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US Senator helps revive pumped storage plans

US Senator Harry Reid is sponsoring a bill to allow the construction of a pumped storage hydroelectric generating station to be built in the hills near Red Rock, west of Las Vegas. The bill is necessary to give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorisation to extend a licence to build the plant.

The project by Blue Diamond Power Partners – which is opposed by environmentalists – is a joint venture of Japanese-based multinational Mitsubishi Corporation and Creamer and Noble, a Utah engineering company. The Blue Diamond project would provide up to 400MW of peaking power during high demand periods, enough for about 200,000 homes in the Las Vegas Valley during summer months.