On Monday, Alabama Public Service Commission president Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh publicly denounced Alabama Power's plans to build a pump storage facility on Chandler Mountain in St. Clair County.
The plan includes constructing two lake reservoirs held up by a series of five dams. It would take nearly a decade to complete once the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves it.
"Alabama families and Alabama industries and businesses demand innovative solutions to fuel our future," Cavanaugh said in a press release. "By the time this cost-prohibitive project could come online, our evolving technologies will make it antiquated."
The facility would generate energy when water from the upper reservoir flows down into the lower reservoir. Then the water would be pumped back uphill, ideally during times of low public energy usage, to start the process again.
Like State Rep. Craig Lipscomb (R-Gadsden), Cavanaugh suspects the project is motivated by left-wing green initiatives.
"This pump storage technology that Alabama Power is exploring is just another unworkable solution being endorsed by out-of-state liberals trying to hijack our energy policy," Cavanaugh continued. "Alabama needs a full portfolio of energy production options, but I will never let the climate socialists import their energy fantasies from California."
"I will continue to fight every aspect of the Green New Deal policy, and I will advocate for energy policy, which reflects Alabama's values and our vast potential," she added.
Alabama Power claims the pump station would have a 1,600-megawatt capacity, enough to power 400,000 homes annually. Still, Cavanaugh and others have argued the energy needed to pump water back up the mountain outweighs the benefits of energy gained on the way down.
"This is clearly an inefficient method for producing the type of energy required to power a 21st-century economy," Cavanaugh stated. "That is why I am opposing the project, and I will not grant permission for it to proceed. Alabama Power should seek other options to meet Alabama's energy needs."
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