Castaic Pumped Storage Project

A large power plant on Elderberry Lake, on the north arm of Castaic Lake, north of Santa Clarita, is a source of power for DWP during peak periods of demand. The project is shared by the DWP and the State Water Project. Water flows from Pyramid Lake, an upstream reservoir on the State Water Project’s aqueduct, that brings water from northern California. When activated, water flows out of Pyramid Lake through a 30-foot diameter tunnel, seven miles long, descending more than 1,000 feet into the turbines of the Castaic Power Plant, generating up to 1,500 megawatts. After the peak demand period ends, the turbines reverse, pumping the water back up to Pyramid Lake. Because electricity is sold at higher rates during peak demand periods, this is cost effective, even if it is not energy effective.