08 Mar 2023
For the second time since the beginning of 2023, rPlus Hydro, LLLP (rPlus Hydro), a national leader in the development of large-scale pumped hydroelectric energy storage projects, has announced the submission of a Final License Application (also referred to as a License for Major Unconstructed Project) to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)—this time for its 1,000-megawatt (MW) White Pine Pumped Storage project located in White Pine County, Nevada.
White Pine Pumped Storage is expected to be Nevada’s first pumped storage project, providing 8 hours of energy storage at its full output of 1,000 MW, which is equivalent to about an eighth of Nevada’s peak power demand on a hot summer day.
“White Pine is located at an important crossroads of existing, planned, and proposed electric transmission in Nevada,” states Matthew Shapiro, rPlus Hydro CEO. “From this location, the project would help the state meet peak power needs in its northern and southern load areas, and help stabilize the grid, while making the most effective use of renewable energy sources. With planned third-party transmission build-outs, the White Pine project will sit at the intersection of regional energy markets. It’s hard to imagine a more strategic location for this project.”
White Pine Pumped Storage expects to bring substantial economic benefits to the local community and will serve as an essential component of the region’s modernized and reliable energy infrastructure. The project represents more than a $2.5 billion investment in Nevada’s energy infrastructure and will support Nevada’s move towards the clean energy goals adopted by its legislators and approved by its voters.
“We welcome the opportunity that White Pine Pumped Storage brings to further diversify our economic base and work force,” says White Pine County Commission Chairman Shane Bybee. “This is a key milestone in the project’s progression and demonstrates that rPlus Hydro is committed to our community and the ultimate success of this development.”
The project’s multi-year construction phase will create up to 500 construction jobs. Once operational, the plant will bring more than 35 new full-time, skilled positions to the area, and provide an estimated $12 million in additional annual tax revenue for state and local governments.
“White Pine County is geographically and politically positioned to be the future of Nevada’s energy production, transmission, and storage. rPlus is a leader in the energy storage arena, and without creative projects like these, Nevada’s growth in renewable energy developments can never become an efficient reality,” notes Mike Wheable, White Pine County Manager. “White Pine County recognizes the effort and resources rPlus has dedicated to achieving this step in the development and is thankful to participate in this unprecedented and necessary project that will benefit all Nevadans.”
FERC will now begin a robust environmental review and licensing process for White Pine Pumped Storage with local, state, and federal agencies. Construction could start as early as 2025.
Pumped storage can be thought of as a large battery that moves water back and forth between two reservoirs at different elevations to store energy and generate power. This cycle is repeated as needed for electric power reliability and grid stability. Pumped storage enhances the grid through accepting, storing, and dispatching energy from intermittent and variable renewable sources. It is a proven energy storage technology, with 43 such projects currently operating across the country and more than 130 around the world, and has a lifespan far longer than other energy storage technologies.
Members of the public may review a hard copy of the final license application for the project at the White Pine County Library in Ely, Nevada. Additionally, a digital copy of the license application is available online at https://www.whitepinepumpedstorage.com/.
rPlus Hydro, LLLP | www.rplushydro.com