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Project Overview

The Goldendale Energy Storage Project is critical infrastructure needed to help the West Coast transition to a 100% renewable energy grid. The $2 billion+ project located about eight miles southeast of Goldendale, Washington is a closed-loop pumped storage hydropower facility. It’s composed of an upper and lower reservoir connected by an underground pipe, and the entire project is located on privately owned land. The upper reservoir is located within an existing wind farm, while the lower reservoir is located on a brownfield site—the former Columbia Gorge Aluminum smelter.

The Goldendale Project acts like a giant water battery, storing wind and solar power in the upper reservoir when wind and solar resources are plentiful. At times when the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining, water is released from the upper reservoir. The water flows downhill through a 20-foot diameter penstock to spin turbines to produce electricity. The pipe, turbines, and power station are completely underground. At maximum capacity, the Goldendale Energy Storage Project will generate 1,200 megawatts of clean electricity, or enough electricity to power about 500,000 homes.

Go here to learn about the technical details of the project.

Public Support

Broad support

Located within the Columbia Gorge Bi-State Renewable Energy Zone, it's an important project for the region. The project is a result of more than two decades of work by community and private partners. It has widespread support for its potential to create thousands of jobs, generate millions in annual tax revenue, and support regional energy and climate goals. A recent survey found that 72% of people in the region were in favor of pumped storage hydro projects.

• No. 1 Washington State priority in the Mid-Columbia Economic Development District's (MCEDD) Economic Development Strategy

• Designated a “Project of Statewide Significance” by the Washington State Legislature

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Project Timeline

A safe, equitable, and environmentally sound way to store and integrate carbon free sources of electricity. Supporting Washington's efforts to meet its clean energy goals.