Locals express concern about SSE’s 600-MW Lochaber pumped-storage facility

Plans for a proposed 600-MW pumped-storage facility at Scotland’s Loch a’ Choire Ghlais have come under fire due to questions concerning the project’s infrastructure needs, HydroWorld.com has learned.

Residents around the loch are concerned that the development of roads necessary for construction of the pumped-storage project could have a negative impact on wildlife, but the plant’s developer — Scottish and Southern Energy Renewables (SSE) — says it will take those concerns into account before reaching a decision whether it will proceed with the project.

SSE filed an application with the Scottish government in February, seeking approval for the US$1.26 billion project that would be the first new pumped-storage facility developed in Great Britain since 1974.

The plant would require the construction of a new 92-meter-high dam and upper reservoir in Loch a’ Choire Ghlais, with tunnels connected to a powerhouse at the lower reservoir, Loch Lochy.

SSE says it won’t reach a final decision on the plant’s future until 2014 at the earliest.

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