Energy Commission Approves Preliminary Permit For Pumped Hydro Project

Published: Monday, February 22, 2021 - 6:35pm
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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has signed off on a preliminary permit for a project to create electricity with pumped water in northern Arizona. 

The project would use water from Lake Powell to create electricity, which it would then route through transmission lines and other infrastructure at the shuttered Navajo Generating Station.

But the Navajo Nation would have to sign off on the project, since much of it would be on Navajo land. Conservationists say that the agency failed to take climate change and its effect on the Colorado River into consideration.

“There are other ways to get electricity that make a heck of a lot more sense than, you know, building dams and pumping, pumping water back and forth,” said Gary Wockner of Save the Colorado.

The agency has not yet ruled on another pumped water proposal on the Little Colorado River watershed, also on Navajo land. 

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