SDPUC says it has no jurisdiction for proposed pumped storage project

8 November 2022

Following numerous questions regarding its permitting jurisdiction related to the proposed Gregory County Pumped Storage Project, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has determined that under current law no permit can be required from the PUC for facilities within the boundary of the proposed project.

The 2100MW project — a partnership between Missouri River Energy Services and MidAmerican Energy Company — is proposed to be constructed along the Missouri River on the western side of Lake Francis Case in Gregory County. Transmission facilities are proposed for Charles Mix County. 

Current South Dakota law requires a PUC siting permit prior to constructing many different types of energy-related facilities.  Federal law establishes federal permitting jurisdiction, which supersedes state jurisdiction, for hydroelectric projects on navigable waters of the United States. The scope of federal permitting jurisdiction includes the physical structures and associated facilities within the footprint of the proposed Gregory County Pumped Storage Project.

The Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency has submitted a notice of intent to file license application for the Gregory County Pumped Storage Project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

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