Energy supplier SSE has confirmed it will build a £30 million hydropower plant in Ross-shire in northern Scotland.
The 7.5MW Glasa scheme is expected to be completed by the end of 2015 and when fully operational will generate enough electricity to power around 10,000 homes.
The project was consented by Scottish Ministers in 2010 but SSE delayed the project as a result the UK Government’s decision to cut subsidies for hydro projects available through the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) system last year. However, the Scottish Government retained one of the ROC support level in September last year for new conventional hydro in Scotland.
Jim Smith, SSE’s Managing Director – Renewables said: “I believe that Hydro has an important role to play in the decarbonisation of our generation fleet and in providing a flexible and reliable source of electricity within a balanced energy mix.
“The support given by the Scottish Government in retaining the ROC banding for new hydro effectively led to SSE’s decision to proceed with the Glasa scheme. There are many more challenges to overcome in order to progress with larger projects such as Coire Glas and it is essential that policy makers recognise the benefits new pumped storage hydro will bring to the GB electricity market and ensure the right support mechanisms are in place.”
SSE is also proposing a 600MW pumped storage hydro scheme – Coire Glas – and is currently awaiting planning consent from Scottish Ministers.