The Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage (LEAPS) project is an energy storage project designed to help stabilize electricity infrastructure and maximize the use of all forms of renewable energy. With generating capacity up to 500MW, this storage can provide vital “load balancing” to California’s electricity system grid by dispatching energy quickly during peak usage and absorbing and storing unused energy at low-demand times. This load balancing helps prevent power outages and can lower consumer electricity rates.  It will also help assure maximum use of renewable energy resources that would otherwise have to be curtailed in low demand conditions.

California has set renewable energy goals of 50% of generation capacity by 2030. As a result, renewable, GHG emissions-free generation and storage capacity is needed more than ever to optimize the contribution of renewable sources such as solar and wind energy. LEAPS is designed to help answer this challenge.

The primary goals of LEAPS are to:

  1. Take advantage of the unique combination of an existing water body, sufficient topographic variation, and proximity to southern California energy markets to construct and operate the most advanced, large-scale pumped hydro storage project in the USA to meet California’s growing need for renewable electricity sources;
  2. Connect the pumped storage facility to the California electricity grid to serve the power needs of both the San Diego and Los Angeles metropolitan areas; and
  3. Augment the local economy in the Temescal Valley through significant construction and operations jobs, the indirect employment these jobs create in the hospitality and service sector, payment of municipal and state taxes and fees, and contributions through partnerships with community organizations.

The project team filed its Final License Application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on October 2, 2017. LEAPS proponents expect to maintain a rigorous meeting and review schedule with all relevant agencies to support the FLA. In addition, the LEAPS team will step up stakeholder communications via its website, project materials, meetings, email bulletins and eventually, an open house for residents in the Temescal Valley.