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Hydropower project proposed in C. Ore.


PRINEVILLE, Ore. (AP) -- Federal regulators have given an Idaho company the go-ahead to explore building a dam and reservoir in Central Oregon to use water and pumps as a means of storing energy.



The Bend Bulletin (http://bit.ly/1cen1GZ) reports that the hydropower is seen as a way of balancing cyclical electricity supplies from such sources as wind turbines.



At night, water would be pumped uphill from the Prineville Reservoir into a smaller reservoir.



During the day, when demand is high, the water would flow downhill through turbines, creating enough power for about 30,000 homes.



Boise-based Gridflex Energy says it has about 15 of the pumped hydro storage projects under development in nine states.



The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given the company a preliminary permit for a feasibility study at Prineville.



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