Will three new hydro electric projects work in Inyo-Mono? Two people from Davis and Fair Oaks, California, will give it a try. Kelley Sackheim and Richard Ely have filed applications with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build hydro plants here.

One of the locations would involve a new pipeline out of DWP’s Tinnemaha Reservoir and down to the aqueduct. The proposed 150 foot long penstock would exit the dam and generate power as it flowed down. DWP would have to approve this project. DWP’s Chris Plakos said that while it is not DWP’s project, the hydro plant would go on DWP land. Plakos said the legal and electrical departments are looking at it.

All three projects include small powerhouses where the electricity would be generated. The other two projects are planned for Pine Creek just below the mine and another in the Mono Basin on Virginia Creek.

That project includes a pipeline of 8 inches in diameter and a half mile to a mile long.

The Pine Creek project would include a similar pipeline but 1/4 mile long above the pack station.

Mr. Ely said that locally, a gross receipts tax and property tax plus jobs created by the power plants would benefit local communities. Ely and his partner Sackheim formed KC LLC to forward these projects. They also say they have a positive track record and want to generate green energy. Both said that the environmental process for these projects is very lengthy and will offer the public many chances for input.
The applications are pending the possibility of preliminary permits from the federal government.

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