The planned 1300MW Eagle Mountain pumped storage project in California, US, has received a licence from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), paving the way for the project to go ahead.

The Eagle Mountain project is a closed loop project located on the site of the inactive Eagle Mountain mine, in Riverside County, California, near the town of Desert Center. The pits at the mine have been unused for decades and will be modified to become water storage reservoirs.

The project will be an integral component of California’s renewable energy policies, and its goals for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It will play a major role in satisfying peak energy demands, integration of renewable energy resources located in the California desert, and management of the regional transmission grid so that on-demand reliable energy can be delivered throughout southern California. The project, once completed, would be the 15th largest pumped storage project in the world, and the 5th largest in the United States.

Under contract to and working closely with developer Eagle Crest Energy, engineering firm GEI Consultants, Inc led the consultant team responsible for licensing efforts, which began 2007. GEI’s responsibilities included preparation of the License Application including the Supporting Design Report, Environmental Assessment, Project Schedule and other exhibits. GEI also assisted the client with stakeholder consultation, identification of potential sources of water supply, development of project configuration; technical analyses for the upper reservoir dams, water conducting tunnels, and underground powerhouse; conceptual designs for project water supply, reservoir seepage control and monitoring measures; drainage and flood management, as well as access roads, and tunnels, and the reservoirs’ water quality management system.