Pumped hydroelectric storage at existing and new sites for hydro electricity generation is needed, to support our security of energy supplies, diversity of supplies and to reduce carbon emissions. This will help to balance electricity supply and demand when we have a much greater proportion of electricity from renewable energy technologies, providing a means to manage more intermittent electricity generation from those sources. During the lifetime of NPF3, we particularly support development at Cruachan in Argyll, a nationally important pumped storage facility with significant potential for enhanced capacity.
Implementation Lead(s): Power Generation companies; Scottish Power; Scottish and Southern Energy; Scottish Government
Locations: All Scotland
Scottish Power – Cruachan
Environmental Mitigation: Specific measures to be identified through project level EIA, taking into account SEA findings. Project level HRA will be required and the mitigation included in the Habitats Regulations Appraisal Record should be used to inform planning processes and be applied as appropriate.
Ongoing Activity and Milestones:
Development plans, particularly those covering rural areas, to consider the adoption of policies and /or supplementary guidance on Pumped Hydroelectric Storage.
Scottish Power progressing feasibility study for Cruachan 2, and has sought to have the expansion of power generation activities at Cruachan to be reflected in the new Local Development Plan for Argyll & Bute, which is currently being prepared.
World’s biggest-ever pumped-storage hydro-scheme, for Scotland
The maximum potential energy which could be stored by such a scheme is colossal – about 6800 Gigawatt-hours – or 283 Gigawatt-days – enough capacity to balance and back-up the intermittent renewable energy generators such as wind and solar power for the whole of Europe!
There currently exists significant activity around Scottish pumped-storage hydro. In addition to the two pumped-storage schemes that currently have planning permission, with a further one in planning, there are at least four additional schemes that have had comprehensive feasibility work completed. In addition, a newly formed UK-wide Pumped-Storage Hydro Working Group has recently been convened, and relevant consultations are expected from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the National Infrastructure Commission in the near future.