F.A.Q.

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PSH facilities are closed-loop systems that move water between a lower reservoir and an upper reservoir. Water is released from the upper reservoir and used to turn hydroelectric turbines to generate electricity before being collected in the lower reservoir and then returned to the upper reservoir to repeat the process. When the energy used to return the water is from solar or wind, as it is with Goldendale Energy Storage Project, PSH is considered a carbon- and pollution-free source of on-demand power.

PSH facilities are the most common form of energy storage in the U.S. (representing 95% of all utility scale storage). They are a proven, available technology that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. The two biggest sources of renewable energy — wind and solar power — are “variable” or “intermittent.” Meaning they produce electricity only when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. These renewable energy resources are unpredictable, which creates new challenges for the electric grid. Ideally, grid managers would be able to use that renewable energy when they need it most (i.e. when electricity demand is at its peak, or on hot days when many people are using air conditioning). But sometimes the generation from wind and solar facilities just isn’t available. Utility-scale storage facilities, like the Goldendale Energy Storage Project, allows energy generated from wind and solar resources to be stored and used when demand is highest.

To meet the region’s clean energy mandates, a recent study showed the Pacific Northwest will require 5-15 gigawatts of new storage for renewable energy during the next 10 years. This is the equivalent of building between 2000 – 6000 new utility scale wind turbines.1

The Project is owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, which is an energy infrastructure investment company based in Denmark that is focused on greenfield and renewable energy projects. CIP has a long track record of investing in projects that address climate change, positively benefit local communities, and create family wage jobs. The company’s corporate ethic principles are guided by the UN Principles for Responsible Investments and the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact (https://www.unglobalcompact.org/what-is-gc/mission/principles).

Rye Development is leading the development for Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. Rye Development is a leading developer of new, low-impact hydropowered energy generation and energy storage projects in the United States. Rye brings communities around the country a local source of renewable, non-consumptive energy while building critical infrastructure and creating new jobs. The team is locally based, having lived and worked for decades in the Pacific Northwest.

Once the lower reservoir in a closed-loop facility is filled, water is recirculated between the lower and elevated reservoirs via a pipe deep underground. During times of surplus electricity (peak sun hours or windy days), the plant uses surplus energy to pump water from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir. Then, during peak demand hours, the water is returned by gravity to the lower reservoir passing through turbine generators that generate electricity. In comparison, open-loop pumped storage projects are continuously connected to a naturally-flowing water feature, such as a river, often-times creating aquatic and terrestrial impacts that closed-loop facilities do not face.

The project is in Klickitat County, Washington, approximately 8 miles southeast of the City of Goldendale. The proposed project boundary encompasses approximately 681.6 acres, most of which are private lands owned by NSC Smelter, LLC. All Project construction will occur either on these private lands or within an existing utility right-of-way that is owned by the Bonneville Power Administration.

The project will infuse $2B+ dollars into rural Washington and Oregon, benefitting local economies throughout the Gorge and providing Klickitat County with more than $14 million in new tax revenue annually. Specifically, new revenue will benefit local roads, schools, emergency support services, hospitals, fire departments, libraries, recreational districts, and County services for the most vulnerable. The Project will also create more than 3,000 family wage jobs during its four-year construction period, and another 50 to 70 permanent jobs in an area of the state that desperately needs them.

Several Washington and Oregon utilities are seeking additional renewable electricity and storage capacity as they transition to a carbon-free economy and work to meet state requirements for carbon-free electricity sources. The project is well-positioned to help utilities meet their near and long-term generation and storage needs.

Rye Development is currently investing $10 million in site preparation. Much of this is being spent on significant environmental remediation of the land impacted by the former smelting facility.

In order to secure a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Rye Development submitted a thorough application in June 2020. The following studies were completed to support the license application: Geology and Soils, Engineering, Wildlife Habitat/Botanical, Sensitive Plants, Wetlands and Waters of the US, Cultural Resources, Visual Resources, and Socioeconomic. These studies demonstrate that the project will not adversely affect local fish or wildlife populations.

The project enjoys broad support. Supporters include the Washington State Labor Council, Washington State Building Trades, Columbia Pacific Building Trades, Central Washington Building Trades, Longview/ Kelso Building Trades, Mid-Columbia Economic Development, Certified Electrical Workers of Washington, renewable energy advocates, Klickitat PUD, Klickitat County and the City of Goldendale who all recognize the clean energy benefits and positive economic impact of the project.

A safe, equitable, and environmentally sound way to store and integrate carbon free sources of electricity. Supporting Washington's efforts to meet its clean energy goals.