White Pine Pumped Storage Project Updates
rHydro, the company behind the White Pine Pumped Storage Project, has given the county more information about the specifics that many have had questions about. In addition, they've issued information on issues about water, a big talking point on the project, to the project's potential economic benefits.
Pumped Storage water electricity generation is not an entirely new technology, but it is rare. However, to successfully generate massive amounts of energy using the power of gravity and the two-stage reservoir system, specific criteria must be met for the proposed hydroelectric facility to be considered feasible.
Some of the main factors include topography, geology, initial sources of water, and land rights conflict potential—the White Pine Pumped Storage project we are primed for such a project in all of the criteria.
Duck Creek Range will hold the upper reservoir, with the lower reservoir about 2000 feet lower in Steptoe Valley. The initial water source location was slated to be north of Mcgillm; however, recent talks have moved the location closer to the lower reservoir location. Firstly, minimize disturbance to local landowners and save on the costs of twelve miles of water supply line.
For those concerned about water usage, reports have been submitted, and the project-specific numbers report that for project construction and initial fill (a five-year projected estimate for this to occur) will use less than half a year's worth of county water supply, spread out over the construction period. Or three percent of the allotted water rights for economic development. Much less than what traditional power sources consume to operate.
It will produce vast amounts of power by draining the upper reservoir with underground tunnels leading into the lower, generating electricity with turbines. The same equipment and energy generated by the initial drain will pump the water back up to repeat the process as often as needed to supply power—each cycle generating power for eight hours.
Once fully operational, the White Pine Pumped Storage Project will produce 1000 megawatts of energy, which in perspective is about an eighth of all of Nevada's power demand on a hot summer day.
There is still a great deal to discuss as far as project details are concerned; however, the timeline laid out has 2020-2025 covering engineering design, environmental studies, regulatory filings, approvals, etc.
2026-2030 will be actual construction phases, and post-2030 is operation and maintenance, which will require a staff of about 18-25 people.