LAKE ELSINORE WATER DISTRICT of California, US, has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build a pumped storage plant and high-voltage transmission lines in the hills west of Lake Elsinore.

The district had filed a preliminary application with FERC in February 2001 to build the US$470M hydroelectric plant, together with US$180M worth of associated high-voltage transmission lines.

The district’s plan calls for the creation of the Lake Elsinore Advanced pumping station, which would pump water uphill from the lake at night when electricity rates are cheaper, then store the water in a reservoir. It would release the water to flow downhill during the daytime, powering electricity-generating turbines.

The water district would benefit from selling the generated power during more expensive, peak-demand periods during the day. District officials say they could get more than US$1M a year in revenues from power sales.

In accepting the application, FERC gave the district two years to complete an environmental review.