Planning Begins on a Northern California Pumped‐Storage Hydroelectric Project

Northern California Pumped‐Storage Hydroelectric Project The Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) recently awarded the Jacobs Associates team an Owner’s Engineer services contract for preliminary design and construction services on its proposed Iowa Hill Pumped‐Storage Project. If constructed, Iowa Hill would be a 400-megawatt pumped storage hydroelectric facility located near the town of Camino, roughly 50 miles east of Sacramento.

The proposed Iowa Hill Pumped‐Storage Project would utilize an existing reservoir on the American River, from which water would be pumped up to a new 6,400 acre‐foot capacity upper reservoir, where the water would be stored. During peak electrical demand periods, water would flow from the upper reservoir to the lower reservoir via a 1,000‐ft deep shaft through 3,500 ft of water tunnels. The electricity generated would connect the existing transmission line that connects SMUD’s existing Upper American River hydroelectric project with the District’s customers.

“Jacobs Associates has assembled an outstanding team to provide the Owner’s Engineer services for the proposed Iowa Hill Pumped‐Storage Project,” said Jacobs Associates Principal Mike McRae. “Our team is thrilled to have the opportunity to support SMUD on the planning and feasibility of this major pumped-storage hydroelectric project.”

The team began the geotechnical investigation’s drilling program in December. The drilling program will include a geotechnical exploratory drift (tunnel) from the surface to the proposed underground powerhouse cavern vicinity. The results of the drilling program will help SMUD determine whether the Iowa Hill project site is viable for construction of the tunnels and underground cavern that would house the generating equipment.

The team consists of Jacobs Associates (prime), GEI Consultants, HDR Engineering, AF‐Consult of Switzerland, Carlton Engineering, AMEC, IEC Corporation, Northwest Hydraulic Consultants, Stillwater Sciences, Ascent Environmental, Crux Subsurface, and Foxfire Constructors.

More information about SMUD’s Iowa Hill Pumped‐Storage Development project can be found at: http://hydrorelicensing.smud.org/iowahill/project.htm.

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