LADWP responds to project rumors

By Kristina Blüm Justice
Register Staff

As rumors and questions swirl about Premium Energy’s proposed Owens Valley Pump Back project atop Weeler Ridge, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has answered one of the biggest questions – the utility has not been involved in the project – at all.
“We were just made aware of the proposal ourselves on April 23, 2019, and have confirmed that we have not been in any discussion with Premium Energy nor is LADWP involved in this proposed project,” Jessica Johnson, communications representative for LADWP, said in an email Wednesday.
Johnson said LADWP staff didn’t even know about the project until Mono County Supervisor Stacy Corless posted about it on Facebook in late April. The utility responded by asking Corless to correct inaccurate information in her post.
The project, which is currently in the permit process through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is proposed to construct a 800-megawatt hydroelectric project spanning a region from the top of 11,700-foot-high Wheeler Ridge to the bottom of the Owens Gorge. Much of the proposed project is in federally designated wilderness land, as well as land belonging to LADWP.
For more on this story, see today's (May 9) edition of The Inyo Register.