SSE is providing a £100m investment boost into a major UK pumped hydro storage scheme.
Located on the shores of Loch Lochy, between Fort William and Inverness, the Coire Glas project is expected to require a capital investment of over £1.5bn to construct and, if approved for final delivery, would be the first pumped hydro storage scheme to be built in the UK in 40 years.
The project, which received planning consent from the Scottish Government in 2020, would also more than double Britain’s total current electricity storage capacity.
SSE hopes to make a final investment decision on Coire Glas in 2024, subject to positive development progress and the prevailing policy environment, and to fully construct and commission the pumped storage scheme by 2031.
Once complete, Coire Glas would be capable of delivering 30GWh of long duration storage. The scheme would take excess energy from the grid and use it to pump water 500 metres up a hill from Loch Lochy to an upper reservoir equivalent to nearly 11,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
SSE Finance Director Gregor Alexander said: “Coire Glas will be one of the most ambitious energy infrastructure projects the UK has ever seen and is a key component of SSE’s commitment to helping lead Scotland and the UKs’ energy transition.
“The £100m investment we have announced today will help play a crucial role in further advancing the Coire Glas project towards a final investment decision in 2024, which will enable the project to move towards construction. If delivered around the turn of the decade, Coire Glas could play a crucial role in getting the UK to net zero.”