ScottishPower Considers Expansion of Cruachan Pumped Storage Hydro Plant

U.K. utility ScottishPower has determined that it would be possible to expand its 440 MW Cruachan pumped storage hydro project by up to 600 MW.

The Iberdrola Group subsidiary said it recently completed a feasibility study to determine whether it is possible to expand the power station.

According to ScottishPower, the station could be expanded by between 400 MW and 600 MW for an investment of between 300 million to 400 million pounds ($420 million to $561 million).

“A new generation of pumped storage hydro would be a major asset for electricity systems worldwide as more renewable electricity continues to come on line,” Hugh Finlay, generation director at ScottishPower, said in a Feb. 29 statement. “As well as being able to further support peak demand, expanded pumped storage would also be able to effectively store greater levels of electricity at times when renewable energy output is high but demand is low. Pumped storage hydro is the most cost effective and well-developed large-scale electricity storage technology in existence.”

ScottishPower said that the study shows that a new cavern would need to be excavated within Ben Cruachan, and the possibility that new dams could be constructed to increase the capacity of the project’s upper reservoir. The company will now consider the next steps for the project, including discussions with government on potential support mechanisms.

Lead image credit: ScottishPower.

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