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Scottish & Southern Energy plans 2 new hydro electric schemes in Scotland

Scottish & Southern Energy plans 2 new hydro electric schemes in Scotland

Scottish and Southern Energy PLC (LSE: SSE) said it is proposing to develop two new large scale pumped storage hydro electric schemes in the Great Glen. It will seek the Scottish government’s formal opinion on the scope of the environmental impact statement that would accompany planning applications for the schemes, currently planned to be submitted during 2011. 

The proposed schemes are currently envisaged to have an installed capacity of between 300 and 600 MegaWatts each and be able to produce in excess of 1,000 GigaWatt hours of electricity in a typical year to help meet peak demand.

Both schemes would require the construction of a dam in order to impound water and create the upper reservoirs, but it is currently envisaged that water pumping and electricity generation at both developments will be carried out underground, thereby avoiding any visual impact in the Great Glen itself, S&SE said.

The new projects would be the first pumped storage schemes to be developed in Great Britain since work began on the Dinorwig scheme in Wales in 1974. 

Pumped storage schemes involve two bodies of water, located at different heights. During periods of low demand for power, electricity is used to pump water from the lower loch to the upper reservoir. This water is then released to create power at a time when demand is high. 

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