ILI Group to build 600-MW Corrievarkie pumped storage hydro project in Scotland

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ILI Group has begun the initial planning phase for the new 600-MW Corrievarkie Pumped Storage Hydro (PSH) project at Loch Ericht, Dalwhinnie, Highlands. This is the company’s second PSH project, after 450-MW Red John at Loch Ness achieved planning consent from Scottish Ministers in June 2021.

The project will create a new upper reservoir in the hills above Loch Ericht that will hold 22 million cubic meters of water when full.

The broader adoption of long-duration energy storage projects such as this is seen as essential to the further deployment of renewable energy projects and critical to meeting UK Climate commitments, according to a press release. Last month, the UK Government launched a Call for evidence “Facilitating the deployment of large-scale and long-duration electricity storage,” asking for feedback from stakeholders in the industry on how best to remove development barriers for long-duration storage.

“Our latest Pumped Storage project at Loch Ericht will help offset over 83 million tons of CO2 over its lifetime, helping the further deployment of renewable energy and reducing reliance on fossil fuel generators,” said Mark Wilson, chief executive officer of ILI Group. “It’s hard to overstate the importance of long-duration storage projects like these to the UK, as we see the increase in the effects of climate change across the world. The recent IPCC report on climate change makes for depressing reading and is another wake-up call to world leaders that further steps need to be taken now to avert disaster.

“The UK Government has recognized the need for action releasing the Smart systems and flexibility plan 2021, alongside the Call for evidence for long duration storage last month in which we are fully participating. There is currently a pipeline of over 5 GW of pumped storage in the UK, it would be an outstanding statement of intent, if in the year of COP26 the UK Government put the market mechanisms in place to kick start these projects”

“The benefits for these projects will extend past climate bringing up to £3Billion in construction investment into the UK and Scotland, creating thousands of new jobs as we exit the COVID crisis.”

Eddie Rich, CEO of the International Hydropower Association, said: “Backing up the grid for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, is the ignored crisis within the crisis. Pumped storage hydro facilities like Corrievarkie and Red John are an essential element of any decarbonized electricity system. Congratulations to ILI Group on this important step towards a net zero UK.”

Intelligent Land Investments Group (ILI) is a clean energy development company focused on energy storage in Great Britain, especially Scotland. ILI has been developing a 2-GW portfolio of pumped storage assets and 1 GW of utility scale battery storage to “development ready” status.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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