SSE Plans New Pumped Storage Project

Scottish and Southern Energy plc (SSE) is proposing to develop two new large-scale pumped storage hydro electric schemes in the Great Glen in Scotland that would be the first pumped storage schemes to be developed in the UK since Dinorwig in Wales in 1974.

Subject to final agreements and design, it is envisaged the proposed schemes would have an installed capacity of 300–600 MW each and be able to produce in excess of 1 TWh in a typical year to help meet peak demand.

In both cases, the upper reservoirs would be large, and would require the construction of a dam. It is currently envisaged that water pumping and electricity generation at both developments will be carried out under ground, thereby avoiding any visual impact in the Great Glen itself.

The company is to seek a formal opinion on the scope of the environmental impact statement that would accompany planning applications for the schemes from the Scottish government. Planning applications are expected to be submitted during 2011.

Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE, said: “Our goal is to maintain a diversified portfolio of power stations, with the flexibility to respond to customer demand for electricity, while achieving a 50% reduction in the carbon dioxide intensity of electricity produced. Pumped storage can help us achieve this goal and, after 30 years, I believe is a technology whose time can come again.”

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