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Massive Hydropower Project Returns To Lake Elsinore

Nevada Hydro and the LEAPS project are back.

The massive proposed hydropower project in Lake Elsinore continues … by way of a new application.

After the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to move forward with the Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage (LEAPS) project, Then on Nov. 17, FERC’s regulatory commission announced the company would not receive a rehearing, mainly because the project was ill defined.

But Nevada Hydro is back. On Nov. 29, FERC put the public on notice that the company has once again filed a preliminary permit application. (See attached FERC notice.)

As with the past proposal, the current LEAPS project would consist of building a new “upper” reservoir above Lake Elsinore in Decker Canyon. The reservoir would feature a 240-foot-high dam and a powerhouse with two reversible pump-turbine units. Lake Elsinore would serve as the “lower” reservoir.

Water from Lake Elsinore would get pumped to the upper reservoir at night, then released during the day to power turbines to generate electricity.

The hydropower generated from LEAPS would be harnessed over approximately 32 miles of 500-kV transmission lines that would connect the project to one existing transmission line owned by Southern California Edison to the north, and a second transmission line to the south owned by San Diego Gas & Electric.

Environmental groups and the local community have largely opposed the LEAPS project.  to read more about the opposition.

 has backed the water-pumping portion of the project,  after FERC dismissed the company’s application.

With this latest application from Nevada Hydro, FERC is seeking public opinion -- but time is limited.

For those who want to be heard, the deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene or competing applications to FERC on the LEAPS project is 60 days from the Nov. 29 date. See the FERC website at www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp for instructions on how to comment, intervene or file. (The website requires registration.)

For those who want to submit brief comments about the proposed project (6,000 characters or less) without registering on the FERC website can do so at www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. (The project/docket number assigned to this case by FERC is P-14227-000.) Comments must be submitted before Jan. 29. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments.

Documents and comments can also be sent by regular mail to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. (If submitting by regular mail, FERC requires an original document along with seven copies.)

BLUESGUITAR777 December 12, 2011 at 05:02 PM
Popeye you are such a troll. I swear I wish the editors would ban your profile. Why don't you actually contribute something intelligent to the conversation for once instead of trolling through all the comment boards ranting and raving your childish unintelligible hate speech. You've made it well known you're extremely against the Tea Party - trying to make them sound racist. That's a load of crap. Knock it off, immediately.
John Garrett December 12, 2011 at 05:21 PM
There is a lot of background to this project on the website stopleaps.info and updates will be coming out on stopleaps.blogspot.com. Stopleaps is about 6 months out of date, but that will be changing soon. The major groups in our area fighting this are Friends of the Forest and the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity. These organizations accept donations to the cause. jg
Roberto December 12, 2011 at 06:10 PM
How EVMWD spent our dollars on this boondoggle to the tune of of over six million dollars and yet, no one is held accountable. Where is the outrage? Holding elected Directors accountable? It's a double loss for us within the district boundries 1st being a project the constituents overwhelmingly didn't want, voted on then being forced to pay over six million dollars through higher rates. We were sold out by Darrell Issa who is supposed to represent our best interest at the federal level and by the EVMWD. If the project is so attractive, why the need for us in pot hole USA need to fund Nevada Hydro and all the others whom our six million dollars plus changed hands with? This reminds me of Solyndra.
Popeye December 13, 2011 at 03:44 AM
Blue squirting some Tea Bagger tears. I don't want this project, but you need to pick a side you OxyMoron...
Tonto December 13, 2011 at 04:34 AM
Popeye got some more bad spinach :) How bout spinach tea bags might help.
Linda Ridenour December 13, 2011 at 11:24 PM
Donna, I think a bullet point to help write the letters is a great idea. How about, the new reservoir in Decker Canyon has a 240 foot high Dam storing 5,500 cubic feet of water. We live close to 3 earthquake faults. What happens if it brakes. Good luck with your letters Linda Ridenour
Linda Ridenour December 13, 2011 at 11:26 PM
Sorry, it should be what happens if the Dam breaks? Linda
Stormy December 13, 2011 at 11:29 PM
I recall watching one of the recent City Council meetings where they all agreed to compose a letter to those behind this project and the EVMWD that they are scrapping this project and to take their ideas somewhere else. This was not to long ago, so why is it resurfacing again?
Roberto December 14, 2011 at 12:17 AM
This is an appeal by Nevada Hydro to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.(FERC) Nevada Hydro to reconsider their decision. Anyone ho believes that EVMWD, Darrell Issa's office and and others are not behind the scenes wearing out pencils on how to FERC us is naive. We are viewed as weak therefore they feel they can take advantage of what we have for their own greed. Try having water in Lake Elsinore moving laterally 15 ft. down at night and 15 feet increase in the daytime level. The muck, natural fish habitat spawning. Don't forget stirring up sediment and the fish kills.
BLUESGUITAR777 December 14, 2011 at 12:42 AM
Popeye trolls every article pushing his race-biased opinion. Problem is, he's a hypocrite. He calls Tea-baggers racist along with anyone who disagrees with him. As I've said before, usually only the true racists are the ones constantly pulling out the 'racist card' all the time. All too common - a pathetic little racist, liberal, biased troll to the end - very predictable and unfortunately all too common here in CA.
Elsinore Keith December 14, 2011 at 02:10 AM
Roberto no offense but the height is conderably more than 15ft. The penstocks required to spin turbines to turn generators to manufacture electricity will be several hundred feet. You are right in your perception of the destruction done to the lake. I will leave politics out of this and remind everybody that this coming year your vote counts! The only way to put this thing to bed is to vote for those whom have the interest of this city and lake at heart. It will be a crying shame to destroy this beautiful valley to provide power to San Diego!
Roberto December 14, 2011 at 02:20 AM
The 15 ft. I'm referring to is the "lateral movement of the water in Lake Elsinore. Not the depth. Lake Elsinore is shallow and the water cycle from where the shore is at night compared to days would be about 15 ft.
Dale Buckeridge December 14, 2011 at 12:55 PM
This makes no sense. Lake Elsinore could easily build a 50 Mega Watt Geo Thermo plant, employ 3 times the amount of people, and disturb nothing and no one. Its the city council that refuses to listen.
Roberto December 14, 2011 at 05:59 PM
What do we have to show for our water and sewerage dollars used to fund LEAPS?When our rates increase early next year, don't forget the 6-10 million dollars the EVMWD Directors spent on the LEAPS project. Don't be mislead by this massive corruption og the EVMWD. The rates for Eastern have increased and ours inevitably shall follow: "Residential customers of Eastern Municipal Water District will pay about $2 more per month starting with their February bills. The district’s board approved the rate increase this week. The lowest rate tier – based on basic indoor water use – will pay 7 cents more per billing unit; the highest tier, which is designed to penalize water wasters, will jump by 39 cents per unit. A billing unit is 748 gallons"
Diana December 14, 2011 at 06:16 PM
EVMWD sent out notification a few months back that they "would not" be raising the water rates for the next 3 or 4 years??????
Anon December 14, 2011 at 06:50 PM
Well thank God! I am paying more for water than I am for gas!
Roberto December 14, 2011 at 07:23 PM
The EVMWD site states No water rate increase for 2 years · No sewer rate increase for 2 years · No meter rate increase for 1 year · No power zone increase for 2 years One year down, one year to go. As the cost of imported water goes up, we pay for it along with the 6-10 million dollars sprent on LEAPS. Any cost deferal is masked within the upcoming rate increases. Election year smoke and mirrors I suspect.
Linda Ridenour December 14, 2011 at 09:00 PM
Very good question. You could ask Mr. Brady the city manager for a copy of the letter.
Linda Ridenour December 14, 2011 at 09:03 PM
There is no requirement to release the water everyday. They could hold it for months. What a stink. Ask EVMWD what their plan is?
Roberto December 16, 2011 at 04:34 AM
Is this correct? Wildomar mag said: For the past year, Mayor Marsha Swanson has been on the EVMWD subcommittee, along with Councilmember Tim Walker. At the same time, Swanson has been a paid real estate consultant for the EVMWD, and we have previously objected to the conflict of interest between her consultancy and being a member of the Wildomar City Council. As a result of my objection, City Attorney Julie Biggs opined that there was no conflict between Swanson being a City Council member and a paid real estate consultant for the EVM WD.
Tonto December 16, 2011 at 04:49 AM
Canyon Lake would be better for the hydro project. EVMWD and Nevada Hydro should seek to move the project there :)
Roberto December 16, 2011 at 05:10 AM
Canyon Lake would be a better place the LEAPS project. In honour of of the Directors, Their faces should be carved into the splill way of Canyon Lake. Director Ben Wicke of Canyon Lake would be in the middle since everyone knows "Wicke happens and all he's done for Lake Elsinore. How about Wicke rolls down hill?
Roberto December 16, 2011 at 04:12 PM
FYI... "For those who want to be heard, the deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene or competing applications to FERC on the LEAPS project is 60 days from the Nov. 29 date. See the FERC website at www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp for instructions on how to comment, intervene or file. (The website requires registration.) For those who want to submit brief comments about the proposed project (6,000 characters or less) without registering on the FERC website can do so at www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. (The project/docket number assigned to this case by FERC is P-14227-000.) Comments must be submitted before Jan. 29. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. Documents and comments can also be sent by regular mail to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. (If submitting by regular mail, FERC requires an original document along with seven copies.)"
Roberto December 16, 2011 at 06:44 PM
Nevada Hydro on their own has appealed the project and appears to want to create a power line right away through our pristine national forest for the sole purpose of enriching themselves at the expense of the community. These powerlines create a fire hazard and blight for the community. There are altenative routes and the power plants that create jobs in California and power plants built in San Diego that mitigate the high voltage power lines and create jobs. The LEAPS project if built would create a 15 foot lateral movement of water leaving "muck" from when the lake level at night drops and refills during the day. This process would not be dailey and unpredictable. Nevada-Hydro for to long has been involved in trying to circumvent the will of the people through funding EVMWD candidates of their choosing and a continious disregard for the safety of the resident below the proposed retention basins in a known earthquake area. This project has been vetted and is economically marginal at best being a net loss of effiency. What appears to be the root cause of this last ditch desperate attempt is to exploit our national forest by securing right aways for sale to companies who have no intention of building power plants in California due to our high environmental standard thus importing dirty power since excess nuclear power plant capacity at night being the main source for the project which is a net loss of energy consumed by an ever growing population.
Anthony December 20, 2011 at 05:51 PM
It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.
ELSINORE December 24, 2011 at 06:28 PM
Roberto is spreading so many rumors it is hard to follow what is fact and what is fiction. In this thread alone he has stated EVMWD spent $3-$5m then $5-$6m then $6-$10? One reason why people do not listen or take Roberto seriously is because he does not state facts and has no proof of his comments he just spread the fiction as fact. Yes LEAPS is not a good project for Lake Elsinore. Yes they have spent money on the project recently but it is legal fees to protect EVMWD from legal action. Yes I oppose LEAPS and I live in Lakeland Village but it does not help our case when people spread fiction as fact. Roberto - Fact/Fiction: 1 - I challenge you to find any document produced by FERC, State of Cal, EVMWD or Nevada that states the lake will have lateral movement of 15 feet. The EIR stated 5 feet lateral and Nevada stated 3 feet lateral. Do the math to fill Decker canyon. 15 lateral feet from Lake Elsinore would fill Decker Canyon 3-4 times over. 2 - I challenge you to find any documentation from EVMWD that states they have spent $10 Million dollars on LEAPS, I will make it easy use $8 Million as your number. Hint: Look at the minutes from 3 Study Sessions the first half of this year. There is a full accounting... Roberto - Get a Life and Get Your FACTS right...
Roberto December 24, 2011 at 06:44 PM
Well, give us the number spent on the LEAPS project. We are awaiting your number. It's 6 million dollars three year ago. Where's your number? Was it free? A lot of babble and denial, again, give us your figure. Lateral movement of the lake is only 5 feet? Ever consider that it depends on the lake level for the worst case scenario? Even at your five ft, which isn't correct in my opinion, it's to much!
Roberto December 24, 2011 at 06:56 PM
Only three elected people on the board have known what the real number was before exposed. Never notifying the public. Like the VanVector report the project isn't vialble. This was kept secret from two of the boad member and the public for years. Hint, the cost are still being accrued. You think you can continue hiding the money spent and continue to cater to crooks and elected officials. Law Enforcement caters to elected officials in Rail Road County but a new age is coming. 8 million huh? LOL!
Elsinore Keith December 24, 2011 at 07:59 PM
1st, Roberto I believe that you mean vertical elevation change. Lateral is side to side vertical is up and down. The original estimates and that's all they are until real pumping could begin are 5-10 ft. The EVMWD admits to spending 4 million, double this for an actual figure and somewhere between 8-10 million is a good ballpark guess. The district is in effect washing their hands of the project but the director, current and former board members want this to go through. They are all in real estate in the area....HMMMMMM As the declaration states they knew since inception that this project isn't viable, where are Jon and Ken and the rest of the rabble rousers? I guess we don't matter out here.
Roberto December 25, 2011 at 02:09 AM
The meeting I went to and asked about the lateral level of course depends on the lake level and what side of the lake you are standing on. If the lake is full then the 10 ft estimate might would be correct for an area. The number I was told was then estimated at anywhere from 10 ft. to 15 ft. again depending on the lake level. The lake is shallow and very sensitive to the actual level with the change in lateral movement being exponential. I never heard a 5 foot estimate before. Three of the former EVMWD Director would testify that the information regarding the LEAPS project was withheld from them. Not one, three former directors would testify to this fact given the opportunity.

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