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 may be required and any 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 has completed a 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.
In November 2017, ScottishPower was successful in having Cruachan 2 included in the EU’s 3rd List of Projects of Common Interest (PCI). PCIs are key infrastructure projects, which are intended to help the EU achieve its energy policy and climate objectives and the long-term decarbonisation of the economy.
Revisions to the consented Coire Glas scheme near Loch Lochy have been submitted to the Scottish Government. If this project becomes operational, it would provide 1500MW of storage.
In addition to the two large pumped-storage schemes that currently have planning permission, further schemes are at the pre-planning stage in planning. In addition, a newly formed UK-wide Pumped-Storage Hydro Working Group has recently been convened.
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!”