Innovative engineering solutions supporting UK energy security, reducing energy costs, and cutting carbon emissions
At current capacity, the Drax Cruachan Pumped Storage Hydro Power Station in Scotland can provide enough clean hydroelectric power for more than 500,000 homes. Using pump storage hydro, the facility provides flexible, responsive power generation from its “Hollow Mountain” power station deep within Ben Cruachan.
When Drax saw potential to expand generating capacity by 600MW, Stantec’s environmental, planning and design teams provided support. Our teams engaged with primary stakeholders, including Network Rail, Transport Scotland, local authorities, the Renewables Alliance, and the public to showcase the plan—which helps meet net zero targets while enhancing domestic energy security. The public consultation enjoyed a high level of engagement from local residents, for many of whom the original Cruachan power station is a source of local pride.
We refined the concept design for expansion, with a plan for a new underground power cavern, associated tunnels, and new intake and lower control works at the upper and lower reservoirs. Notably, the proposals do not require any alterations to the grade-A listed Cruachan Dam.
Drax has now submitted the application for consent under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 from the Scottish Government – a process expected to take around one year to complete.
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