The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted the proposed 500-megawatt LEAPS project a preliminary permit to study the project on October 24, 2012.

On June 1, 2017, Nevada Hydro filed a notice of intent to file a license application (NOI) and a draft license application for the LEAPS Project Number 14227.  In its NOI, Nevada Hydro explained that FERC staff previously prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) in 2007 for a substantially similar project proposal under a former Project Number 11858, and that for the purposes of the current application, consultation with agencies and the public has essentially already occurred under the prior proposal which should meet the intent of the Commission’s pre-filing consultation requirements. The Company requested waiver of certain of FERC’s pre-filing licensing requirements, allowing it to proceed directly to filing a final license application.

On September 29, 2017, FERC agreed to waive the pre-filing consultation requirements for the project.  FERC noted that “it is not necessary to require Nevada Hydro to solicit stakeholder input on additional study needs or seek stakeholder assistance in identifying issues and mitigation needs….the Commission’s post-filing procedures will provide sufficient opportunity for stakeholders to comment on the adequacy of the final license application, identify study needs, participate in the scoping of issues to be evaluated by Commission staff in its environmental review, and identify project effects and mitigation needs.”  FERC also noted that stakeholders will be able to provide comments on environmental documents that may be issued.  Notwithstanding FERC’s directive, the Company is committed to on-going meetings with interested parties, municipal and state governments and agencies, and to holding a public open house later in the FERC process.  This will allow time for public input and thorough discussion of concerns that may be raised.

On October 2, 2017, Nevada Hydro filed its Final License Application (FLA) and awaits FERC’s licensing process to proceed.  The project proposed in the FLA is substantially similar to the project alignment and facilities considered by FERC in the previously-completed FEIS as the  staff-recommended alternative  for  Project Number 11858, with the following distinctions:

  • Nevada Hydro is now proposing to develop two separate primary transmission lines – a northern primary transmission line that will connect  the  LEAPS powerhouse with the Southern California Edison (SCE) interconnection point and  a southern  primary  transmission  line that  will  connect the LEAPS  powerhouse with the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) interconnection  point. The primary transmission lines will carry only the project power, except when in pumping mode and, during pumping, only one primary line can be in use at a time.  This will ensure that no power from the interstate transmission grid can flow to and through the other primary transmission line to the other interconnection point.
  • The alignment of the primary transmission lines is substantially similar to the alignment reviewed in the FEIS for Project Number 11858.  However, in Project Number 11858, the Case Springs substation interconnecting to the SDG&E transmission system was located in Camp Pendleton. In the new FLA for Project Number 14227, the Case Springs substation has been relocated to the Cleveland National Forest. The new site was  chosen in consultation with the  U.S. Forestry Service after the FEIS for Project Number 11858 was issued.
  • The FLA for Project Number 14227 was filed on October 2, 2017 and proposes to develop only the sites for the generation facilities recommended by FERC staff in the FEIS for Project Number 11858.