The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has accepted US-based energy storage project developer Daybreak Power’s application for a preliminary permit for its proposed 2,200MW Navajo Energy Storage Station (NESS) near Page in Arizona, US.

In the application, Daybreak Power has proposed to develop a $3.6bn pumped storage hydro project that will use existing power transmission infrastructure at the retired Navajo Generating Station coal plant.

Daybreak Power CEO Jim Day said: “Everyone knows we are going to need massive amounts of storage to integrate high levels of renewables and we need to do it smart and cost-effectively. The Navajo Energy Storage Station does that.

“This project marks a turning point for this region to begin its transition off of coal and onto solar and wind at a scale never seen before, here or anywhere else.”

The pumped storage hydropower facility NESS will store energy generated using water from Lake Powell and from water stored at a new reservoir on a plateau located above the lake.

The facility will use renewable energy sources such as solar and wind for pumping the water to the upper reservoir and release through turbines, generating ten hours of renewable energy a day.

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Clean power generated by the facility will be used for powering cities in California, Arizona and Nevada, when the demand for electricity is at its peak late in the day and through the night.

Daybreak will work with the Navajo Nation, other First Nations and conservation groups to develop the storage project, which is expected to provide a platform for creating a 100% carbon-free economy.

The plan to build NESS follows Daybreak’s proposed 1,540MW Next Generation Pumped Storage facility, which would use water from Lake Mead and transmission infrastructure near Hoover Dam.

In January 2018, FERC rejected Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to provide financial assistance to coal and nuclear power plants.