Scottish and Southern Electricity [SSE] have submitted plans for a new 300-600MW hydro scheme near Spean Bridge in Lochaber.
It will be near Kilfinnan Farm, south-west of Laggan and north-west of Loch Lochy
With the necessary consultation periods complete, the plans, now with the Scottish Government, involve the construction of a dam and creation of a new reservoir at Loch a’ Choire Ghlais.
The scheme would be for a pumped storage system which involves a higher and a lower body of water – as is the case at Argyll’s once pioneering Cruachan power station. At peak periods of demand, water is released from the higher loch, through the turbinesand out into the lower loc.
When demand is low – at night, for example, electricity at6 a lower tariff pumps the water back up from the lower loch to the upper reservoir.
A key advantage of a pumped storage scheme at Coire Glas is the site’s proximity to the large lower reservoir which would be provided by Loch Lochy.
There is significant elevation of around 500m between the upper and lower reservoir sites over a relatively short distance, cranking up the generative power of the site.
A dam and a new reservoir would be created at Loch a’ Choire Ghlais. The water will transfer between the new reservoir and an underground cavern power station – as at Cruachan – via a headrace tunnel; and then between the power station and Loch Lochy via a tailrace tunnel.
The south planning applications committee of Highland Council will consider the proposal on Tuesday 30th October, council officers are recommending no objections and the decision will finally be taken by the Scottish Government.