Klamath Falls, Ore. – A $750 million energy storage project in Klamath County has cleared a major hurdle.
The Swan Lake Power Storage Project’would be built about 12 miles northeast of Klamath Falls in the Swan Lake area.
Erik Steimle of Rye Development explains the project would not generate electricity, but act like a battery. “Storing energy during periods of excess capacity, and then releasing water from an upper reservoir and creating electricity in the project’s powerhouse during increased demand.”
Steimle briefed county commissioners on the status of the project Wednesday.
“The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) just released an environmental impact statement for the project,” Steimle said. “Bringing to near closure the end of an 8-plus year permitting effort.”
But, not everyone favors the project.
Concerns have been raised about how much water will be used, and the impact of transmission lines.
Steimle says a public meeting will be held next month in Klamath Falls. “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will be hosting a public meeting at OIT between 7 and 9 p.m. on September 26th.”
Backers hope to begin construction in 2020, with the project going online in 2025.
The developers have asked the Klamath County commissioners to consider passing a resolution in support of the project construction and operation.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.