U.K. utility plans 60-MW pumped-storage plant at 152-MW Sloy

United Kingdom utility Scottish and Southern Energy plc (SSE) said May 21, 2009, it plans to construct a 60-MW pumped-storage plant adjoining its 152-MW Sloy hydroelectric project near Loch Lomond in Scotland.

SSE said it is submitting an application to Scottish Ministers for consent to develop the Sloy pumped-storage project. It said in addition to generating electricity from water stored in Loch Sloy, the new development would enable the project to generate electricity using water pumped from Loch Lomond to the reservoir.

The utility said in an average year, Sloy generates about 120 gigawatt-hours (GWh). Converting it to pumped storage would allow it to produce another 100 GWh in a typical year to serve peak demand.

SSE estimated the pumped-storage project would require an investment of more than 30 million pounds (US$47.6 million).

Sloy formally reopened in 1999 after extensive refurbishment by SSE costing 113 million pounds (US$229 million). The work extended the life of the station another 30 to 40 years and increased plant capacity through installation of modern turbine and generator technologies. (HydroWorld 10/23/07)

SSE said it also is exploring whether other sites could be suitable for development of pumped-storage schemes.

“Hydroelectric schemes which use stored water to generate electricity have an important part to play in meeting peak demand and also in complementing the growing, but variable, amount of output from wind farms,” SSE Chief Executive Ian Marchant said. (HydroWorld 3/5/09) “This means that developments like Sloy that increase storage and generation capability will play a bigger part in meeting energy needs as the development of renewable energy gathers pace.”

SSE said the hydro project plan was to help it keep on track for a 50 percent reduction in the carbon intensity of its generating activity between 2006 and 2020. It also announced plans to acquire Abernedd Power Co. Ltd. to allow construction of a new 870-MW gas-fired plant as well as plans to build a 540-MW wind farm with Viking Energy Ltd.

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