eagle crest - eagle mountain

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Contact Us

Eagle Crest Energy Company
One El Paseo West Building
74-199 El Paseo, Suite 204
Palm Desert, California 92260
Tel: (760) 346-4900
Fax: (760) 346-4911

 

Questions about the project can be directed to the office of
Steve Lowe
(760) 346-4900

info@EagleCrestEnergy.com

Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project represents a sustainable solution and the best of two worlds:

  • Capacity to store renewable energy such as wind and solar power, both produced during “off-peak” usage periods for delivery to end users during high demand, “peak periods”.

  • Ability to provide an essential and sustainable role integrating renewable energy sources into the regional utility grid by providing clean reliable energy. 

  • The project will help California to attain aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standards, resulting in the reduction of carbon footprints from fossil fuels, thereby reducing the State’s overall contribution to the planet’s greenhouse gas.

The Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project will capture wind energy, utilize solar and other residual power sources during nights and weekends (off–peak hours).  The captured off-peak energy will be used to pump water to an upper reservoir where the energy will be stored.  The water will then be released to a lower reservoir through an underground electrical generating facility where the stored energy will be released back into the Southwestern grid during “high demand peak” times, primarily weekdays.

Pumped Storage is a sustainable solution as it is the only proven technology that allows energy to be stored in an off-peak period and released during on-peak hours.


A Monumental Sustainable Solution

Eagle Mountain is located in Southern California, one of the fastest growing and most dynamic electricity markets in the U.S. The project will augment the transmission grid connecting the large power markets of Southern and Mid-California, helping meeting the States’ needs for significant new and replacement power sources immediately and over the next several decades.  The project will assist the State with its established goal of 20% energy from renewable sources by 2010 and 33% by 2020.

Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project will generate 1,300 MW of firm, stable, and dispatchable power when needed.  It will provide electricity during the peak demand periods and sustain unexpected generation outages, which will help correct imbalances in the southwestern power transmission grid.  Pumped Storage is the only feasible, proven technology to store energy in the off-peak and utilize it during on-peak hours. Through its ability to store the off-peak energy produced by windmills, solar panels, and baseload nuclear and fossil fuel plants, this single project can accomplish the equivalent of many smaller peak-energy projects. This project will also help make renewable wind and solar projects fully integrated, reliable generation sources.

 

Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project is Green
and Clean

Pumped storage is the cleanest way to provide peak power because of its relationship to renewable generation, such as wind and solar power. The project converts intermittent and unreliable wind energy into a firm, dispatchable peaking resource. The location will be developed in a project-ready mined site, and will convert a portion of this highly disturbed landscape into a regional asset. Eagle Mountain will maximize storage of renewable energy sources, and will produce no air emissions. The Project is further environmentally sound because it incorporates a closed loop water system (stored water pumped back and forth) that does not involve any stream, and the Project will have no effects on streams or other aquatic habitat.

  • Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage will reduce the need for less efficient, fossil-fueled alternatives and can significantly contribute to utilities achieving their mandated renewable energy supply goals.


Project Implementation

Eagle Crest Energy has completed significant studies of the project and site and submitted a draft license application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in June 2008.  The Company expects to file its application by Spring 2009.  The project has few of the traditional permitting and licensing challenges that can delay issuance of a FERC license, such as aquatic, recreational or surface water impacts. The Company’s request to engage in the State’s transmission interconnection process was accepted by the California Independent System Operator (ISO) on June 2, 2008.

 

Clean Energy for California

California is facing the challenge of providing power to meet increasing energy demand while abiding by requirements that more of this energy be produced from renewable sources and meet upcoming limits on greenhouse gas emissions.  These requirements will reduce California’s dependence on fossil fuels and the State’s contribution to a reduction in global warming, but the requirements present challenges for finding more ways to produce reliable, renewable, clean energy such as wind, solar, geothermal, and certain hydropower facilities.

California’s continued demand for more energy makes this project attractive to regulators and utilities.  Statewide peak demand is expected to grow by 890 MW per year for the next 10 years and beyond, according to the California Energy Commission.  Current public policy encourages the development of renewable energy resources, including wind power, which in 2003 produced enough electricity to power 530,000 California homes.
 
For years, California has been a leader in renewable energy production, with over 23 percent of its total energy coming from hydropower and other renewable sources.  By 2010, each California utility will be required to source 20 percent of its energy supply from renewable resources.  And by 2020, overall greenhouse gas emissions from California must return to levels produced in 1990. With electricity generation contributing 25 percent of overall greenhouse gas emissions, utilities may have to obtain even more than 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources in the coming years to meet emissions reduction requirements.

Southern California specifically will face significant challenges in meeting the upcoming requirements while continuing to provide reliable energy to its growing population.  However, Southern California is on the right course to addressing this impending energy crisis. The Bureau of Land Management has received over 130 applications for solar, wind and geothermal projects in the Southern California desert.  In 2006, San Diego County built its first wind energy project along Interstate 8, and the first new wind power plant in decades was built, with another slated for completion in 2009. 

While energy projects have sometimes been opposed by environmental and recreational groups, they are a fundamental part of meeting society’s ever increasing demand for energy, and the need for much of this energy to be obtained from renewable sources. 

The Eagle Mountain Stored Energy Project represents another step forward in creating renewable resources, and reducing the need for less efficient, fossil-fuel alternatives.  The project would significantly contribute to the pressing need for new electricity generation, and assist Utilities attain the State of California’s Renewable Portfolio Standards.

 

Pumped Storage: How it Works

Simple in concept and technology, the Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project acts as a reserved supply of potential power to provide energy on demand to utility customers. Two reservoirs comprise the storage capacity.  During off-peak nights and weekends water is pumped through an underground turbine system to the upper reservoirs, where it is stored for release back through the turbines to generate electricity at periods of peak demand.  To the extent possible, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar will be used for this recharging. The project features four reversible pump-turbine units, with combined generating capacity of 1,300 MW.  All water conveyance and powerhouse elements will be constructed below ground. 

The project has several unique attributes that make its development for pumped storage very attractive in comparison to other potential projects in the region:

The two existing depleted mine pits are located about 14,000 feet apart, with an elevation difference between the pits of approximately 1,500 feet. The central pit will be the upper reservoir and the east pit will be the lower reservoir. The storage space now available in the lower pit is about 28,000 acre-feet in total. Construction of two dams at the upper reservoir site is required to augment its storage capacity.

The geology of the project area is dominated by rock formations comprised of good quality materials for construction of the dams, water conveyance tunnels, and underground chambers associated with a pumped storage project.

The only features visible above ground other than two reservoirs will be the switchyard and the transmission line. All other major project features will be underground and out of sight.

The site is within 10 miles of a major electrical transmission line corridor, the Palo Verde to Devers corridor, which extends from the Palo Verde Nuclear Plant in Arizona to the Devers Substation near Palm Springs. Interconnection is proposed at a new switchyard located south of the project site. Ongoing transmission expansion planning is currently being performed by Southern California Edison in cooperation with the California ISO to assess requirements for accommodating this project and multiple solar and wind renewable energy projects.

Secure sources of groundwater for the project have been identified to supply water for the initial fill of the reservoirs and to provide make-up for evaporation and seepage.

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