Environmental impact statement completed for Goldendale Energy Storage Project

6 January 2023

The Washington Department of Ecology has completed an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Goldendale Energy Storage Project, with the EIS to be used by permitting agencies as they make decisions on permits needed for the project.

The 1200MW Goldendale Energy Storage Project, developed by Free Flow Power Project 101, LLC, would be a closed-loop hydropower system along the Columbia River in Klickitat County, Washington, US. Power produced by the proposed project would feed into the electrical grid at the nearby John Day Dam.

Ecology’s final EIS examines potential significant, adverse impacts if the project is built and whether they can be reduced or eliminated. These include impacts to air quality, plant and animal habitat, transportation, water resources, and water quality. The analysis also includes a section evaluating impacts to Tribal and cultural resources in the area.

Ecology released a draft EIS and held a public comment period from 6 June to 9 August 2022. The agency hosted one in-person and two virtual public hearings during this time.

Ecology now has several permit decisions to make, including a water quality certification, a reservoir permit, and a construction permit. These decisions will happen over the next two years as project details are finalized.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is conducting a separate federal environmental review of the project.

Illustration shows the upper and lower reservoirs proposed to generate electricity adjacent to the John Day Dam on the Columbia River. Image courtesy of the Department of Ecology

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