The Gordon Butte Pumped Storage Hydro project located in Montana has been issued a 50-year license to construct and operate by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Final design is to be completed in 2017 with construction anticipated to begin in 2018.
"This is a tremendous milestone achieved by a world-class team including Barnard, SNC-Lavalin and GE Renewables," said Carl Borgquist, President of Absaroka Energy. "I'm so proud of our team who have worked diligently together to accomplish this significant milestone on the journey to project completion."
The project will utilize best-in-class ternary equipment provided by GE Renewables, which will allow the plant to move seamlessly between pumping and generating, thus creating the least expensive and most capable capacity to meet the daily energy needs of Montana's residential and commercial customers.
"Montanans are blessed to live in a place with a rich and diverse supply of energy resources that have provided us not only affordable power but also a way to make a living for thousands of hardworking families across the state," said Governor Bullock. "By advancing pumped storage projects like this to our energy mix, Montana is helping chart the path to an affordable energy future that strengthens our rural communities, provides job creation opportunities for even more energy development, all while safeguarding our quality of life."
Based in Montana, Absaroka Energy is developing the 400-megawatt, closed-loop Gordon Butte Pumped Storage Hydro project. Pumped storage is a robust and rechargeable utility-scale battery that will address one of the most difficult challenges facing the nation's electrical grid today by creating the ability to store energy as well as respond instantaneously to variations in demand and generation, keeping our power grid healthy and reliable.
"It's projects like this that showcase Montana's incredible natural resources," said U.S. Senator Jon Tester. "By making responsible investments in cutting edge technology, we can create jobs, strengthen our state's economy, and ensure affordable, renewable energy for Montana families."
The Gordon Butte project is sited in Meagher County and located about three miles west of Martinsdale and less than six miles from the Colstrip twin 500 kV transmission lines, the backbone of Montana's electric system. This interconnection location will give the facility access to markets in Montana and throughout the region.
"The Gordon Butte Project is especially equipped to add reliability to our electric grid and will create more high-paying jobs. Together we can continue to build upon Montana's all-of-the-above energy portfolio," said U.S. Senator Steve Daines.