U.K. environment minister boosts role of Scotland hydropower

On a visit to Scotland’s 152.5-MW Sloy hydroelectric project, United Kingdom Environment Minister Joan Ruddock said hydropower plays a significant role in renewable energy in Scotland and the entire United Kingdom.

The U.K. ministry issued a statement October 21 on Ruddock’s visit to the Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) plant at Sloy Dam on Loch Lomond. Following a tour of the plant, she was briefed by SEE’s head of sustainable development, Keith Maclean, on the 100-MW Glendoe hydro project, Britain’s first big hydro scheme in 40 years, which is being built on Loch Ness.

Renewable energy production plays a key role in ensuring that the U.K. will have a secure and diverse energy mix in the future, and will help us achieve our climate change goals,Ruddock said. Hydropower plays a significant role in Scotland in particular.

The national government minister said she was impressed that Glendoe will provide enough electricity to power a city the size of Glasgow, while having the potential to offset emission of 100,000 tons of carbon per year from other power sources.

“I am committed to working with Scotland and the other devolved administrations to develop policies and programs that help us fight climate change right across the U.K.,” she said.

SSE said October 1 it would include hydro, tidal, and wave development among 600 million pounds (US$1.2 billion) in investments to reduce its carbon emissions. (HNN 10/2/07)

Scotland Minister of State David Cairns said SSE plays a crucial role in delivering a varied energy mix.

“Hydroeletric generation has a long history in Scotland,” Cairns said. “Sloy power station dates back to 1950 and the newest scheme at Glendoe, to come on line in 2009, will continue that tradition.”

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.

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