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Loch Ness 'Powerhouse' to usher in a new era of pumped storage hydro

December 12 2023

Loch Ness 'Powerhouse' to usher in a new era of pumped storage hydro

A new hydroelectric power station modelled on abstracted tree branches at Loch Ness has moved a step closer with the submission of a planning application.

The Powerhouse, home to a twin turbine hall powered by discharged water from Loch Kemp, will sit on the waterfront behind a linear facade etched out by a series of angled lines.

Home to a proposed visitor centre and jetty the pumped storage complex will be positioned on the south shore at Whitebridge and will have a capacity of 600MW - sufficient to power hundreds of thousands of homes.

In a concept statement Statera Energy, Ash and HRI Munro Architecture wrote: "The design of the powerhouse and sub-station has been inspired by the simple but powerful landscape while drawing on the fine tradition of the hydroelectric schemes of the past, where contemporary yet simple industrial forms settle neatly into their surroundings. The use of glass, concrete and stone, along with the green roof, is reflective of the materials, forms and textures occurring within the context of the site."

Works to the upper reservoir will require the construction of eight dams as well as an inlet/outlet structure. Upper and lower levels will be connected by underground tunnels and a surge shaft. 


Archie Wilson
#1 Posted by Archie Wilson on 14 Dec 2023 at 07:59 AM
Great we are making progress!!
#2 Posted by Lovely on 17 Dec 2023 at 15:20 PM
The article says it 'will have a capacity of 600MW - sufficient to power hundreds of thousands of homes'. This is very questionable indeed and even more so if everything is to switch to electric any time soon. Hydroelectric has its place but does a certain amount of environmental damage in its installation and operation. Please let's not pretend that this sticking plaster will cover the wound of never-ending, exponentially increasing consumption demanded but our debt based money system and interlinked corporate oligarchy. We must try harder to understand and solve the root of the problem, which is easily done but no one wants to really understand it.
Malcolm Riddell
#3 Posted by Malcolm Riddell on 18 Dec 2023 at 09:12 AM
Especially when later the price of electricity drops and they leave the mess behind like the inefficient Hydo Dams of the past. At least it isn't blocking salmon passage only upsetting pH and other things no doubt.
Martin Lee
#4 Posted by Martin Lee on 18 Dec 2023 at 23:53 PM
"Lovely" says that 600MW being able to supply hundreds of thousands of homes is highly questionable.
This view is from some one who hasn't thought through how a pumped storage scheme will work in an electricity grid which relies on renewables as the main or even only source of energy for the grid.

600MW across 200,000 homes leaves a figure per average home of 3.0kW.

Even if we go all electric for heating and personal transport much of that load can be managed. A figure of 3 kW per home seams reasonable. A typical heat pump to heat a well insulated house will only take up to 2kW. This leaves 1kW for all other uses. Figures for existing homes with gas fired heating are typically only 1.4kW and falling as appliances get more efficient.

EVs which may be one of the largest loads can be managed so that they switch off when other loads are present.

This is likely to be driven by price and when prices are high due to low output from other sources I would be quite confident that heating and EV charging loads would drop away and easily allow a 600MW pumped storage scheme to supply 200,000 homes in an all electric future.

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