Biomass power company Drax Group Plc plans to excavate part of a Scottish mountain to house a new hydro power station that will double the capacity of its plant there.
Drax is applying for permission to build a new underground pumped storage station that would increase total capacity of its existing hydro site to over a gigawatt, the company said in a statement. Drax says construction work could start by 2024 and the station could be operational by 2030, creating hundreds of jobs in Scotland.
The company, primarily known for its biomass power station in northern England, aims to excavate two million tons of rock to house the up to 600-megawatt power station inside a hollowed-out cavern in Ben Cruachan, a mountain in the west of Scotland.
“Drax’s plan to expand Cruachan will strengthen the UK’s energy security by enabling more homegrown renewable electricity to come online to power homes and businesses across the country,” said Ian Kinnaird, Drax’s Scottish Assets Director.
Read More: U.K. Needs Much More Power Storage as Part of Its Green Future
Pumped storage hydropower essentially works by passing water between two different reservoirs at different heights, turning a turbine as the water moves, and can been switched on quickly to provide electricity to the grid at times of high demand. The UK needs to expand its capacity for storing electricity for longer in order to balance the intermittency of renewable energy like wind and solar, Aurora Energy Research said in February.
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