FERC announces acceptance of LEAPS for filing

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced it accepted Nevada Hydro’s Lake Elsinore Advanced Pump Storage Project, more commonly known as LEAPS, for filing. A notice issued by FERC stated that while the application has been accepted for filing, it is not ready for environmental analysis at the time.

The agency made the announcement, Friday, July 26, in a notice issued by FERC Secretary Kimberly D. Bose, saying staff had determined that LEAPS qualified as a major infrastructure project “pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding Implementing One Federal Decision under Executive Order 13807” effective April 10.

The move will allow for LEAPS, proposed to be located on Lake Elsinore and the San Juan Creek near the city of Lake Elsinore and occupying roughly 845 acres of federal land in the Cleveland National Forest to move forward in the application process.

Should the project be approved it would consist of a new upper reservoir located in Decker Canyon with a 200-foot-high main dam and a gross storage volume of 5,750 acre-feet at a normal reservoir surface elevation of 2,792 feet above mean sea level, a powerhouse with two reversible pump-turbine units with a total installed capacity of 500 megawatts and about 32 miles of 500-kilovolt transmission line connecting the project to an existing transmission line owned by Southern California Edison located north of the proposed project and to an existing San Diego Gas and Electric Company transmission line located to the south. The existing lake would be used as a lower reservoir for the project.

A copy of the application is available using FERC’s website at http://www.ferc.gov and clicking on the “elibrary” link.

Anyone may submit a protest or motion to intervene, and those intending to do so now have 60 days from the announcement to file motions in regard to the project. According to the FERC notice, motions to intervene and protests can be filed online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp or by sending them through mail to Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20426. The first page of any filing should include the docket number, P-14227-003.

Under FERC’s rules of practices and procedures require all intervenors filing documents with the commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. If an intervenor files comments or documents with the commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency and all motions to intervene or protests must be received by the commission on before the specified deadline date.

Interested parties can register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov.

“When the application is ready for environmental analysis, the commission will issue a public notice requesting comments, recommendations, terms and conditions or prescriptions,” Bose said.

Kim Harris can be reached by email at valleyeditor@reedermedia.com.