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Swan Lake hydro project meeting set
Public hearing on $2 billion private project set for Wednesday at the government center
By LEE JUILLERAT, Herald and News 5/24/11
A public hearing on a proposed $2 billion, privately funded hydroelectric project in the Swan Lake area will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Klamath County Government Center, 305 Main St.
Symbiotics, which has offices in Portland, Bend and Utah, Idaho and Texas, is proposing the 1,380-megawatt Swan Lake North Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project on 530 acres of Bureau of Land Management land about 11 miles northeast of Klamath Falls.
Erik Steimle, environmental compliance director from Symbiotics’ Portland office, said the project is designed to store, not generate, power.
“The project is still in its early stages,” he said, noting the company plans to do traffic, wildlife and geological surveys this summer.
Steimle said the proposed project boundary runs from the east side of Grizzly Butte to about a mile east of the Swan Lake Rim.
The project will include two 8,500 acre-feet reservoirs and a 5,860-foot-long steel penstock to move water back and forth between the reservoirs and connect to 10 generating pump-turbine units in a powerhouse with a generating capacity of 1,144 megawatts.
When excess wind or solar power is created, excess energy capacity will pump water uphill from the lower reservoir to an uphill reservoir. When energy demand increases, the stored water will be released to the downhill reservoir through powerhouses.
The reservoirs will be created by two earth embankment dams, one 70-feet tall and 11,850-feet long, the other 80-feet tall and 8,415-feet long. Steimle said water would be provided from existing groundwater wells.
1,500 acre-feet annually
Estimates call for 1,500 acre-feet of water annually. The reservoirs would be lined with clays or a manmade membrane, depending on study recommendations, to reduce groundwater seepage.
A 12.5-mile long 500-kilowatt line would interconnect with a proposed upgrade to an existing 500-kilovolt line with power distributed primarily to California and local utilities, according to the application.
Additional information is available at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission website at www. ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp.
Page Updated: Thursday May 26, 2011 03:18 AM Pacific
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