New Owens River Gorge dam???


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Messages 1 - 16 of total 16 in this topic

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 23, 2019 - 08:41am PT

Well, this might be an issue. Planning stages, but yeah, something might get flooded.


Trad climber
Apr 23, 2019 - 11:15am PT
It will probably be OK, it only looks like Aeriq's new routes will get flooded. ;)

Apr 23, 2019 - 12:19pm PT
The time to make our voices heard on this is now!

Social climber
Apr 23, 2019 - 01:56pm PT
6,200' of head between upper and lower pools. It will take quite a few solar panels/wind turbines to pump water 6k feet up that mountain.

The idea makes sense, though there will be considerable losses between the power it takes to pump vs the turbine output on the way down. But since it's "clean" energy to begin with, maybe no big deal.

So this idea of pumped storage is nothing new. San Luis Reservoir pulls its water from the CA aqueduct, though I believe the main purpose is water storage and not electrical generation.

California politicians and many residents want 100% renewable energy. Many projects like this one will need to go online to reach that goal... What's that they say about making an omelet?

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Apr 23, 2019 - 02:08pm PT
There's a 1200 MW pumped storage project at Courtright Reservoir. During periods of peak demand they drop water from Courtright down to Wishon Reservoir to make power. When demand is low, say at night, they use cheap power to pump water back uphill. Thermodynamically inefficient but economically a positive, and for usefulness its good.

I would guess that the head from Courtright down to Wishon is less than 3,000 ft. They use the actual generators and turbines to pump water back up. Reverse phase on those things and away you go.
looks easy from here

Santa Cruzish
Apr 23, 2019 - 03:45pm PT
Courtwright's spillway is at 8184'. Wishon's is at 6539'. 1645' of difference.

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Apr 23, 2019 - 04:49pm PT
Careful what you ask for. You might just get it...

If you ask for green, you get green. And you have to build it...

Thank your engineers for giving you exactly what you wanted.

Now oppose the very thing you ask for?

There are consequences for asking for things. More building, more mining, more manufacturing. This sh#t doesn't just appear from fairy land.

Power doesn't come from the wall, food doesn't come just from the grocery store. Your phone doesn't just come from the Apple store.

Live with the consequences of your decisions, or make different decisions.

Grey Matter
Apr 23, 2019 - 04:58pm PT
Modern pumped hydro aka Pumped Storage is quite efficient.
Typically about 75% round trip.
Of course what counts is cost comparisons - see section 4
Lots of info in this 2009 report

Jim Henson's Basement
Apr 23, 2019 - 06:31pm PT
Reading through the 15 page Proposal right now. I'd post the diagrams but I " don't own the rights"

The cliff notes so far( hard to read on this device): Premium Energy Llc has put forth a proposal to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in D.C. applying for permits for 3 "closed loop pumped storage plants " ( whatever that is) and an additional water pipeline running to Sylmar.

It would involve building six (6) new reservoirs . North and south gullies of Wheeler and Lower Rock Creek. The proposal discusses " new reservoirs" , "new water conveyance pen stocks", "new generating plants" , "new power houses" , "electrical switching plants, and interconnecting power lines to Dwp" as well as creating new access roads. It doesn't look like it floods the inner Gorge from what I can tell.

Regardless of how efficient these systems are once installed- it sure sounds like it's a lot of destruction to the mountain environment. Any reservoir invariably destroys whatever area it drowns out.

I honestly don't really know what's it all means- maybe someone like Bob H can weigh in with some education.


Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Apr 23, 2019 - 07:42pm PT
jeff constine

Trad climber
Ao Namao
Apr 23, 2019 - 07:54pm PT
Trouble in paradise :(

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
Apr 23, 2019 - 08:16pm PT
I always enjoyed one of my favorite books: Cadillac Desert, which is a history of dams in the western U.S.

My favorite quote on water "development" in California is:


Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Apr 23, 2019 - 08:26pm PT
Stained glass diva...My thoughts also....Industrial infrastructure clash with organic stream beds doesn’t sound compatible...and what about the fish..?
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Apr 23, 2019 - 08:36pm PT
The comparable project would be the Big Creek Project, that encompasses Lake Edison, Florence Lake, Huntington Lake, Shaver Lake, and several others.

It was built in the early 1900's

It was built by great men of vision. I was reading about one of them, William G. Kerckhoff, as I'm familiar with buildings on both USC and UCLA campuses named after him. One of his "failure" projects:

"In 1900, with Burton E. Green (1868-1965), Charles A. Canfield (1848-1913), Max Whittier (1867–1928), Frank H. Buck (1887-1942), Henry E. Huntington (1850-1927), William F. Herrin (1854-1927), W.S. Porter and Frank H. Balch, known as the Amalgated Oil Company, he purchased Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas from Henry Hammel and Andrew H. Denker and renamed it Morocco Junction.[4]

After drilling for oil and only finding water, they reorganized their business into the Rodeo Land and Water Company...

to develop a new residential town later known as Beverly Hills, California"

Jim Henson's Basement
May 1, 2019 - 09:00am PT
USDA/Forest Service has shot it down stating it infringes on Wilderness:


so has the Mono County Community Development staff :

Copy of text:
//Good morning,
Below is an email from Mono County Community Development staff member Michael Draper. Michael is the staff member that has been tasked with following the proposed electrical generation project titled Owens Valley Pump Back. Michael has been in contact with Kyle Olcott from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and a message from Mr. Olcott is included below. That message provides links to provide direct comment to FERC. My information is that the more comments to FERC the better. The Mono Board will have an agenda item on this proposal at a regular Board meeting. I do not know which meeting yet. This proposal was discussed briefly at the recent Collaborative Planning Team meeting attended by the Inyo National Forest Supervisor.

I would like to thank all the community members from Paradise, Swall Meadows, Sunny Slopes and Crowley that have initiated information gathering and made comment to FERC already. Quite a team effort. Here is the latest information I have:

1. FERC is still analyzing the completeness of the submitted project package. If it is not complete then there is no actual project, just an idea. In that case FERC will return the package to the proponent noting the deficiencies and informing the proponent that nothing can proceed until the additional information and analysis is provided. County Staff's opinion is that the submission is incomplete. Some of the deficiencies noted by County Staff are, lack of awareness of wilderness designation effecting the ability to build the dams, lack of seismic analysis, lack of avalanche zone awareness, lack of utility intertie information and utility infrastructure creation, and lack of wildlife impact analysis.

The project claims that it will use solar energy to pump the water back to the dams for reuse but does not specify where the solar production would come from. If the energy required to pump the water back does not come from solar then what would be the source and would that source be green to meet the claim of a "green energy" project.This is just a partial list.

2. If a full package is submitted there will be a 60 day comment period. If it comes to that Mono County will push for at least one local public meeting.

3. It appears that the proponents are also interested in doing a project in the White Mountains although nothing on this has been submitted to FERC. I have included Tri Valley folks in this email. The White Mountains are also Wilderness.

4. Mono County is investigating how much, if any, regulatory authority the County would have over what appears to be the private land portions of the proposal. County Staff is unsure if the County's authorities could be superseded by a State or Federal agency.

5. The project would reuse the same water after the dams were filled. There is no mention of whose water rights would be effected by the filling of the dams or the need to top off the storage as a result of evaporation.

6. Although the Forest Service cannot issue permits for the construction of dams in "Wilderness" there is a caveat in the Wilderness Act that allows the President of the United States to authorize an exemption. That has never been used but is there.

I encourage all to share any information you receive with Michael Draper. Please continue to share this information with your neighbors and on local information systems.

Fred Stump

i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
May 13, 2019 - 11:08pm PT
I don't like the sound of that caveat.
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