Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff have issued a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the licensing of Swan Lake North Hydro LLC’s proposed 393.3-MW Swan Lake North Pumped Storage Project.
The primary issues associated with licensing the Swan Lake North project — to be located in Klamath County, Oregon — are effects of construction and operation on soils, water quality, terrestrial resources, recreation and land use, and, most significantly, cultural resources of importance to the Klamath Tribes.
In the final EIS, FERC staff recommended the staff alternative, which consists of measures included in Swan Lake North Hydro’s proposal, as well as many of the recommendations made by county, state and federal agencies, and some additional measures developed by the staff.
Swan Lake North Hydro filed an application on Oct. 28, 2015, for construction and operation of the closed-loop Swan Lake North Project. Water to initially fill the reservoirs and to replace water lost to evaporation and seepage would come from groundwater supplied by the local groundwater agricultural pumping system and delivered to the lower reservoir via an existing underground agricultural irrigation network.
The proposed project would consist of a new upper and lower reservoir, a high-pressure steel penstock between the upper reservoir and the powerhouse, a powerhouse with generating/pumping facilities, three low-pressure steel penstocks from the powerhouse to the lower reservoir, a transmission line and substation, access roads to the lower and upper reservoirs, and accompanying facilities.
The project would occupy 730 acres of federal land administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, and 1,310 acres of state, county and private lands.