ZGlobal Performs Economic & Reliability Study for Proposed LEAPS Project
The ZGlobal Market Analytics team performed a life cycle economics and reliability study for the LEAPS project. The studies confirm numerous benefits of adding 500 MW of PSH in Southern California. The ZGlobal analysis was coupled by a comprehensive cost benefits analysis filed with FERC.
The LEAPS proposed project is a carbon free project which would comprise of a 500 MW advanced pumped storage facility, with two new twenty-seven-mile 500 kV interconnecting transmission lines, two new 500 kV substations, three new 500/230 kV transformers, three new phase shifting transformers, and one new 10-mile 230 kV transmission line. One 500 kV line will interconnect with the transmission network of SCE and the other will interconnect with the transmission network of SDG&E. These facilities would be located approximately midway between Los Angeles and San Diego in Lake Elsinore, California. Lake Elsinore, which is the largest natural lake in southern California, will serve as the lower reservoir for the proposed facility. The Decker Canyon reservoir, which is to be constructed above the crest of the Elsinore mountains, will serve as the upper storage reservoir of the LEAPS project. The Decker Canyon reservoir will be approximately 9,500 feet southwest of Lake Elsinore at an elevation of approximately 2,792 feet above mean sea level. Key benefits include:Reduction in energy, emission and capacity costs to consumers.Reduction overgeneration costs.Cost reduction for consumers and meeting the state energy goals.Reduction in flexible cost.Enhances grid resiliency and reliability.Improves frequency response after disturbances. Provides voltage regulation capability.Provides inertial response.Re-route energy flow via PSTs across southern California.Provides black start capability. In summary, given that the estimated cost of LEAPS is approximately $2 billion. The ZGlobal studies outline the economic and reliability benefits of LEAPS over a 50-year life span – the project is clearly in favor of the consumers. The levelized cost benefits are calculated to range between $5.9 billion under the high solar penetration case to $3.08 billion under the high wind penetration. The LEAPS levelized project cost is calculated to equal to $3.08 billion. Thus, the levelized benefit to cost ratio ranged from 1.76:1 to 1.59:1 (click here to view LEAPS project summary).