SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A controversial pumped water storage project in south-central South Dakota has been discontinued.

In a news release, MidAmerican Energy and Missouri River Energy Services said it will no longer pursue the Gregory County Pumped Storage Project. 

“MidAmerican and MRES made this decision based on the same due diligence we employ in every project we do,” the news release said. “We will continue to evaluate all options – including pumped storage — for reliable, affordable, and resilient energy resources to serve the residents and businesses that rely on us.” 

The project was opposed by a number of stakeholders in the nearby towns of Platte and Burke. Both the Gregory County Commission and Charles Mix County Commission formally opposed the project. 

During this year’s legislative session, lawyer and MidAmerican Energy Company lobbyist Brett Koenecke summarized the current phase of the project as fact-finding and feasibility. 

“Is the juice worth the squeeze? That’s what we’re trying to find out,” Koenecke said to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in January

In the news release, MidAmerican Energy and MRES said “pumped storage technology is proven and the need for energy storage solutions is essential for regional reliability.” 

The proposed project would pump water uphill for future hydropower generation during times of high energy demand and the project has been called a natural “battery.” Proponents for the project say it would work alongside wind and solar energy to create “clean and reliable energy solution” for the region. The website for the project is still live at

Studies on the project’s impact were set to start in 2023.