In 2017, Congress directed the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to release a request for information on the effects and contributions of hydropower and pumped storage to grid resiliency and reliability. As part of this directive, Congress requested that DOE fund a technical and economic analysis on pumped storage at two prospective sites near renewable resources that produce variable energy, like wind and solar generation.
Several sites in the Northwest are being seriously considered for pumped-storage development. The Council supports the selection of a pumped storage site located in the Northwest for further study by DOE. A letter of support is available for developers to use when submitting applications to DOE’s Notice of Opportunity for Technical Assistance (NOTA).
Extensive analysis has been done on valuing the power system benefits of pumped-storage hydropower (and other storage technologies), but overcoming the high initial capital cost investment has proven too great a barrier when the return on investment remains uncertain. Understanding the potential revenue streams from a specific pumped-storage hydropower project within the region would go a long way toward making pumped-storage a competitive option for future consideration and development.
Download the letter of support