Camas Prairie, Elmore County, Idaho

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Anthony M. Jones Response to CCE’s Motion for Protective Order – June 30, 2020

What the Anderson Ranch Reservoir view might look like when the Cat Creek Energy project is finished.

Anthony Jones was retained by the S Bar Ranch to evaluate Cat Creek Energy’s Motion for Protective Order regarding its planned pumped hydroelectric storage facility on Little Camas Prairie in Elmore County, Idaho. That planed pumped hydroelectric storage facility entails creating a new reservoir on the bluffs about 800 feet above Anderson Ranch Reservoir. The proposed water right that would be used to fill the Cat Creek Energy Reservoir currently doesn’t exist.

Mr. Jones researched the Cat Creek Energy idea of building the pumped hydroelectric storage facility, plus a large scale solar and wind turbine complex. His conclusions tell us the financial viability of the Cat Creek Energy project along the Highway 20 Corridor in Elmore County is questionable at best. Mr. Jones also suggests Cat Creek Energy, LLC is trying to keep critical project information and documentation from public scrutiny under a guise of a proprietary exemption. This cannot be allowed to happen.

Read Mr. Jones’ 12 talking points below.   

Download the full [Download not found] legal document that is partially included below. 


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Declaration of Anthony M. Jones in Support of SBar Ranch, LLC and the District at ParkCenter, LLC’s Response to Motion for Protective Order and Renewed Motion for Rule 40.05b Order for Applicant to Submit Complete Rule 40.05 Information 

ANTHONY M. JONES, being first duly sworn, deposes and says:

1. I hold a B.S. degree in economics from Idaho State University and an M.A. degree in
economics, from the University of Washington
.

2. As detailed in my curriculum vitae attached hereto as Exhibit A, I have substantial
experience and expertise in the field of energy project economics
.

3. Currently, I am the Principal of Rocky Mountain Econometrics, a consulting energy
economics firm in Boise
, Idaho.

4. I was retained by SBar Ranch, LLC and The District at ParkCenter, LLC to evaluate
Cat Creek Energy LLC
s claims of proprietary and trade secret information in its June 16, 2020,
Motion for Protective Order and associated Declarations in this proceeding. In connection with
my work
, in addition to reviewing the Motion for Protective Order and associated Declarations, I
also have reviewed Cat Creeks Applications for Water Right Permit Nos. 6334403, 6334652,
63
34897 and 6334900, Idaho Code 42203A(5)(d), Idaho Water Appropriation Rule 40.05(f)
and Shokal v. Dunn, 109 Idaho 330, 707 P.2d 441 (1985), as well as other publicly available
information and pertinent materials available to me
.

5. I reached the opinions presented here by applying accepted methodology in the field
of energy economics
. The opinions expressed here are my own and are based on the data and
facts available to me at the time of writing
. I hold the opinions set forth here to a reasonable
degree of economic science certainty
.

6. The Cat Creek project will be located geographically in Idaho Power Company’s
(
IPC) territory and will connect to the Western Grid. When generating, it will produce roughly
25% as much power as does IPC total
. It will produce more power than Brownlee Dam, IPC’s
largest hydro project and nearly as much as IPC’s largest coal plant, Jim Bridger
.

7. When pumping water back to its reservoir, the Cat Creek project will consume even
more power
than it generates, comprising approximately 25% of IPC’s total firm load, roughly
equivalent to the load of the Treasure Valley
, on top of IPC’s existing firm load.

8. The Pacific Northwest, where Cat Creeks project will be located, has the most
intensively developed hydroelectric energy industry in the United States, perhaps the world. The
major players
, Bonneville Power Administration, Avista, IPC, and Pacificorp, all have hydro
projects that also provide energy storage that can be used for load shaping and energy
storage
. They all have programs in place to provide, both for themselves and for independent
power providers, the exact same service CCE is proposing
.

9. Pumped storage is reviewed on page 54 of IPCs most recent 2019 Amended
Integrated Resource
Plan (“IRP”). In the IRP, IPC gives pumped storage an economic thumbs
down
, noting, Historically, the differential between peak and offpeak energy prices in the
Pacific Northwest has
not been sufficient enough to make pumped storage an economically
viable resource
.” (Page 54 of IPCs most recent IRP is attached hereto as Exhibit B.) In the IRP,
IPC puts the levelized cost of pumped storage at around $175 /MWh
. That cost compares
unfavorably with open market prices averaging less than $30/MWh and load shaping service
from the major players for less
than $50/MWh.

10. Given that the process of storing energy via the pump storage process has been
developed and well understood for decades; that the necessary pump
turbines, control
mechanisms,
etc. are commercially available from multiple vendors offering nearly identical
performance criteria; that at least 24 other pump
storage projects, many of similar sizes and
configurations
, all connected to the same Western Grid, all dedicated to serving the same daily
mismatches in the supply and demand curves, are currently working their way through the
application process; that competition for and supply of investment funding is universal and
seemingly instantly balancing
, nothing presented suggests that CCEs solution to energy storage
is
an improvement on the same process studied and shelved by the regions major utilities or
superior
to the other projects being promoted in other areas. One would expect that a dramatic
technological improvement
to pumped storage would be supported by one or more patent
applications
.

11. Bottom line, against this backdrop, Cat Creek Energy needs to be able to establish
that it will be able to cost effectively participate in this competitive energy marketplace
. If there
is no assurance that its project will be economically viable, there can be no reason to expect that
it is reasonably probable financing can be secured
.

12. At approximately 5 years away from operation, as I understand Cat Creek Energy
claims to be based on
a review of its project timeline provided as CCE-X-00039, it should be
able to
provide the full terms of its capital funding arrangements, including the amount and terms
of debt commitments
, the amount and terms of equity commitments, and the interest rates,
amortization schedules, provisions for default, anticipated cash flows, prospective balance
sheets
, the cost and income relationships associated with CCEs wind, solar, pumpstorage,
irrigation
, municipal water, and irrigation district operations, etc., for the life of the project. The
only potentially confidential items that may need redaction would be the identity of the parties
committing to provide the capital
. This redacted information should be provided to the Hearing
Officer, however
.


I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

DATED THIS 30th day of June, 2020.

 

 

~ signed ~
Anthony M
. Jones

 

###


You can download the full legal document at https://catcreek-energy.com/download/1093/

Thanks for any support you can offer in getting the Cat Creek Energy project sent back to the Elmore County Commissioners for an honest reevaluation of the entire project. The people of Elmore County, Idaho deserve better. 

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S Bar Ranch Protests Cat Creek Energy’s Motion for Protective Order – June 30, 2020

After 5 years of wrangling with our local, state and federal governments, there are too many unknowns about the Cat Creek Energy Project. The whole project should be shelved completely.

On June 30, 2020, S Bar Ranch, LLC, and the District at ParkCenter, LLC responded to Cat Creek Energy’s Motion for Protective Order with the Director of the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR). This response is in regards to certain aspects of the proposed Cat Creek Energy project in Elmore County, Idaho.

In short, Cat Creek Energy is withholding required information and data that individuals and government entities, such as the U.S. Forest Service need in order to make informed decisions regarding this immense boondoggle of a project.

Download the full 9.25 mb pdf file at S Bar Ranch, LLC, response to Cat Creek Energy's Motion for Protective Order


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The Response to Cat Creek Energy’s Protective Order

Dana L. Hofstetter, ISB No. 3867
Attorneys for Protestors SBar Ranch, LLC and The
District
at ParkCenter, LLC


COME NOW,
Protestors SBar Ranch, LLC and The District at ParkCenter, LLC
(hereinafter,
these Protestors”), and hereby respectfully respond to the Applicant, Cat Creek
Energy
, LLC’s (“Cat Creekor “CCE) Motion for Protective Order and renew their Motion for
the Director to issue an order pursuant to
Water Appropriation Rule 40.05.b. for CCE to submit
all information required pursuant
to Idaho Water Appropriation Rule 40.05. The Declaration of
Anthony
M. Jones (Jones Declaration) is contemporaneously filed in support of this Response.

In its Motion for Protective Order, CCE requests that the Director issue, “an order that
(i
.) Cat Creek has satisfied the disclosure required under Rule 40.05.f.i of the Water
Appropriation Rules, and (ii) protects from disclosure the confidential information redacted from
the
Second Declaration of James Carkulis and the Declaration of John L. Faulkner.Motion for
Protective Order at 9
. As discussed more fully below, CCE has neither satisfied the Rule 40.05
information requirements nor justified the requested protective order and CCE
s Motion should
be denied
.

I. CCE’s Motion for Protective Order Should Be Denied as it Proposes Overbroad
Protection of Financial
Information and Would Protect Non-Proprietary
Information from Disclosure in Violation
of Idaho Code 42-203A’s Financial
Resources Criterion.

CCE provides a general itemization of estimated project development costs but declares
virtually every other aspect of project
financing to be trade secret and proprietary. There are
certain kinds of non
confidential information concerning project financing that can and should be
provided pursuant to Rule 40.05
. Thus, CCEs proprietary claims are overbroad and threaten to
unnecessarily
interfere with the partiesability to ensure the financial resources criterion in Idaho
Code
42-203A is satisfied.

The Declaration of energy economist Anthony M. Jones submitted herewith explains that
at this stage (which by CCE’s own timeline is approximately 5 years
from project operation),
substantial non
-proprietary economic information about project financing should be available:

At approximately 5 years away from operation, as I
understand
Cat Creek Energy claims to be based on a review of its
project timeline provided as
CCE-X-00039, it should be able to
provide the full terms of its capital funding arrangements,
including the amount and terms
of debt commitments, the amount
and terms of equity
commitments, and the interest rates,
amortization schedules, provisions for default, anticipated cash
flows
, prospective balance sheets, the cost and income
relationships associated with CCE’s wind, solar, pumpstorage,
irrigation, municipal water, and
irrigation district operations, etc.,
for the life of the project. The only potentially confidential items
that may need redaction would be the identity of the parties
committing to provide the capital. This redacted information
should be provided to the Hearing Officer, however.

Jones Declaration at.\\2.

         While at this stage, significant project financing commitments should be in place and the
key financing terms would be non
confidential, CCE has claimed wholesale all such information
to be proprietary and has withheld this
information from the parties. Although there may be a
basis to protect the identities of the providers of debt and equity commitments from public
disclosure, no good proprietary reason is provided for CCE withholding the existence of such
commitments and their basic terms or for CCE withholding information from disclosure
substantiating the economic viability of the proposed project
.

CCE requests that the parties be required to execute a certain Protective Agreement in
order to have access to the financial information CCE is required by Rule 40.05 and Idaho Code
42
~203A(5)(d) to disclose. In a number of ways, the Protective Agreement proposed by CCE is
too
overbroad to protect the limited confidential information that may be in CCE’s financial
disclosures:

  1. CCE, not IDWR, decides what is protected information and what is not.
    IDWR, not the applicant, should be in the position of deciding whether
    information is legally protected
    .
  2. Every person involved in this proceeding must execute the Protective
    Agreement to obtain access
    to virtually all project financial information,
    although the Applicant statutorily is required to establish its
    prima facie case
    and meet its burden of proof under Idaho Code
    42-203A regarding financial
    resources
    .
  3. What about the public nature of this proceeding and how would the public’s
    right to access information, including financial information
    , about these
    Applications be safeguarded? Would parties
    experts also be required to sign
    the Protective Agreement to be able
    to review the protected documents?
  4. Paragraph #2 of the proposed Protective Agreement concerning who could
    have access to the documents could
    preclude any law firms who have ever
    been involved with any energy project transactions in this State from
    participating
    in this proceeding, including, likely, CCE’s own counsel
  5. With only in camera review and no ability to copy protected information
    except upon specific request and IDWR order
    , discovery and other
    preparations for hearing would be severely impaired
    .

IDWR is in the best position to determine whether certain information actually is
proprietary and trade
secret. However, even if certain aspects of CCE financial information may
be proprietary
, much of it would not be. IDWR can decide what is the right balance between
public disclosure of information and the protection of any truly proprietary information. CCEs
concerns about law firms’ unnamed clients are unfounded
speculation. Hawley Troxell is not
representing any other client in connection with this matter other than SBar Ranch and The
District at Parkcenter
. These Protestors have water rights that could be impacted by these
applications
. These Protestors have no other use for the Rule 40.05 information other than
protecting their own interests
. These Protestors will comply with the Directors Order on this
matter entered into in accordance with applicable Idaho law.

II. Although CCE Has Added 11 Additional Documents to its Repository Since
these Protestors Last Filed their Motion for Rule 40.05 Information
, the Rule
40.05 Information CCE
Has Disclosed Remains Woefully Inadequate.

          These Protestors, in the chart prepared by Spronk Water Engineers attached as Exhibit B
to
their May 1, 2020, Motion for Rule 40.05.b. Order, detailed the informational insufficiencies
of CCE
s initial Rule 40.05 information submission. On June 16, 2020, in connection with its
Motion for Protective Order
, CCE updated its repository, deleting 9 documents and adding the
following
11 documents:

CCEC00343List of Surrounding Groundwater Wells (1 pg.)
CCE
C01217June 4, 2020, USFS comment letter to IDWR (2 pgs.)
CCE
D-00015Civil Site Plan (1 pg.)
CCE
-D-00016Electrical DiagramNot for Construction (1 pg.)
CCE
-D-00029Conceptual General Arrangement Substation (1 pg.)
CCE
-D-00021Preliminary Not for ConstructionGeneral Arrangement Substation (1 pg.)
CCE
-D-00022PreliminaryNot for Construction Switching Diagram Substation (1 pg.)
CCE
-D00023Financing Sources (2 pg.)
CCE
-D-00025Preliminary Transmission Line Sketches (10 pgs.)
CCE
-D-00035 Preliminary Plan 115kv lines (1 pg.)
CCE
X-00039TimelineMajor Milestone Dates (3 pgs.)

Unfortunately, as reflected in the updated Spronk Water Engineers chart attached hereto as
Exhibit
A, the addition of these 11 documents do little, if anything, to address the inadequacies
in CCEs Rule 40.05 submission. The chart in Exhibit A details the significant gaps in CCEs
Rule 40.05 information that remain
unsatisfied.

CONCLUSION
For the foregoing reasons, these Protestors respectfully request that the Director deny
CCE
s Motion for Protective Order and issue an order requiring CCEs compliance with Rule
40.05
s information requirements within thirty (30) days.

Dated: June 30.2020                                  HAWLEY TROXELL ENNIS & HAWLEY LLP

 

~ signed ~

 

Dana L. Hoffstetter


The tables referenced in the S Bar Ranch response to Cat Creek Energy contains many of the Water Rule 40.05 violations. These omissions and rule violations are highlighted in red on pages 8 through 14 in the original document found at https://catcreek-energy.com/download/1081/

Here are just the first few violations of Rule 40.05:

  • No information provided to establish that storage pond will
    not intercept or appropriate groundwater.
  • General documents on the project concept. No design,
    construction, or operation specifics.
  • Claims no impact on water rights without supporting
    information
    .
  • Claim diversions only in high flows and that Water Master
    will ensure no injury but no information on how CCE
    Project
    will be designed, constructed, operated or
    administered on a real
    time basis to protect other water
    rights.

If you feel that the Elmore County Commissioner made a mistake in approving the Cat Creek Energy Project, we encourage you to contact them and let your feelings be known. 

Quick County Commission Phone Listing …

Chairman Al Hofer 208-599-1620
Wes Wooten 208-599-3131
Bud Corbus 208-599-1294

 

Thanks.

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Idaho Power Protests Cat Creek Energy’s “Lack of a Water Right Plan”

Many residents in Elmore County, Idaho still have doubts and questions pertaining to the Cat Creek Energy project. That proposed project is a four-tier plan involving a large solar and wind turbine complex along the Highway 20 corridor between Little Camas Prairie, Anderson Ranch Reservoir and Camas Prairie. The plan also involves creating a new 100,000 acre-foot reservoir on the bluffs above Anderson Ranch. Cat Creek Energy is planning to fill their proposed new reservoir with a non-existent water right from the South Fork of the Boise River. And that is where Idaho Power comes into the picture.

On June 8, 2020, Idaho Power filed a notice of protest with the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) regarding Cat Creek Energy’s concept for obtaining a new unappropriated water right in the South Fork of the Boise River Basin. That phantom new water right, in part, could be used to partially fill a new reservoir on Little Camas Prairie in Elmore County, Idaho.

The basis of the protest is highlighted below. In short, Idaho Power is telling the IDWR that Cat Creek Energy’s concept has not been sufficiently researched nor documented in order for Idaho Power officials to make an informed decision on the permits. 

The way we are reading this protest is, Idaho Power doesn’t believe Cat Creek Energy’s proposed new unappropriated water right will have sufficient volume to fill the Cat Creek Reservoir. Cat Creek Energy officials have indicated that a full-pool is critical to the success of the project. Idaho Power also seems to be saying Cat Creek Energy doesn’t really have a plan but more like they are in the beginning stages of an idea company officials have locked inside their brains.  

Many of us are tired of the effort to protect our interest when over the last six years Cat Creek Energy has not produced any definitive plans including location details, substantiated cost estimates, or proof of funding. These are all requirements for IDWR applications.  Perhaps, more importantly, they have recently separated the four-tier projects completely and Cat Creek Energy is not going to utilize wind or solar power to operate their hydro-pump storage facility. They have also admitted that the originally submitted plan of pumping water out of Anderson Ranch Reservoir at night and generating power from the hydro-pump storage during the day will not be the rule. 

 


Source: https://catcreek-energy.com/download/1063/

From: Idaho Power Company

BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES
OF THE STATE OF IDAHO
NOTICE OF PROTEST

IDAHO POWER COMPANY (the “Protestant”), by and through its attorneys of record,
files this Notice of Protest to the approval of Permit Number 63-34900 filed by
CAT CREEK ENERGY, LLC (the “Applicant”).

1. The applicant should be required to identify in each of the files within the Rule 40
submittal, the documents which support this application.
2. The application lacks specificity sufficient to evaluate the elements of the
proposed application in light of the criteria of Idaho Code §42-203A(5) and should be returned
and subject to refiling upon additional facts supporting the application be submitted.
3. To the extent the basis for this application are documents already submitted in the
Applicant’s sharefile, the Applicant has failed to demonstrate that unappropriated water supply is
available for the diversion of water under this application. Specifically, the hydrology supporting
the application and the availability of unappropriated water doesn’t support the proposed
quantities and volumes
4. Pursuant to Idaho Code § 42-1737, the Applicant must obtain the approval of the
Idaho Water Resource Board. It is unclear to the Protestant whether this approval shall be a part of
this application, supplemental to this contested action or subject to a separate proceeding wherein
the Protestant’s interests may be protected.
5. Applicant’s proposed place of use lacks sufficient detail to determine actual place of
use.
6. For such other and further reasons as may be discovered or set forth at the hearing
on this matter.

DATED this 8th day of June 2020.

BARKER ROSHOLT & SIMPSON LLP

-signed-

John K. Simpson
Attorneys for Idaho Power Company

 


 

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A Pine, Idaho Homeowner Explains Why “The Project” is Bad for the County

Elk and mule deer migration patterns be disrupted.

  • The Cat Creek Energy site would be built within a major migration corridor for mule deer, elk, pronghorn, raptors, and fish and other animals like bats.
  • The Cat Creek Energy site would be built in important sage grouse habitat.
  • The Cat Creek Energy site would affect our fishery and water quality.
  • The Cat Creek Energy site would create unacceptable noise pollution on Anderson Ranch Reservoir.

On May 16, 2019, Judge Nancy Baskin will have the opportunity to hear oral arguments that support the fact that the actions of Elmore County in regards to the Cat Creek Energy project approval were invalid. As a result we expect the judge will remand the project back to the Director of the P&Z Commission as early as July of this year.

Below you can read for yourself another of the many reasons we believe Judge Baskin will rule that the CUP approval process and the subsequent 2019 Development Agreement between Cat Creek and Elmore County were legally and procedural flawed.

 

Reference: Page 14 of the Petition for Judicial Review document at https://catcreek-energy.com/download/928/

Another opponent of the Project, Wendi Combs, a resident of Pine, Idaho, testified that the Project does not belong on Anderson Ranch Reservoir. She stated that “according to Fish and Game, the proposed site does lie within a major migration corridor for mule deer, elk, pronghorn, raptors, and fish and other animals like bats.

The area is an important sage grouse habitat. Sage grouse do not like tall structures, such as wind turbines, power lines, and towers. Displacement, avoidance and reduced nesting success are well documented.

Fish and Game are concerned about water quality impacts, entrainment of fish, particularly the bull trout, and endangered species. “We’re not talking about one, but six silos pumping water up and down the reservoir 24/7, 365 days a year,” their words in quotes.

Then there is the noise pollution that will affect all the surrounding neighbors and campsites rendering them practically useless for solace and enjoyment.

We invite you to read the full 64 pages of the Judicial Review document that S Bar Ranch filed with Fourth Judicial District of Idaho to right this Cat Creek Energy wrong.

Download the document at https://catcreek-energy.com/download/928/

Take Action

Please help us stop the Cat Creek Energy project from moving forward. Contact County Commissioners Bud Corbus, Wes Wootan and Al Hofer and tell them you are opposed to this ill-conceived mega-energy project.

You can use the county website “Contact Form” at https://elmorecounty.org/contact/

or

See https://catcreek-energy.com/mailing-addresses-for-cat-creek-energy-issues/

Thanks.

 

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National Forest Service Concerns Regarding the Cat Creek Energy Project

This “Bull Trout Country” sign is located just 5 miles west of the proposed Cat Creek Energy project lands.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and The National Forest Service commented about the concerns they have about the Generation Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project, P-14655 portion of the Cat Creek Energy project back in October 2015. Those concerns have yet to be addressed as of late-March 2019.

A letter dated October 25, 2015, from Kimberly D. Bose from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) highlights their concerns that Cat Creek Energy needs to act in a timely manner and in good faith before they will issue a temporary permit to begin some very critical studies within the Elmore County backcountry. Their main area of concern is the South Fork of the Boise River basin and the Little Camas Prairie located about 18 miles northeast of Mountain Home, Idaho.

Reference: Page 4 and 5 of “FERC-COMMENTS of U.S. Forest Service on Cat Creek Energy Generation Pumped Storage“ document. Please feel free to download the 25 Oct 2015 letter by clicking HERE FERC-COMMENTS of U.S. Forest Service on Cat Creek Energy Generation Pumped Storage … or https://catcreek-energy.com/download/964/

 

Here is Just a Part of the National Forest Service / FERC Concerns

Fisheries Resources

The Anderson Ranch Reservoir fisheries resource consists of rainbow trout, bull trout, whitefish, chinook salmon, kokanee salmon and smallmouth bass. South Fork Boise River below Anderson Ranch Reservoir is a Blue Ribbon fishery consisting of rainbow trout, bull trout, mountain whitefish, and sculpin.

  • Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Species (TES) and critical habitat
    Endangered Species Act

  • Bull trout are listed as a threatened species (63 FR 31647 31674) under the
    Endangered Species Act.

  • Anderson Ranch Reservoir up to full pool is designated critical habitat (75 FR
    63898 64070) under the Endangered Species Act.

  • South Fork Boise River below Anderson Ranch Reservoir is designated critical habitat (75 FR 63898 64070) under the Endangered Species Act.


Concerns

  • Entrainment – bull trout and other species could be entrained when pumping
    water up to the holding basin.

  • Temperature – Increase in water temperature to Anderson Ranch Reservoir or the South Fork Boise River depending on the alternative considered and where water is released. The newly constructed dam would be a shallow reservoir and water temperatures would increase rapidly through solar radiation during hot summer months. An increase in water temperature could impact bull trout and could have effects on other fish resources within the reservoir.

  • Sediment – Increase in sediment from construction, maintenance and operation of hydroelectric facilities and associated power lines.

  • Supersaturation –  Supersaturation occurs when air becomes trapped in water
    spilled over a dam as it hits the pool below. If too much nitrogen is absorbed in the bloodstream of fish, air bubbles form and create the equivalent of what dives call “the bends” and fish die.

Please help us stop the Cat Creek Energy project from moving forward. Contact County Commissioners Bud Corbus, Wes Wootan and Al Hofer and tell them you are opposed to this ill-conceived mega-energy project.

You can use the county website “Contact Form” at https://elmorecounty.org/contact/
or
See https://catcreek-energy.com/mailing-addresses-for-cat-creek-energy-issues/

 

Thanks.

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FERC Requests Info from Cat Creek Energy

Proposed Cat Creek Energy Project

In a previous post dated Feb 26, 2019, we highlighted the fact that the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) has requested additional information from Cat Creek Energy (CCE).  This is a request regarding a successive preliminary permit application for their Pumped Storage Hydroelectric project.
The Cat Creek Energy project will get more complicated as the developers start interacting with state and federal entities before they can move ahead with the project.  We feel it’s important for all Elmore County residents to understand the entire process.

Reference: http://catcreek-energy.com/ferc-request-cat-creek-provide-additional-information-by-march-8-2019/

We Think It’s Important to Understand the FERC Requests For Information

The FERC has requested Cat Creek Energy provide information, action and/or documentation regarding two different issues.  These requests apply to their bid to use public land and infrastructure for the pumped storage hydroelectric portion of their mega-energy project.  This project will affect the backcountry of Elmore County, Idaho.

Background for FERC Request #1: Cat Creek Energy wants to build a new reservoir, including a dam on the bluffs above Anderson Ranch Reservoir. They will use water from Anderson to fill their 100,000 acre/foot reservoir.  This will require using six, 15-foot diameter pipes/penstocks.

The bull trout lives in Anderson Ranch Reservoir. It thrives because of the pristine and stable environment found within the South Fork of the Boise River basin, including Anderson Ranch. The bull trout is listed as a threatened species by the U.S. Government.

FERC Request #1: The FERC has requested that CCE show proof of the actions and/or geotechnical studies they have, or will commission in the future, regarding how they will mitigate the effects that their pumped storage hydroelectric project will have on the threatened bull trout.
Remember, the bull trout lives in Anderson Ranch Reservoir, just 1,000 feet from their planned dam/reservoir on Little Camas Prairie. The two reservoirs will be interconnected if Cat Creek gets the approval to move ahead with the project.

By Brambleshire – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17074506

 

Background on FERC Request #2: Cat Creek Energy entered into a “Lease of Power Privilege” (LOPP) with the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) for the use of Anderson Ranch Reservoir. The Bureau of Reclamation has indicated that CCE has yet to provide the required funding to move ahead with the lease agreement.

FERC Request #2: The FERC has requested CCE initiate and memorialize the critical payments and actions required by the “Lease of Power Privilege” (LOPP) agreement.

 

Cat Creek Energy has until March 8, 2019, to fully respond to these two Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requests for information.

 

 

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FERC Request Cat Creek Provide Additional Information by March 8, 2019

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has requested additional information from Cat Creek Energy, LLC regarding their planned Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project on Little Camas Prairie. Cat Creek Energy has until March 8, 2019, to answer the questions contained in the “Schedule A” document located at the bottom of this post.

The letter and Schedule A can also be directly downloaded here … http://catcreek-energy.com/download/874/


FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D. C. 20426
February 21, 2019

OFFICE OF ENERGY PROJECTS

 

Project No. 14655-001–Idaho
Cat Creek Energy Generation Facility
Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project
Cat Creek Energy, LLC

 

James Carkulis
Cat Creek Energy, LLC 398 S. 9th Street, Suite 240
Boise, ID 83702

Subject: Additional Information Request Dear Mr. Carkulis:

After reviewing your successive preliminary permit application filed on November 9, 2018, for the Cat Creek Energy Generation Facility Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project No. 14655-001 and the comments filed on the application, additional information is needed to continue processing your application. Please provide the information requested in Schedule A within 15 days from the date of this letter.

The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file the requested information using the Commission’s eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs- filing/efiling.asp. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14655-001.

If you have any questions concerning this letter, please call Karen Sughrue at (202) 502-8556.

 

Sincerely,

~ signed ~

For David Turner,
Chief Northwest Branch
Division of Hydropower Licensing

 


Enclosure:  Schedule A
Project No. 14655-001

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

1. In section (iii) of Exhibit 2 of your application, you request a waiver of section 4.81(c)(2) of the Commission’s regulations, which requires the filing of a work plan for new dam construction. S Bar Ranch, LLC, in its motion to intervene and protest, objects to this waiver request.

Section 4.81(c)(3) of the Commission’s regulations allows the Commission to waive the requirements of paragraph (c)(2) upon a showing by the applicant that the field studies, tests, and other activities to be conducted under the permit would not adversely affect cultural resources or endangered species and would cause minor alterations or disturbances of lands and waters, and that any land altered or disturbed would be adequately restored. The federally listed bull trout and its critical habitat are within the proposed project boundary at the Anderson Ranch Reservoir. Neither your permit or the project record clearly describes if you intend to conduct geotechnical studies during the term of the successive permit.

If you intend to conduct geotechnical studies, you must either demonstrate that the studies will not affect cultural resources or endangered species and result in minimal disturbance to land and waters, or file a work plan. In the latter case, the work plan must contain: (i) a description, including the approximate location, of any field study, test, or other activity that may alter or disturb lands or waters in the vicinity of the proposed project, including floodplains and wetlands; measures that would be taken to minimize any such disturbance; and measures that would be taken to restore the altered or disturbed areas; and (ii) a proposed schedule (a chart or graph may be used), the total duration of which does not exceed the proposed term of the permit, showing the intervals at which the studies, investigations, tests, and surveys, identified under this paragraph are proposed to be completed.

2. As explained in your original permit, the proposed project would require a Lease of Power Privilege (LOPP) from the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) for the use of Anderson Ranch Reservoir. Letters filed by Reclamation on April 4, 2017 and January 31, 2019, indicate that you have begun that LOPP process by receiving approval from Reclamation on October 17, 2016 to be a preliminary leasee for a five- year period. The January 31, 2019 filing also indicates that you have entered into a contributed-funds-agreement contract with Reclamation on May 9, 2017. However both letters indicate that you have not provided the required funding for Reclamation’s review of the project, entered into a preliminary LOPP agreement with Reclamation, or begun conducting the studies required by Reclamation to evaluate project impacts. The letters also indicate that Reclamation does not intend to commit resources to processing your proposed project until the required funding is provided. Reclamation’s January 31, 2019, filing states that if you are still interested in this project that it is critical to initiate these steps to attempt to complete the required LOPP steps by October 16, 2021.

Therefore, please file an update on your efforts at conducting the LOPP process steps with noted in Reclamation’s January 31, 2019 letter.

 

 

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