Winter 2019: News from the project team

As you may know, ITC is studying the feasibility of the Big Chino Valley Pumped Storage Project to serve as an integrated, regional energy solution in the Southwest. In June, we held our first Joint Stakeholder Meeting and Site Visit in Prescott, Arizona. Since then, we have met with dozens of stakeholders and held additional public meetings to share updates, obtain input and address questions.
Big Chino Valley Meeting
Transparent, open and honest communication with stakeholders is critical to our planning approach. That’s why we are pleased to introduce this newsletter. It marks the first of a series to keep you informed with timely information across key milestones.
 
The proposed Big Chino Valley Pumped Storage Project will use energy storage technology to anchor new electricity transmission infrastructure as an all-encompassing solution to the region’s growing energy needs. The project involves a large-scale pumped storage facility, one powerhouse, an upper and lower reservoir and three connecting transmission lines. 

As with every project we deliver, we remain committed to our philosophy of “Doing the Right Thing as a Whole.” We are continuing thorough evaluations on the potential impacts of the one-time groundwater withdrawal needed for the reservoirs. This evaluation involves finalizing a groundwater flow model with input from federal and state agencies, tribal representatives, local municipalities and local and national environmental groups.

Next Steps
In 2019, with sound science and stakeholder input, we will assess the project’s viability with the goal to maintain long-term sustainable stewardship of the water and land resources. This also involves working with stakeholders to identify mitigation measures which we will implement to avoid any adverse impacts that could result from the project.

Over the next year, we will continue to consult with stakeholders, conduct studies, prepare environmental analyses and develop a licensing application for filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2020. We encourage you to stay connected as we perform our due diligence to study the project’s viability. Thank you for your interest and participation.

Sincerely,

The Big Chino Valley Project Team


Meeting the Southwest's 21st century needs

Southwest states are moving toward renewable energy to supplement other forms of energy generation and to meet ambitious energy goals. This changing energy mix is creating concerns over future energy supply and electric grid reliability in a region experiencing rapid population growth, increasing energy demands and constrained interstate transmission lines.

Proposed site location mapThe Big Chino Valley Pumped Storage Project will help address these challenges. Acting like a large electric battery, it will help utility companies and customers accommodate a growing market demand, diverse energy generation resources, increased challenges in forecasting electricity supply and demand, and ever- evolving technology inputs. With its energy storage capacity, the project also provides a solution to return stored energy to the grid on demand, for delivery when and where it is needed.

Pumped storage is a common, proven technology used worldwide to support grid transmission and energy storage. It is one we believe will benefit Arizona and the Southwest when constructed, and for decades to come. 


Protecting the water resources

Water is one of Arizona’s most precious resources. That’s why we are investing in hydrological evaluations which are currently underway with one of Arizona’s leading and former U.S. Geological Survey hydrologists. Our goal is to produce a conservative estimate of the project’s effects on the aquifer system. Where assumptions are made, we will overestimate the project’s effects and underestimate the effects of mitigation measures.
bcv water
With conservative estimates, we can avoid adverse impacts to the water resources required for the project. If studies identify any adverse impacts, we are committed to undertaking mitigation efforts to ensure the project will not have a negative impact on the Big Chino Aquifer, Verde River and residential wells. Additionally, we will not impede upon appropriated water rights. Potential mitigation measures range from securing partnerships to suspend irrigation in the area, securing land for the project to restrict future water use for development, establishing conservation easements, and creating innovative water resource initiatives with other partners, to name a few. Read more about our dedication to protecting water.


PROJECT STATUS AND KEY MILESTONES

ITC recently completed its 2019 study plan based on 2018 environmental studies, stakeholder comments and input received through public involvement. We will continue this broad, holistic and transparent planning approach with consultation from stakeholders in 2019.

First Quarter 2019:     Stakeholder Comments on 2019 Study Plans and 2018 Study Reports, Groundwater/Environmental Studies and Mitigation Planning 
Second Quarter 2019:     Stakeholder Meetings, Groundwater Study Report/Mitigation Solutions


Please explore the Big Chino Valley project website to stay informed of the latest schedule information or contact us at bcvstorageproject@itctransco.com


 QUESTIONS? CONTACT US BCVSTORAGEPROJECT@ITCTRANSCO.COM