Contractor picked for exploratory works on £1bn pumped hydro scheme

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Strabag UK has been picked to implicit exploratory works for a £1bn pumped hydro task astatine Coire Glas successful Scotland.

The 1,500MW task connected the shores of Loch Lochy is backed by SSE Renewables and is the archetypal strategy of its benignant successful the UK for 3 decades.

Pumped hydro projects are designed to usage renewable vigor to spot h2o into an precocious reservoir, which stores the water, and erstwhile it is released it generates energy from turbines. The Coire Glas task volition impact the operation of an precocious reservoir, measuring up to 92 metres heavy and 0.6 miles wide.

A 4 metre-diameter passageway of up to 0.6 miles agelong volition beryllium built to link the precocious reservoir and the loch, arsenic good arsenic an underground powerfulness presumption complex.

Initial plans for the Coire Glas task envisaged a 600MW-capacity scheme, but this was revised to 1,500MW, and it was approved by the Scottish Government successful October 2020. The task is expected to instrumentality 5 to six years to implicit and the installation volition person an operational lifespan of much than 50 years.

Of the project’s estimated outgo of much than £1bn, implicit 70 per cent is for the civilian engineering structures.

Four teams were invited to tender for the Scottish project’s exploratory works successful February. These included:

Bechtel, Acciona Construcción and Webuild consortium; Bam Nuttall, Eiffage Génie Civil and Marti Tunnel consortium; Dragados and BeMo Tunnelling UK consortium; and Strabag UK.

The findings of the exploratory works volition beryllium utilized to pass the last plan and volition beryllium an important information successful SSE Renewables’ last determination connected whether to proceed with the Coire Glas project.

Coire Glas task manager Ian Innes said: “Coire Glas is 1 of the astir important engineering projects to instrumentality spot successful the UK for galore years and this was reflected successful the prime of the tenders SSE Renewables received for the exploratory works.

“With Strabag UK successful place, we tin summation our absorption connected the section proviso chain, and making definite that Coire Glas provides a bequest of jobs and concern for businesses successful the area. We look guardant to proceeding with the exploratory works aboriginal this twelvemonth and taking different important measurement guardant successful the improvement of Coire Glas.”

The Coire Glas strategy is 1 of a fig of pumped hydro projects presently nether mode successful Scotland. In June 2021, the Scottish authorities approved a £550m strategy connected the shores of Loch Ness.