SSE plan major hydro storage scheme

SSE’s renewable energy development division has submitted an application to the Scottish Government to construct a pumped storage hydroelectric scheme to the north-west of Loch Lochy in the Great Glen. […]

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By Tom Gibson

SSE’s renewable energy development division has submitted an application to the Scottish Government to construct a pumped storage hydroelectric scheme to the north-west of Loch Lochy in the Great Glen. SSE Renewables says the project could have a power capacity of 600MW. In the form of a reservoir, the scheme could store up to 30GWh, SSE claims, and could release energy to the grid when needed.

The dam and reservoir, should they be granted permission, are set to cost SSE around £800 million. The scheme would be the largest hydro project to be built in Scotland and the first brand new pumped storage scheme to be developed in Great Britain since the Dinorwig scheme in Wales in 1974.

Jim Smith, Managing Director of SSE Renewables said: “Hydroelectric schemes, which use impounded water to generate electricity, are an excellent means of energy storage. Consequently, they naturally complement the variable output from the growing number of wind farms and play an important part in meeting peak demand.”

At an estimated height above ground level of up to 92m, this would be one of the largest dams in the UK.