The US independent power producer (IPP) has signed a deal with Sparta, NJ, to study the use of the Limecrest Quarry and bedrock below to form the upper and lower reservoirs of a “closed-loop” pumped storage system.

Riverbank Power is about to begin a detailed site investigation study and formal environmental assessment of the plans for the site. The lower reservoir would be approximately 610m below the flooded quarry.

With permissions and approvals, it aims to invest US$2B and expects the construction phase would take four years, completing by 2015.

The company, backed by venture investor Blackrock, aims to build at least five closed-loop pumped storage plants, each with installed capacity of 1GW, in North America. The system design is branded “Aquabank”.

Developing major peak power plants are important to help grid stability when integrating wind power into regional and national energy mixes.

The local government authority and property owner Limecrest Quarry Developers are collaborating in the studies for the project.