Scotland’s 400-MW Glenmuckloch pumped-storage scheme receives ministerial approval

Scottish Ministers have granted their approval for the construction and operation of a 400-MW pumped-storage hydroelectric plant at the Glenmuckloch surface coal mine.

The project is being developed by a joint venture between Buccleuch Estates and 2020 Renewables known as Glenmuckloch Pumped Storage Hydro Ltd., which previously received endorsements from local authorities in July.

“For five years we have been working closely with the local community and Hargreaves Surface Mining to restore and transform the site,” Buccleuch Estates CEO John Glen said.

The plant will be located near Dumfries and Galloway in southwestern Scotland, and could ultimately take up to six years to construct.

To become a reality, the US$190 million proposal will likely require further investments. If, however, the partners can find the necessary backing, the project is expected to create more than 320 jobs during its construction and up to 15 permanent positions.

“The Glenmuckloch development is a perfect example of how green energy projects can make use of the infrastructure of the past and rejuvenate the local economy,” Scottish Renewables policy manager Hannah Smith said. “It is vital that the UK government works to recognize the potential of this technology if we are to realize these benefits across the country.”

Scotland is already home to several pumped-storage stations — notably the 300-MW Foyers and 440-MW Cruachan — though Glenmuckloch would be the first new such facility to be built in more than three decades, according to 2020 Renewables officials.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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