Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) recently introduced legislation to promote closed-loop pumped storage hydropower. The possibility of developing pumped-storage in Virginia’s coalfields is a developing idea that has potential to generate substantial economic activity.
Congressman Griffith said, “Our state legislators have worked hard to facilitate the deployment of this technology in the coalfields, and my bill provides the support necessary to complement their work from the federal level.”
“At a couple of hearings earlier this year, I raised this issue as a possibility that some are exploring as a way to re-purpose abandoned mine lands that already have much of the infrastructure in place to accommodate these projects. Sites that could be considered in Southwest Virginia are especially attractive since they use clean, non-acidic water for use in the system.”
“It could be a real benefit to our coalfield regions, in the form of jobs, economic development, and energy security.”
The bill will allow the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to impose licensing conditions only as necessary to protect public safety; or that are reasonable, economically feasible, and essential to protect fish and wildlife resources.
Delegate Terry Kilgore said, “I applaud Congressman Griffith for his leadership on this legislation. Hydro Pump Storage power plants could help Southwest Virginia remain the energy provider of Virginia. Congressman Griffith’s belief in all the above energy sources will help move America toward energy independence.”
Delegate Israel O’Quinn said, “I’m appreciative of Congressman Griffith filing legislation to help advance the pump storage bill championed by our Southwest legislative delegation during the past legislative session. A pump storage facility will help create new jobs and reliable energy while potentially utilizing facilities that are no longer workable. This is a win-win for our part of Virginia.”
Delegate Todd Pillion said, “I appreciate Congressman Griffith’s work to promote closed-loop pumped storage hydropower. This builds upon critical legislation passed by the Virginia legislature earlier this year allowing for the development of pumped hydro storage facilities in the coalfields. Our commitment to an ‘above and below’ energy approach will allow us to utilize the energy resources available to provide cheap and reliable energy for our families and create jobs.”
State Senator Ben Chafin said, “Congressman Griffith has always been a great partner to work with for the betterment of Southwest Virginia. His legislation, similar to legislation we passed on the state level, will help fast track the process for hydro pump storage. These facilities will create jobs and help our localities financially.”