The Anonymous Widower

Will Coire Glas Start A Pumped Storage Boom In Scotland?

This article on Renewables Now is entitled SSE Gets Tenders For Construction Of 1.5-GW Pumped Hydro Scheme.

This is the first paragraph.

SSE Renewables said on Wednesday it has received tenders for the main construction works for the Coire Glas hydro pumped storage project with a capacity of up to 1.5 GW in the Scottish Highlands.

It then lists, the companies who have tendered for the project.

SE Renewables said the ITT has drawn global interest. The tenderers shortlisted for mechanical and electrical plant scope are a partnership between ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH and Voith Hydro GmbH & Co KG, and GE Hydro France. The parties shortlisted for the civil engineering scope include three consortia and STRABAG UK Ltd. The consortia are made up of Bechtel Ltd, Acciona Construccion SA and Webuild SpA; BAM Nuttall Ltd, Eiffage Genie Civil SA and Marti Tunnel AG; and Dragados SA and BeMo Tunnelling UK Ltd.

It is an impressive list.

The article says that construction is to start in 2024. Other sources say the pumped storage project will have a storage capacity of 30 GWh, which will make it the largest pumped storage plant in the UK.

This press release from SSE Renewables is entitled Tenders Submitted For The Coire Glas Pumped Storage Scheme.

The press release contains this quote from the Project Director for Coire Glas; Ian Innes.

Receiving the tenders on schedule from the six short-listed tenderers is another significant milestone for the Coire Glas project and we are grateful for their continued interest in the project.

We are encouraged by the content of the tenders which now provides the Coire Glas project team with several options on how construction of the project could be undertaken. It is going to take some time to carefully consider and scrutinise the tenders thoroughly and we look forward to working with the tenderers as we endeavour to make our selection decision.

It appears that not only were the tenders received from quality companies, but that they contained options and ideas that could improve the project.

Coire Glas would appear to me to be a project, that is attracting the best companies and they could be putting their best workers on the project.

These are my thoughts.

The Potential For Pumped Storage Schemes In Scotland

There are at least six schemes under development or proposed in Scotland.

This page on the Strathclyde University web site, gives these figures for the possible amounts of pumped-storage that can be added to existing hydro schemes.

  • Errochty – 16
  • Glasgarnock – 23
  • Luichart – 38
  • Clunie – 40
  • Fannich – 70
  • Rannoch – 41
  • Fasnakyle – 78
  • Tummel – 38
  • Ben Lawers – 12
  • Nant – 48
  • Invermoriston – 22
  • Invergarry – 41
  • Quoich – 27
  • Sloy – 20

That is a total of 547 GWh or 653.3 GWh if you include the new storage, I listed above.

Scotland would appear to be land overflowing with large pumped storage possibilities and could provide the modern equivalent of milk and honey.

The Potential For Offshore Wind Power Schemes In Scotland

This is the first two paragraphs of this press release on the Crown Estate Scotland web site.

Crown Estate Scotland has today announced the outcome of its application process for ScotWind Leasing, the first Scottish offshore wind leasing round in over a decade and the first ever since the management of offshore wind rights were devolved to Scotland.

The results coming just months after Glasgow hosted the global COP26 climate conference show the huge opportunity that Scotland has to transform its energy market and move towards a net zero economy.

Some highlights are then listed.

  • 17 projects have been selected out of a total of 74 applications.
  • A total of just under £700m will be paid by the successful applicants in option fees and passed to the Scottish Government for public spending.
  • The area of seabed covered by the 17 projects is just over 7,000km2.
  • Initial indications suggest a multi-billion pound supply chain investment in Scotland
  • The potential power generated will move Scotland towards net-zero.

This map shows the location of each wind farm.

Note, that the numbers are Scotwind’s lease number in their documents.

Fixed Foundation Wind Farms

These are the six fixed foundation wind farms.

  • 1 – BP Alternative Energy Investments – 859 km² – 2.9 GW
  • 6 – DEME – 187 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 9 – Ocean Winds – 429 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 13 – Offshore Wind Power – 657 km² – 2.0 GW
  • 16 – Northland Power – 161 km² – 0.8 GW
  • 17 – Scottish Power Renewables – 754 km² – 2.0 GW

Adding up these fixed foundation wind farms gives a capacity of 9.7 GW in 3042 km² or about 3.2 MW per km².

Floating Wind Farms

These are the ten floating wind farms.

  • 2- SSE Renewables – 859 km² – 2.6 GW
  • 3 – Falck Renewables Wind – 280 km² – 1.2 GW
  • 4 – Shell – 860 km² – 2.0 GW
  • 5 – Vattenfall – 200 km² – 0.8 GW
  • 7 – DEME Concessions Wind – 200 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 8 – Falck Renewables Wind – 256 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 10 – Falck Renewables Wind – 134 km² – 0.5 GW
  • 11 – Scottish Power Renewables – 684 km² – 3.0 GW
  • 12 – BayWa r.e. UK  – 330 km² – 1.0 GW
  • 14 – Northland Power – 390 km² – 1.5 GW

Adding up the floating wind farms gives a capacity of 14.6 GW in 4193 km² or about 3.5 MW per km².

Mixed Wind Farms

This is the single wind farm, that has mixed foundations.

15 – Magnora – 103 km² – 0.5 GW

This wind farm appears to be using floating wind turbines.

These wind farms total up to 24.8 GW

I would expect that this is only a phase in the development of Scottish wind power, which will grow substantially over the next decade.

As I write this the UK is generating a total of 26.2 GW of electricity.

Backing Up The Wind Power

This wind power, which could grow up to well over 50 GW in Scotland alone.

But what do you do, when there is no wind?

Energy will need to come from batteries, which in Scotland’s case could be over 500 GWh of pumped storage.

Europe’s Powerhouse

It is not an unreasonable prediction, that we will continue to expand our wind farms to supply Europe with thousands of GWh of electricity and/or millions of tonnes of green hydrogen.


It is likely that we’ll see an upward increase of wind power in Scotland closely matched by a similar increase in pumped storage.

It is no wonder that the world’s largest and most experienced contractors were so keen to get the first big contract in Scotland’s new pumped storage boom.

They know a good thing, when they see it and after their experience with the Scotland’s oil boom in the last century, I doubt they are delaying their return.



June 3, 2022 - Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Will Coire Glas Start A Pumped Storage Boom In Scotland?, I estimated that the potential could be over half a TWh of […]

    Pingback by New Zealand’s $Bn Pumped Storage Hydropower Project: Making It Worthwhile « The Anonymous Widower | December 13, 2022 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: