Save the Confluence sent a letter March 4 to a federal commission asking to deny a feasibility study for a pumped-hydro dam near the Lower Little Colorado River in Western Navajo Nation.


Pumped Hydro Storage LLC from Phoenix proposes to locate a pump storage hydropower near Little Colorado named Big Canyon Pumped Storage Project. The proposed project is shown on this map in relation to Navajo East Rim.

The letter is in response to a March 21 deadline, which the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission established, to receive public comments about the proposed Big Canyon Dam. The commission also created a new policy in February that requires developers who plan to build hydro pumped dams on tribal land to receive permission from tribal Nations before it issues a feasibility study.

The commission, in addition, rejected several proposed pumped hydro dam projects on the Navajo Nation that include Black Mesa.

Steve Irwin, owner of Pumped Hydro Storage LLC filed an application for a feasibility study at Big Canyon. Irwin said he has waited for the preliminary permit for nearly a year and has not heard from FERC.

Read a copy of the letter written by Delores Wilson-Aguirre on behalf of Save the Confluence families. Irwin did not respond to Aguirre’s letter.