Glen Earrach Energy to Develop UK’s Most Efficient Pumped Storage Hydro Project in Scotland

Glen Earrach Energy (GEE) has unveiled plans to develop what it claims will be the UK's most efficient pumped storage hydro project at Balmacaan Estate in . This ambitious 2GW project represents an investment exceeding £2 billion and is expected to create over 600 construction jobs on-site in Scotland over a six-year period, along with thousands more jobs in the local supply chain.

As part of its development process, GEE is engaging with local communities, businesses, and government officials to gather feedback on how best to integrate the project into the environment and local community. To move the project forward, GEE is collaborating with a consortium of advisors and experts, including AECOM, , Frontier Economics, and LCP-Delta, and has recently submitted a scoping request to the Scottish Government's Energy Consents Unit.

The project's design leverages the unique geography of Loch Ness. With a significant height difference of over 480 meters between the upper and lower reservoirs, the project aims to maximize power generation while minimizing its impact on Loch Ness water levels. This innovative design ensures that GEE's project will use water more efficiently than any existing or proposed pumped storage project in the UK, according to the company.

Roderick MacLeod, director of GEE, emphasized the importance of the project. “Scotland is a leader in wind power, but the wind doesn't always blow when we need the energy most,” he said. “That's when pumped storage hydro comes in. It is like a giant water , storing excess wind power when it's plentiful and releasing it when the wind dies down.”

MacLeod further highlighted the project's significance on a larger scale. “International experts have identified Glen Earrach Energy's pumped storage hydro project as the most efficient in the UK, possibly even . It will be needed to help Britain get to net zero.”

GEE is committed to engaging with the Balmacaan Estate's local community and stakeholders. “We deeply care about the Balmacaan Estate and are committed to engaging with the local community, businesses, and government. We're actively seeking their views on how to maximize the project's positive impact on the area,” MacLeod stated.

He also addressed the role of government support in such projects. “Globally, pumped storage has relied on government support. The UK government's proposed income floor is a step in the right direction, which Glen Earrach Energy supports. We believe the government should prioritize projects proven to be the most efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable, rather than those with planning. That way, they should be self-financing and in theory never have to draw on government support.”


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