MidAmerican Energy and Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) announced Tuesday that they will not pursue the proposed Gregory County pumped storage project. The project, which would have been built on the west bank of the Missouri River southwest of Platte, was met with opposition from a number of stakeholders, including the Gregory County Commission and Charles Mix County Commission.
In a news release, MidAmerican Energy and MRES said that the decision to abandon the project was based on “due diligence.” The companies said that they will continue to evaluate all options for reliable, affordable, and resilient energy resources.
The proposed project would have pumped water up to a reservoir from Lake Francis Case, then released it back into the lake, creating hydropower electricity. The project would have cost up to one billion dollars and would have taken about ten years to build.
Opponents of the project had a list of concerns, including the potential impact on fish and wildlife, the large population influx that would have resulted from the construction project, and the impact on the area’s scenic beauty.
Landowners on the steering committee against the project were pleased with the decision to abandon the project. They said that the project would have had a negative impact on the area and that they were glad that the companies had listened to their concerns.
The decision to abandon the Gregory County pumped storage project is a setback for the development of renewable energy in the region. However, it is a victory for the landowners and other stakeholders who opposed the project.