Hydro power creates about 12% of Scotland’s electricity, with substantial potential remaining to present new hydro systems and expand or improve the efficiency of existing facilities.
More than half of Scotland’s 145 hydroelectric schemes are in the Highlands and Islands location, with the most modern flowers achieving energy conversions topping 90per cent.
Complete hydro generation capacity in Scotland is approximately 1, 500 megawatts (MW), a figure that was overtaken because of the nation’s faster-growing windpower capacity in 2009.
Though hydro’s once-rapid development features slowed, brand new significant development opportunities come in hand, and range was identified for countless smaller schemes.
Significant Brand New Projects in Prospect
Two large-scale brand-new pumped storage systems are being prepared for the Great Glen area of the central Highlands by energy generation, distribution and provide business Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE).
The plants, with a blended generation capability of some 900MW, are planned for Coire Glas, north-west of Loch Lochy, and Balmacaan, near Invermoriston. They would be able to provide more than 1, 000 gigawatt hours of electricity annually to help meet peak demands. With environmental impact investigations under way, SSE make an effort to publish planning programs last year.
They would function as very first schemes created in Britain for longer than 35 many years to make use of the pumped storage technique. During low power need times, liquid is moved by electrical energy from a loch to an upper reservoir and is after that introduced to build energy during sought after periods.
SSE already operates a 300MW pumped storage scheme at Foyers, regarding the south-side of Loch Ness. In 2008, the organization finished Britain's very first large-scale main-stream (non-pump storage) hydro electric place for longer than 50 years; the £150m, 100MW Glendoe plant, near Fort Augustus.
Huge Small-scheme Potential
Despite a widespread presumption lately that Scotland’s hydro-power development is at or near its limitations, significant brand new potential happens to be identified to deal with Scotland’s lasting power aims, and play a role in local community development requirements, through minor hydroelectric systems.
A report to your Scottish national, published in January 2010, revealed a substantial selection of viably developable little hydro systems with a blended prospective capability of 1, 204MW, sufficient to provide around 1million houses.
It sets down prospective by Scottish localities, using the Highlands and Islands location bookkeeping for a major proportion of identified systems. These imply considerable competent and semi-skilled employment in construction, upkeep and other places, though development activity might be tied to facets including grid capability, consents and certification, and ecological constraints.