As we’ve discussed in the previous newsletter, a private company called GreenGen Storage LLC is proposing to build a pumped-storage hydroelectric project on the Mokelumne River. It would use existing PG&E dams and reservoirs, and possibly expand some of them. The project would move water from either Upper Bear River Reservoir or Lower Bear River Reservoir to a tunnel that would house a powerhouse to generate power from water flowing downhill to Salt Springs Reservoir.
If it moves forward, the so-called Mokelumne Battery Project is likely to create massive recreational disruptions from construction near the upper reservoirs and also disrupt reservoir recreation during its operation as lake levels quickly fall to generate power. It may also cause water temperatures in the North Fork Mokelumne to increase and harm to cultural resources and rare wildlife including the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog.
The GreenGen team held a virtual open house on July 30. The team continued to tout the benefits it sees from the project while avoiding substantive answers to difficult questions put to it by Foothill Conservancy, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Amador Water Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, and other concerned parties.
We will continue to engage in this process to protect the environment in and surrounding the Mokelumne River and upper reservoirs, downstream fisheries, and recreational resources.
For more information, contact Megan Fiske by email.