Reaction: Drax approved for new £500m Cruachan 2 pumped storage hydro project 

Morag Watson (Scottish Renewables)

DRAX Group has announced it has secured development consent from The Scottish Government for its plans to build a new £500m underground pumped storage hydro plant at its existing Cruachan facility in Argyll.

The announcement was made during a visit by Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf to Drax’s Cruachan power station on the shores of Loch Awe.

Morag Watson, Director of Policy at Scottish Renewables, said:

Today’s announcement from Drax and The Scottish Government is not only exciting news for Cruachan power station and the wider renewable energy industry, it’s a really positive step forward for the transition to net-zero in Scotland.

“Long-duration electricity storage, such as pumped storage hydro, will be essential for ensuring energy security and keeping energy bills low for consumers as we decarbonise our energy system. And the extension to the plant at Cruachan is one vital step towards maximising the benefits available from this technology.

“More pumped storage hydro means we can store cheap renewable electricity for when it is needed most, but much more needs to be done to support investment in the technology.

“We know that six projects currently under development in Scotland will more than double the UK’s pumped storage hydro capacity to 7.7GW, create almost 15,000 jobs and generate up to £5.8 billion for the UK economy by 2035.

“Therefore, we urgently need the UK Government to clarify its support for pumped storage hydro projects, deliver the investment framework needed to get these shovel-ready projects into construction and unlock the huge value these projects promise to deliver.”

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