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Pumped Hydro Storage In Scotland

cruachreserv[source]
Cruachan power station

As reported earlier, renewable energy is doing well in Scotland. But with the increase of that segment of energy generation, the need for storage becomes ever more prominent, considering the intermittent nature of renewable energy supply. The best remedy to date is pumped hydro storage, meaning: if you have too much supply of renewable energy, use that energy to pump water high up into a mountain reservoir and release that potential energy when energy demand is larger than the existing renewable energy system is able to supply.

Currently Scotland has two reservoirs used for pumped storage: Cruachan (1967, 400 MW) and Foyers (1969, 300 MW):

foyers-cruachan

With increased exploitation of renewable energy, more facilities need to become available to even out intermittent supply. Two options:
1. Connection to the European Supergrid
2. New local hydro-pumped storage facilities

Two new facilities re planned for the Great Glen area with a combined capacity of 900 MW.

It has been calculated that if Scotland wants to keep storage matters entirely in its own hands, it would need 7 GW total pumped hydro storage capacity, ten times as much as is available now.

Strong opposition from environmentalists against more mountain hydro reservoirs exists, but it remains to be seen how much of that resistance remains, once push comes to shove and an average Scot is forced to stay in bed in a dark home, thinking about how he would like to have his environmentalist best: medium or well done.

Another option would be to combine large scale pumped hydro storage with battery storage at home, where matters are developing fast, with $100/kwh a possibility in the long term. Under these circumstances, for ca. $1,000 a family could store electricity for two days or more.

[scotsrenewables.com] – Pumped Storage Hydro In Scotland
[secretscotland.org.uk] – Cruachan Power Station
[wikipedia.org] – List of 10 Scottish hydro-electric power stations

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