SAN DIEGO — The leader of a conservation group opposes the idea of building this facility since it could be built on two preserves. Friday, the San Diego County Water Authority explained why it's beneficial for California.
Neena Kuzmich from the San Diego County Water Authority says the proposed hydro energy storage facility at the San Vicente Reservoir will not only generate power for thousands of households, it will help California meet its energy goals.
"The state has an aggressive renewable state goal with 100% by 2045. With clean energy, this project will help in meeting these goals. It will use renewable energy during the day for later use and it does not emit greenhouse gases," said Kuzmich.
How it works is the project would create a small upper reservoir above the existing, city-owned San Vicente Reservoir. They’d be connected by a tunnel system and an underground powerhouse.
Water from the bottom would then be pumped up to the smaller reservoir where it’d be stored and eventually released back downwards generating electricity.
Kuzmich says the state allocated $18 million to further advance the construction of the project, something Diane Conklin, leader of the Mussey Grade Road Alliance is against.
"We are absolutely gobsmacked that they think this would be possible here. The issue is putting industrial site on 2 preserves. That is a terrible precedent to set and it's the wrong thing to do. It seems insane," said Conklin.
The total cost of the project is $1.5 billion which tax payers will have to pay for, however, Kuzmich says taxpayers will benefit from this.
"We will receive revenue for using those assets and that revenue will offset water rates. This facility will be less expensive than relying on power from outside of the state renewable energy," said Kuzmich.
There are alternate proposed sites for the upper reservoir. They are still in the early stages of this project that if approved, is expected to be completed in 2030.
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