US hydropower developer Rye Development has filed for a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) permit for the of the Lewis Ridge Closed Loop Pumped Hydropower Storage project in Bell County, Kentucky, marking the start of the development process for the project.
The Lewis Ridge pumped storage project is located adjacent to the Cumberland River near the communities of Blackmont, Tejay, Balkan and Callaway, Kentucky. The project site sits on a former coal strip mine in an active coal mining area.
The project will invest nearly $1 billion dollars into the county and bring close to 2,000 family wage construction jobs over a 3 to 5-year period, as well as several dozen direct and indirect family-wage jobs during project operations. When fully FERC permitted, the project would receive a 50-year license to operate.
“Rye is proud to bring these types of developments to coal communities in the US — delivering on the promise of jobs in the energy transition,” said Paul Jacob, CEO of Rye. “The Lewis Ridge project marks a significant step forward in the push toward a more renewable energy grid.”
The existing project site is unique and features beneficial topography and proximity to transmission infrastructure. These features allow Lewis Ridge to bring a significant amount of economic development benefit to adjacent communities while also preserving ratepayer reliability and affordability.
When constructed, the Lewis Ridge project will have the ability to generate over 200MW for 8 hours.