Haiwee Pumped Storage

HPSP - Haiwee Pumped Storage Project

by Premium Energy Holdings, LLC

Engineering by PowerTech Engineer, Inc. & WAPCOS Ltd.



On March 19, 2020, the FERC issued the preliminary permit to Premium Energy Holdings, LLC (PEH), for a period effective the first day of the month in which this permit is issued (March 1, 2020). The purpose of a preliminary permit is to preserve the right of the permit holder to have the first priority in applying to a license for the Project under the Federal Power Act, allowing Premium Energy Holdings to conduct investigations and secure necessary data to determine the feasibility of the Project and to prepare a license application.

About the Project

The proposed Haiwee Pumped Storage Project would be located 10 miles south of Olancha, California in Inyo County. The project concept envisions the construction of a pumped-storage power facility with capacity ranging from 1,600 MW to 2,000 MW. The project proposes a new North Haiwee Reservoir 2 located upstream North Haiwee Reservoir to serve as a lower pool. Alternatives for an upper pool to operate the Haiwee Pumped Storage Power Plant require the construction of a new embankment to create a new reservoir to the west or east of the proposed North Haiwee Reservoir 2.
The new upper reservoir alternatives are listed below.
  • Upper Reservoir Alternative 1: A new McCloud Reservoir at 5,260 ft el.
  • Upper Reservoir Alternative 2: A new Little Cactus Reservoir at 4,980 ft el.
  • Upper Reservoir Alternative 3: A new Haiwee Canyon Reservoir at 6,160 ft el.
The proposed North Haiwee Reservoir 2 would improve the seismic reliability of the existing North Haiwee Reservoir. Seismic studies have found the existing North Haiwee Reservoir could potentially fail during a maximum credible earthquake. In that event, the dam’s crest could settle and cause the release of a large volume of water. This event could threaten public safety due to the potentially hazardous flooding. The new dam would act as a backup dam to ensure safety of the populations and improve reliability of the existing North Haiwee Reservoir for water conveyance.

The proposed North Haiwee Reservoir 2 will require the following construction activities:
  • Earthworks and grading to obtain the proposed reservoir floor.
  • Realignment of a section of the existing Cactus Flats Road and the existing North Haiwee Road.
  • Realignment of the existing LA Aqueduct reaching the existing North Haiwee Reservoir.
  • Construction of a diversion structure and connecting channel or pipeline to the proposed North Haiwee Reservoir 2.
The proposed power plant would operate as a closed-loop hydro-power pumped storage plant. The project’s operation would not alter the existing streams and it will not alter the operation of the existing Haiwee Reservoirs. The filling of the reservoirs would be carried out by using the water conveyed through the existing LA Aqueduct. Moreover, the connecting pipeline could be used to regulate the LAA’s water temperature by using the proposed North Haiwee Reservoir 2. Regulating the water temperature will help prevent ruptures in the Aqueduct pipelines due to the temperature variations.


PEH Licensing Documents

Premium Energy Holdings, LLC will be developing and publishing a variety of documents throughout the licensing process. The following documents are associated with the Integrated Licensing Process (ILP):

FERC Licensing Documents

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will issue documents related to the Intermountain Pumped Storage Project licensing. The documents will be available when issued.


  • Director: Victor Rojas
  • Engineering: PTE Inc. / WAPCOS Ltd.
  • Regulatory Representative: Maria Hernandez
  • Media Public Affairs Representative: Vicki Rojas 
  • Land Representative: Bruce Hammer
  • Government Affairs Representative: Rod Clark
  • Environmental Representative: Bruce Hammer
  • Stakeholders Outreach Representative: John Dennis


What is Pumped-Storage Hydropower?
Please, check out this video provided by the U.S. Department of Energy,  What is Pumped-Storage Hydropower.

Why is Pumped-Storage (PS) Hydropower relevant to the U.S. power grid operation? 
Currently, Pumped-Storage accounts for around 95% of all utility-scale energy storage in the U.S. However, as stated by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), most of the PS Generator were built in the 1970s. Also, the ever-increasing energy demand challenges electric utilities and investors to keep pace by developing long-term projects that may help to cover the electric demand. Pumping-Storage, besides provinding energy supply, it also provides reliability to the grid.
What is the difference between Open-Loop and Closed-Loop Pumped-Storage Hydropower?
Closed-loop pumped storage projects have a lower and upper reservoir, which are not connected to any other body water (such as a river). The same water is repeatedly used in the charging and discharging process.
Open-loop pumped storage projects are connected to a ongoing stream of water, which is used in the charge/discharge process to store and deliver energy. The storage capacity depends on the water available in the natural water feature.
What is the benefit of a Closed-Loop system over an Open-Loop system?
In general, Closed-loop projects have less impact on aquatic resources. These impacts are primarily related to the initial reservoir filling process.
Why do we need Energy Storage? 
Energy Storage consists on collecting electrical energy when there is an excess of generation, and deliver it to the grid later.
The most common large-scale energy storage is pumped storage, which can be used to replace thermal generation, substitute the need of spinning reserve, or increase reliability and stability of the grid.
It is also used to store energy from intermitent renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind farms.
How can Pumped-Storage help with renewable-energy integration?
Pumped-storage facilities can help meeting greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and build clean renewable energy capacity. In addition, these plants can enhance the reliability and stability of the grid.

Is Pumped-Storage safe?
Any storage solution must comply with safety requirements in order to be sustainable. The main risk related to pumped storage facilities is dam safety. If it occurs, dam failure can affect downstream communities and the environment. Nevertheless, pumped hydro technology is mature, dam risks are generally well understood and managed, and the frequency of dam safety events is very low.

What is the lifespan of a Pumped-Storage project?

Pumped-Storage Hydro is a proven technology and has a typical lifespan well over 50 years, and is the most cost-effective solution for large-scale energy storage, compared to batteries, which currently last between 8 and 15 years.

Premium Energy Holdings, LLC invites you to attend the Haiwee Pumped Storage Project Information Session. This virtual session will provide information.

The meeting session will be held via Zoom, please register at:


Date: Friday, November 6, 2020.

Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

For further information or if you would like to submit questions, please contact Maria Hernandez at

(909)595-5314 or at maria.hernandez@pehll.com

The webinar is now available to the public on the button below. 
Also, the slides presentation

PremiumEnergyHoldings LLC, appreciates public interest in this project.

Project Insight

Details of the project are publicly presented. If you live nearby the proposed location or you are just interested in what has been presented and have any feedback or questions we would gladly receive it. 

Download the presentation HERE.

Contact us at: 



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Walnut, CA 91789
Phone: (909) 598-0890

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