmission infrastructure near Hoover Dam.
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