Salt River Pumped Storage Project
Pumped storage hydropower provides long-duration energy storage that can help increase SRP’s supply of reliable, affordable and sustainable energy. Learn more about our plans to expand hydroelectric generation through the Salt River Pumped Storage Project.
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About the project
SRP has been operating pumped storage units on the Horse Mesa and Mormon Flat dams for over 40 years.
As part of the Salt River Pumped Storage Project, SRP is exploring opportunities to expand pumped storage hydropower on the Salt River reservoir system.
SRP is evaluating two potential sites for a new pumped storage hydropower facility paired with Apache Lake on the Salt River.
As SRP adds significantly more solar to its power system, there will be a need for a diverse portfolio of long-duration energy storage to store solar generated during the day and dispatch it overnight to ensure reliable electric service around the clock.
How pumped storage hydropower works
Pumped storage hydropower facilities store and generate electricity by moving water between two reservoirs at different elevations.
Morning and midday
When electricity demand is lower and SRP has excess supply available, the turbines spin backward to pump the water back into the upper reservoir so it can be used again to generate power. As SRP adds more solar to the grid in the coming years, we expect that the amount of solar available will exceed demand during the morning and midday periods.
Late afternoon and overnight
To generate electricity when power from the plant is needed, water is released from the upper reservoir through hydropower turbines that rotate generators to produce electricity. The water flows into the lower reservoir where it stays until electricity demand lowers.
Pumped storage project video
Benefits of pumped storage hydropower
Pumped storage hydropower provides a large-scale way to store and deliver electricity to customers. Below are some of the reasons we’re planning to add it to our power generation sources.
Supports grid reliability
Generating pumped storage hydropower helps SRP diversify our resource portfolio. That means the energy we produce is more reliable, more diverse, and less sensitive to supply chain or market shocks that could negatively impact prices.
Boosts renewable energy supply
Pumped storage hydropower can also play a key role in helping us store renewable energy that’s generated during the day so it can be used at night. One facility can provide 10 to 12 hours of energy storage.
Reduces carbon intensity
Another benefit of pumped storage hydropower is that it supports the growth of SRP’s renewable energy resource mix. This helps SRP on its path to meet its 2035 Sustainability Goals in the coming years and, ultimately, serve our customers and communities by providing reliable, affordable and sustainable power.
Past success and future potential
SRP has a long history of successfully operating hydropower generating facilities on the Salt River.
Currently, SRP generates 265 megawatts (MW) of hydropower at the four dams located on the Salt River. That’s enough to power more than 60,000 average-sized homes. Two of those dams, Horse Mesa and Mormon Flat, have generators capable of pump-back operation with a total capacity of over 150 MW.
The new pumped storage facility would have a capacity of between 1,000 MW and 2,000 MW — enough power to serve approximately 225,000 to 450,000 homes for 10 hours after each time the reservoir refills.
Target in service by 2033
Following engineering feasibility assessments and environmental permitting, the decision to begin construction would occur in 2027.
This timeline would allow for a facility to be constructed and online by 2033 to help meet SRP's significant resource need in early 2030.
Public input process
As this project moves forward, there will be a variety of opportunities for public input. SRP will provide more information here as opportunities for public input become available.
SRP hosted the following public meetings in November 2023. See the public meeting presentation.
|Date & Time||Event||Location|
|Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023
|Stakeholder Workshop||SRP PERA Complex
1 E. Continental Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85288
|Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023
|Virtual Stakeholder Workshop||Online|
|Monday, Nov. 13, 2023
|Virtual Local Community Public Open House||Online|
|Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023
|Local Community Public Open House||Bullion Plaza Cultural Center
and Museum Gymnasium
150 N. Plaza Circle
Miami, AZ 85539
|Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023
|Local Community Public Open House||Magma Ranch K-8 School Gymnasium
10980 E. Desert Mountain Blvd.
Florence, AZ 85132
Thank you for contacting SRP about the Pumped Storage Project. You may also call 602-236-2872.
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