An anonymous energy blogger named “Scottish Scientist” has posted a proposal for a giant pumped hydro storage facility in the Scottish Highlands with the potential to service most of Europe.
The numbers are massive:
Height dam: 300 meter
Width dam: 2,000 meter
Max. water elevation: 650 meter
Storage volume: 4.4 billion m3
Lake surface area: 40 km2
Energy content: 6,800 GWh or 283 GW days
The new storage facility would have “enough capacity to balance and back-up the intermittent renewable energy generators such as wind and solar power now in use for the whole of Europe!”
If one “limits” the area to a circle with a radius of 3,000 km and applies 800 kW transmission lines, a two-way storage efficiency of 79% could be achieved. However, if limited to the North Sea area, one-way losses could be reduced to 7%.
The proposed design would includ a “stepped-canal solution”, see picture above. The biggest cost would be building a large canal of 170 meter width, which would require to move more earth than in the Panama Canal project to allow for discharging water speeds of 10-11 m/s.
[scottishscientist] – World’s biggest-ever pumped-storage hydro-scheme, for Scotland?
[Google Maps] – Strathdearn
[savestrathdearn.com] – Save Strathdearn Valley (local resistance to be expected)
[euanmearns.com] – The Loch Ness Monster of Energy Storage