The headline article of the Ely Times dated 2-3 January 2014 provides a good and well-written analysis of the proposed pumped-storage hydro-electric power project placed on the table by Gridflex Energy.  While the project has my enthusiastic support, I cannot claim that Gridflex approached me with this proposal; rather, I learned of it while attending the November 2013 meeting of the White Pine County Water Advisory Board, on which I am privileged to sit as the representative of the Ely City Council.

I do not know whether Gridflex approached the County, or whether Jim Garza approached them; but the information I relayed was provided through the good offices of Mr. Garza, the White Pine County Economic Development Director—who as nearly as I can tell deserves credit for working with Gridflex on this project.  Credit should go where it is due, and I cannot claim it for this effort—much as

I support it for the huge temporary economic shot in the arm it would give our community, but also for the residual workforce required to operate the facility.

I am especially pleased that the projected impact to Steptoe Valley’s water supply would be within the existing ability of the valley to sustain it with no adverse consequences to the present agricultural activities within the valley; moreover, the water rights which were being held for use of the now cancelled coal-fired power project remain available, and could quite conceivably be diverted to the Gridflex project.

As the water will be cycled back and forth between elevations as needed, the only anticipated loss—which I understand will be at approximately the five percent level—would be through the process of evaporation. Thus once the upper reservoir is filled, the evaporative loss barely meets the threshold of statistical significance.

In conclusion, I apologize for any inference I may have inadvertently given that Gridflex approached me with this project—but as far as I can discern Jim Garza rightfully deserves credit for this potential financial boon to the community.  I feel we are fortunate to have his expertise and enthusiasm available to us.

Marion J. (Sam) Hanson
Ely City Council


Unemployment benefits have expired for many people. Our “friends” in Washington say they will do what they can to extend them for another 3 months, then what?

Since 2001 over 42,000 American Factories have shut down. On January 1, 2014 over 40,000 new laws went into effect. It seems to me the more government tries to “help” the worse things seem to get but, not to worry folks the over 500,000 elected officials will be OK!

Bruce Feher