Rye Development is proposing a massive pumped storage power plant uphill from the site of the closed Goldendale smelter, next to the Columbia River. This facility will take over a closed pumped storage plant.
Native American tribes, including tribes from Asia, originally migrated to this vicinity as a group with common languages and customs.
The Nez Pearce guided Lewis and Clark almost this far ten thousand years later, before yielding to downstream tribes.
If operated as described, the Project will offset the need for energy from about 2 gas fired power plants (1200 Mw) and will “decarbonize” about 4 million tons/year of carbon from energy generation in the PNW. According to the Washington Fish & Game Dept., this complies with Governor Inslee’s Energy Plan.
The plant will buy water from local agencies to make up for evaporation. It is a closed loop and will not discharge effluent to the Columbia.
The local (Confederated) Tribes have submitted critical comments, warning of damages to immeasurably important cultural impacts. Ground disturbance on the former smelter site could also unleash toxic chemical wastes.
The Electrical Workers Union support the project. It will provide thousands of family wage jobs for four years. This lengthy job will allow four years of training and will graduate many highly skilled younger workers to replace an aging work force.
Several State and Federal agencies including the Washington Department of Ecology and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have begun their environmental review process.
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