Wednesday 26 July 2023

Drax granted approval for £500m pumped storage hydro plant

Drax granted approval for £500m pumped storage hydro plant

The Scottish Government has formally approved Drax Group's plans to build a £500 million underground pumped storage hydro plant at its existing Cruachan facility in Argyll.

By using reversible turbines to pump water from a lower reservoir to an upper one during periods of excess power generation, the facility will effectively act as a "water battery," storing renewable electricity and releasing it when demand necessitates.

Drax Group Chief Executive Officer, Will Gardiner, said: "This is a major milestone in Drax’s plans to build Britain’s first new pumped storage hydro plant in a generation.

"With the right support from the UK Government, Drax will invest c.£500 million to more than double Cruachan’s generating capacity and support almost 1,000 jobs across the supply chain during construction."

First Minister of Scotland, Humza Yousaf, said: "Hydropower has real potential to play a greater role in our transition to net zero and to help ensure a resilient and secure electricity supply across the UK.

"The expansion of Cruachan will help to strengthen our energy security by providing much-needed resilience in the system, supporting hundreds of jobs and providing a real boost to the Scottish

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