Curtis Tate Published

Pumped Storage Power Project Could Be Coming To Northern W.Va.

A color rendering of a pumped storage facility.
What the Cabin Run Pumped Storage facility would look like.
Rye Development

An energy company that’s making a big investment in southeast Kentucky also has its sights set on northern West Virginia.

Rye Development, of Portland, Oregon, on Thursday announced a $1.3 billion investment in a pumped storage power generation facility in Bell County, Kentucky.

The same company has also applied for a preliminary permit with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to study locating a similar facility in Hardy and Grant counties.

The proposed Cabin Run Pumped Storage project could generate up to 230 megawatts of electricity. For comparison, the largest solar facility in West Virginia generates 19 megawatts.

It works by taking electricity during off-peak hours to pump water into a reservoir. During the hours of peak demand, the water is released, generating hydroelectric power.

The U.S. Department of Energy is kicking in an $81 million grant for the Kentucky project.

Rye Development’s permit application is currently pending before the commission.