Letter: Key facts and updates on the Gregory County Pumped Storage Project
The attendees heard details on the proposed land, wildlife and water studies and were able to make comments and ask questions.
To the Editor:
Late last month, more than 150 area residents, landowners and community leaders gathered at two informational sessions to learn about the latest updates for the Gregory County Pumped Storage Project. The attendees heard details on the proposed land, wildlife and water studies and were able to make comments and ask questions. We appreciate you taking time out of your day to attend, listen and ask questions about your concerns.
While many of your questions will be addressed during the next two years as we conduct our proposed 24 research studies, last month’s sessions did allow us to correct some key facts about operations of the GCPSP and note initial tax payment benefits, including:
⦁ Early estimates indicate the Missouri River/Lake Francis Case water levels would fluctuate about a half-inch or less per hour when water is pumped up to the reservoir or released back down to the river, with a maximum fluctuation of 12 to 13 inches when run at full capacity (26-hour run time).
⦁ The flow rate from the intake/outtake is estimated to be 2 feet per second, while the river's flow rate is, on average, 3.5 feet per second, which should lessen turbidity concerns.
⦁ Electric reliability is becoming a larger concern for your local communities and regional utilities like us. GCPSP will keep the lights on for 1.3 million homes when demand for electricity is high and intermittent renewable generation is not enough to meet customer needs.
⦁ Based on today’s budgets and mill rates, the Burke School District could benefit from an additional $11 million in tax benefits and Gregory County could see an additional $3.3 million per year from the proposed GCPSP.
⦁ In addition, the Platte-Geddes School District could see a 50% increase of $3.3 million in annual tax revenues and Charles Mix County a 10% increase that equates to about $1.5 million per year.
A project of this size and scope will take several years to study and will undergo a robust regulatory review and approval process before moving forward. Your involvement in the process is one way to ensure that we can shape the Gregory County Pumped Storage Project to be mutually beneficial for you, your neighbors and your entire region.
President and CEO, MidAmerican Energy Company
President and CEO, Missouri River Energy Services