Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage (LEAPS) is a proposed $1.5 billion 500 megawatts (670,000 hp) pumped storage hydroelectricity power project which would provide power-on-demand, increasing energy reliability for the California electric power grid.
All pump/storage power plants require a large body of water, like Lake Elsinore, and nearby mountains where a relatively smaller reservoir exists or can be built. In the case of the LEAPS Project, the plan is to build a new reservoir in the mountains west of Lake Elsinore. The reservoir would have a surface area of approximately 100 acres (40 ha) and it would be formed in a natural canyon by constructing a 180-foot (55 m) high dam. The lake and reservoir would be interconnected by one or two large pipes 12 to 20 feet (3.7 to 6.1 m) in diameter.
LEAPS is comprised of a pumped-storage facility adjacent to Lake Elsinore that would generate hydroelectricity to be transmitted to the state’s power grid. It would also store electricity produced during off-peak hours that could be used during the height of the day, when electricity demand peaks.
The power lines would connect to both the Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric Company’s portions of the grid.
Pumped storage facilities like LEAPS will help the State better utilize electricity produced by renewable sources such as wind and solar during off-peak hours. The State Energy Commission listed LEAPS as its second-most-important project statewide.