A Scottish renewable energy company has unveiled plans for a pump storage hydro (PSH) project near Loch Ness, which would provide important new energy storage for Scotland.
Dubbed as a project that is "fundamental to Scotland's renewable ambitions", the plans will see developer Intelligent Land Investments (ILI), build a 400MW pumped hydro scheme called 'Red John' in Scotland's Highlands.
"Storage is an essential enabler in the energy transition, allowing the Grid to store energy that cannot be absorbed naturally by consumers during times of peak wind or solar generation," ILI explained in its plans.
"Pumped storage hydro is the cleanest energy storage technology currently available, offering the largest capacity."
The Red John scheme will see water pumped between Loch Ness and a newly created upper headpond, which will use the natural topography between Loch Duntelchaig, Loch Ashie, Loch na Curra and Lochan an Eoin Ruadha, from where the development gets the Red John name.
"Renewable energy capacity in Scotland has more than doubled since 2007, but due to its intermittent nature there is a need to store surplus energy from sources such as wind so it can be used when we need it most," explained Mark Wilson, CEO of ILI.
"Pumped storage hydro is the largest and cleanest form of energy storage that currently exists - and a key enabler in helping Scotland meet its green energy ambitions."
As well as dramatically improving energy security, the transformational proposal is also an opportunity for the community to benefit from the energy transition while helping turbo-charge Scotland's decarbonisation efforts, Wilson added.
It is anticipated that the construction phase will create between 200 and 300 jobs. Once complete, Red John would be able to provide 2.4GWh of storage capacity for the Grid over a six hour period.
A GWh is apparently enough to power around one million homes for about an hour, meaning Red John could power 400,000 houses for up to one hour if the plans went ahead.
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