£550m Loch Ness pumped storage scheme gets green light

by Liam Turner
A photo of Loch Ness

The Scottish government has given the go-ahead for a £550m pumped storage project on the shores of Loch Ness.

ILI Group will deliver the ‘Red John’ project, which will see a 450 mega-watt pumped storage hydro scheme built within the Highland beauty spot.

ILI said approval of the project signals the start of a process that could see hundreds of millions of pounds invested in the local economy.

It is projected that the project will bring up to 700 direct and indirect jobs to the area.

ILI claims the project will also save 45 million tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime.

ILI chief executive Mark Wilson said: “There is currently a pipeline of over 5GW of pumped storage in the UK, but we need to work closely with the UK government to implement the market mechanisms that are needed to drive investment into these projects to ensure we hit our net-zero targets.”

Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for Net-zero, Energy, and Transport, added: “Scotland is a leader in this field, with excellent hydro-electric power heritage built over the last century, and this new scheme at Loch Ness will only add to that.

“As we add more renewable electricity generation across Scotland, investing in pumped hydro storage will be key to balancing our electricity demand with supply and keeping the system secure, as well as creating high quality, green jobs and enabling a green recovery from the pandemic.

“That is why we continue to call on the UK government to take the urgent action required in reserved areas to provide investors with improved revenue certainty and unlock potentially significant investment in new pumped storage capacity in Scotland.”

Image: Stefano Zaccaria


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