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Malheur County could get billion-dollar energy project on Owyhee Reservoir

The Malheur County Court recently heard from the chief executive officer of a Utah firm that wants to build a power generating facility near the Owyhee Reservoir. (Rachel Parsons/The Enterprise).

VALE – A Utah company is considering construction of a new dam above Owyhee Reservoir as part of a $1.2 billion project to generate new hydro power.

The power operation could generate the equivalent of half the Treasure Valley’s peak electricity demand on a hot summer day.

Matthew Shapiro, chief executive officer of rPlus Hydro, recently outlined the project to the Malheur County Court and shared more details in an interview with the Enterprise.

The company plans to construct what’s called a pumped storage facility, which uses gravity feeding water into turbines to generate electricity.

A pumped storage facility operates . . .