Valley News -

LEAPS answers questions of advertisement's validity


Last updated 7/11/2019 at 4pm

A few residents have questioned details in recent LEAPS ads in the Valley News. It’s early in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission process, and we still await direction from the commission that will inform our communications and scoping meetings with residents. We have studies filed and underway, and some studies such as the geoscience, geology and potential fault zones, will be completed later in the process. The cornerstone reference document is the October 2017 Final License Application and subsequent information filed with FERC and posted on its website. Nonetheless, some commenters continue to default to old information from previous submissions that are no longer accurate, so we repeat here:

LEAPS will not close the lake. We’ll build a temporary coffer dam on the side of the lake to construct the inlet and outlet for the project. It will be marked and will have some impact on nearby activities on the lake and lakeshore near Santa Rosa and Grand, but most recreation won’t be impacted.

LEAPS will add water to the lake and replenish yearly evaporative losses. This addition includes about 9,000 acre-feet not required fill the upper reservoir and operate the project. This imported water has less nutrients than the reclaimed water the EVMWD adds to the lake. While the water district and the city have installed air injectors and mixing pumps, lake expert Dr. Michael Anderson said they can be overwhelmed at times. According to an interview with Tim Moore in your paper, they can be augmented significantly by LEAPS infrastructure, which can provide numerous opportunities for local agencies to apply technology to improve water quality and reduce fish kills, which is their mandate.

LEAPS may increase property values in the region. Contrary to speculation, tunneling and creation of the upper reservoir will have minimal impacts on recreation and habitat and will provide another source of water for firefighting. The proposed 500 kilovolt lines have not been associated with causing wildfires or impeding firefighters because they are equipped with advanced safety technology and can be de-energized quickly when fires threaten. We think people agree that helping restore the lake, improving conditions for recreation and reducing fish kills contribute to both quality of life and tourism – both of which should positively impact property values.

The EVMWD left the previous partnership due to proposed changes. Differences between EVMWD and NevadaHydro resulted in the dismissal, not denial, of the then-pending application for FERC licensure. As FERC is aware, those differences have since been settled and resolved by a consent judgment, and NevadaHydro, with FERC’s permission, has since reapplied for licensure.

LEAPS operating profits will come from using inexpensive surplus electricity to pump water to the upper reservoir and generating electricity when it is needed. This storage technology provides vital “load balancing” to the southern California electricity transmission grid. Nevada Hydro applied to the CAISO to consider the project in its annual transmission plan. It would create longer-term certainty for investors to make the significant upfront investment required to build long-life pumped hydro storage facilities to support the transition to renewable energy.

LEAPS will create many local employment opportunities. In the most part, the construction jobs will be high-paying, highly sought after union jobs, unlike manufacturing and assembling jobs that are being automated. There will also be ample opportunity for other local workers and service providers to participate.

Thank you for letting us make these clarifications.

John Sparks

Communications Advisor for LEAPS


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