Last week, Rye Development and National Grid announced that they were issued approval for a 50-year construction and operational license for the Swan Lake Energy Storage Project from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Up until that point, the prospective hydro operation had been through a near decade-long development process, with FERC serving to be their only remaining public checkpoint for moving forward with the project.
During the period prior to the approval, the Klamath County Economic Development Association (KCEDA) had been coordinating closely with developers involved on the project, frequently playing a navigational role with communications between the developer and the community which illustrated the economic benefits of the project, according to a KCEDA press release.
The economic development organization also served as a channel for solutions that addressed community concerns while simultaneously being considerate of the project’s technical needs.
Erik Steimle with Rye Development recognizes KCEDA’s work, saying, “This is an amazing milestone for us at Rye and National Grid and one that we owe a great deal of thanks to KCEDA for.”
According to KCEDA, the next 12 months will have project developers primarily focused on preconstruction work, where they will be engaged in efforts involving landowner discussions and entering talks with contractors for the facility’s build-out needs.
Construction on the project is expected to begin in early 2021, where developers are hopeful that construction will be completed and the facility be operational by 2025.
“Really this is the result of persistent leadership and effort being demonstrated by both Klamath’s private and public sector,” said Andrew Stork of KCEDA.
“KCEDA has always strived to be a platform for collaborative exchange between these sectors, where in this case, we were happy to be an agent for educating area stakeholders on what value the Swan Lake project could provide to the area. Without the advocacy of those stakeholders, the project would have been in jeopardy,” Stork said.
KCEDA additionally noted that the $2.1 million in annual tax revenues that would be produced from the project would be highly beneficial to supporting local infrastructure improvements that had the potential to be applied to roads, schools, local services, and more.
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