A combination of economics, technological advances and rapid change in the electricity business has halted a Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) project to construct a 400-MW pumped-storage hydroelectric project. The 2010 estimate of $800 million last year rose to $1.45 billion, and re-evaluation of the project revealed that less than half its capacity would be needed before 2030. With recent advances in other energy-storage technologies, it is likely there will be more economical alternatives for satisfying Sacramento’s energy-storage needs in the long term. “We can right-size batteries,” says Scott Flake, project manager. He expects SMUD to apply the saved costs to distributed energy resources.