Proposed 500 MW pumped storage project secures California state funding

A proposed 500 MW long-duration energy storage project in San Diego County has started a multi-year process to win federal and state approval. If built, it won’t enter into service before 2030.

A 500 MW pumped energy storage project proposed by the City of San Diego and the San Diego County Water Authority has secured $18 million from the California state budget. The support will help fund the San Vicente Energy Storage Facility through initial design, environmental reviews, and the federal licensing process.

If built, the project would provide long-duration stored energy and is seen by its backers as an asset that would help to avoid rolling blackouts through on-demand energy production. It could also generate revenue to help offset the cost of water purchases, storage, and treatment.

With the state funding, the San Diego County Water Authority and the city now plan to start federal and state environmental reviews. They will seek a project license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and issue a request for proposals for a partner to help develop the project. Those steps are expected to take at least four years, with construction completion forecast for 2030.

As planned, the San Vicente project would create a small upper reservoir above the existing San Vicente Reservoir, along with a tunnel system and an underground powerhouse to connect the two reservoirs. The powerhouse would contain four reversible pump turbines. The project could store 4,000 MWh per day of energy (500 MW of capacity for eight hours)

Credits: PV Magazine

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