The Anonymous Widower

The Creation Of The Coire Glas Monster

Loch Ness is probably most famous for the mythical monster, but it is about to be joined by a man-made monster of a different kind.

To the South-West of Loch Ness lies Loch Lochy.

This Google Map shows the South-Western part of the Great Glen, which runs diagonally across the Highlands from Fort William in the South-West to Inverness in the North-East.

Note.

  1. Fort Augustus in the North-East corner of the map, is at the South-West end of Loch Ness.
  2. In the South-West corner of the map, Loch Lochy can be seen.
  3. To the North-West of Loch Lochy, there are mountains.

This second Google Map shows Loch Lochy and the mountains.

SSE plan to create a pumped storage hydroelectric power station called Coire Glas.

  • Loch Lochy will be the lower reservoir.
  • The upper reservoir will be in the mountains to the North-West of the loch.
  • Energy will be stored by pumping water from the lower to the higher reservoir.
  • The power station will be able to provide 1.5 GW of electricity.
  • The upper reservoir will be able to store enough water to generate 30 GWh of electricity.

If that isn’t a monster of a power station, I don’t know what is! It has more than three times the storage capacity of both Dinorwig or Cruachan.

This article on Utility Week, which is entitled Inside £1bn Pumped Hydro Plans To ‘More Than Double’ Britain’s Electricity Storage, gives more details.

This is the sort of heroic engineering, that will defeat Vlad the Mad and his bloodstained gas.

 

August 24, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Loch Kemp Pumped Hydro

Loch Kemp Is a smaller loch just to the East of Loch Ness.

This Google Map shows Loch Kemp in relation to Loch Ness.

Note.

  1. Loch Ness is in the North West corner of the map, with partial cloud cover.
  2. Loch Kemp is in the South East corner of the map.

The proposed Loch Kemp pumped hydro scheme will have these characteristics.

  • Loch Kemp will be the upper reservoir.
  • Loch Ness will be the lower reservoir.
  • The power station will be on the banks of Loch Ness.
  • The power station will be designed to fit into the environment.
  • Eight dams will be built to enlarge Loch Kemp.
  • Trees will be planted.
  • Output of the power station will be 300 MW
  • Available storage could be 9 GWh.

The station will have almost as much storage capacity as Electric Mountain, but that power station has an output of 1.8 GW.

In Glendoe Hydro Power Station, I wrote about the Glendoe Hydro Scheme.

  • It is a 100 MW hydroelectric power station
  • It has the highest head at 600 metres of any power station in the UK.
  • It opened in 2009, making it one of the newest hydroelectric power stations in the UK.
  • The actual power station is in an underground cavern.
  • The dam and power station have been designed to be hidden from view.

This Google Map shows the location of Glendoe power station to the South of Loch Kemp.

Note.

  1. The red arrow indicates Loch Kemp.
  2. The loch in the South East corner is the reservoir that feeds Glendoe power station.
  3. Fort Augustus is at the Southern end of Loch Ness.

This Google Map shows the Northern end of Loch Ness.

Note.

  1. The red arrow indicates Loch Kemp.
  2. Foyers, which is a short distance to the North West, is the site of the Foyers pumped hydro scheme. I wrote about this scheme in The Development Of The Foyers Pumped Storage Scheme.
  3. Loch Duntelchaig, in the North-East corner of the map, is being used as the upper reservoir of the Red John pumped hydro scheme. I wrote about this project in Red John Pumped Storage Hydro Project.

On the East side of Loch Ness there seems to be four substantial hydro-electric schemes.

In order from South to North these schemes are.

Glendoe

Glendoe is a modern 100 MW hydroelectric power station, that opened in 2009.

In Glendoe Hydro Power Station, I felt it might be possible to expand Glendoe into a pumped hydro scheme, with upwards of 10 GWh of storage.

Loch Kemp

Loch Kemp is a proposed 300 MW/9 GWh pumped hydro storage station.

Foyers

Foyers is an existing 300 MW/10 GWh pumped hydro storage station.

Red John

Red John is a proposed 450 MW/2.8 GWh pumped hydro storage station, which has received planning permission.

These four power stations could be summarised as follows.

  • Glendoe – 100 MW/10 GWh
  • Loch Kemp – 300 MW/9 GWh
  • Foyers – 300 MW/10 GWh
  • Red John – 450 MW/2.8 GWh

Note.

  1. Totals are 1150 MW and 31.8 GWh
  2. Foyers was converted from a conventional hydroelectric power station, that was opened in 1895  to a pumped hydro storage station.
  3. If Foyers can be converted, why can’t Glendoe.

A very large pumped storage station of four separate units, can be built on the East side of Loch Ness.

Conclusion

This is only on the East side of Loch Ness, so if the West side can be similarly developed, Loch Ness could be developed into a real Loch Ness monster with over 60 GWh of pumped hydro storage.

 

March 21, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Repurposing The Great Glen Hydro-Electric Scheme

The Great Glen hydro-electric scheme was built in the 1950s and early 1960s, by the North of Scotland Hydroelectric Board.

  • The scheme is now owned by SSE Renewables and has a page on their web site.
  • There are six individual power stations; Ceannacroc, Livishie, Glenmoriston, Quoich, Invergarry and Mucomir.
  • There are five dams; Cluanie, Loyne, Dundreggan, Quoich and Invergarry.

This map from the SSE Renewables web site shows the layout of the dams and power stations.

The sizes of the power stations in the scheme are as follows.

  • Ceannacroc – 20 MW
  • Livishie – 15 MW
  • Glenmoriston- 37 MW
  • Quoich – 18 MW
  • Invergarry – 20 MW
  • Mucomir – 1.7 MW

This gives a total power of 112.7 MW.

This Google Map shows the same area as the SSE Renewables Map.

Note.

  1. Loch Quoich is in the South-West corner.
  2. To the East of Loch Quoitch is Loch Garry and to the North-East is Loch Loyne.
  3. Loch Cluanie is to the North.
  4. Invermoriston is in the North-East corner.

The scheme also includes three underground power stations and several miles of tunnels.

Strathclyde University And Pumped Storage Power For Scotland

This page on the Strathclyde University gives a list of the pumped storage potential for Scottish hydrogen-electric dams and power stations.

These figures are given for the dams and lochs in the Great Glen scheme.

  • Invergarry – 22 GWh
  • Glenmoriston- 41 GWh
  • Quoich – 27 GWh

It would appear that based on research from Strathclyde University, that the Great Glen scheme could support up to 90 GWh of pumped storage.

Water Flows In The Great Glen Scheme

Looking at the SSE Renewables map of the Great Glen scheme, water flows appear to be as follows.

 

  • Loch Quoitch to Loch Garry via Quoitch power station.
  • Loch Garry to Loch Oich via Invergarry power station.
  • Loch Loyne to Loch Dundreggan via River Moriston.
  • Loch Cluanie to Loch Dundreggan via Ceannacroc power station and River Moriston.
  • Loch Dundreggan to Loch Ness via Glenmoriston power station.

All the water eventually flows into the sea at Inverness.

Refurbishing And Repurposing The Great Glen Scheme

Perhaps as the power stations are now over fifty years old, one simple way to increase the generating capacity of the Great Glen scheme, might be to selectively replace the turbines, with modern turbines, that can generate electricity more efficiently.

I suspect that SSE Renewables have an ongoing program of improvements and replacements for all of their hydro-electric stations in Scotland. Some turbines at Sloy power station have already been replaced with larger ones.

Adding Pumped Storage To The Great Glen Scheme

I would assume that the water to pump uphill at night or when there is a surplus of electricity will come from Loch Oich or Loch Ness.

Some power stations like Glenmoriston and Invergarry might be updated to both generate electricity or pump water up hill, as is required.

Conclusion

There would appear to be up to three schemes, that could  each add around 30 GWh of pumped storage.

One advantage is that the waters of Loch Ness can be used for the lower reservoir.

February 20, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Possible Balmacaan Pumped Storage System

This article on Power Technology is entitled SSE Proposes Loch Ness Hydro Power Plant.

These are the first three paragraphs.

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has begun consultations to develop a 600MW hydro electric power plant on the shores of Loch Ness in Scotland.

SSE proposes to build a pumped storage scheme on the Balmacaan Estate between Invermoriston and Drumnadrochit.

The plan also includes construction of a dam and a new reservoir at Loch nam Breac Dearga, north-east of Invermoriston, according to Inverness-courier.co.uk.

This Google Map shows the location of Loch nam Breac Darga.

Note.

  1. Loch Ness runs diagonally across the map.
  2. Invermoriston is in the South-West corner of the map.
  3. Loch nam Breac Darga is marked by the red arrow and is 452 metres above sea level.
  4. Drumnadrochit is at the North of the map, just to the West of Urquhart Castle.
  5. The Foyers Pumped Hydro scheme, which I wrote about in The Development Of The Foyers Pumped Storage Scheme is on the opposite bank of Loch Ness from Loch nam Breac Darga.

This could be Scotland’s largest hydro-electric plant.

I can’t find a value for the amount of energy that can be stored, but I suspect it could be in the order of 15-20 GWh.

The stories about this project seem to be thin on the ground, so could it be that this project has been placed on the back burner by SSE.

February 19, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Red John Pumped Storage Hydro Project

When I wrote ILI Group To Develop 1.5GW Pumped Storage Hydro Project, I noticed that they were also developing a scheme called Red John near Inverness.

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Power Technology.

I have also found a web site for the project, which is part of the ILI Group web site.

  • The scheme has an output of 450 MW.
  • The storage capacity is 2,800 MWh or 2.8 GWh.
  • The scheme has planning consent.
  • The project is budgeted to cost £550 million.
  • The construction program indicates that the scheme will be completed by the end of 2025.

This paragraph from this article on Water Power and Dam Construction, describes the head and tail ponds.

The Red John project will be located on the eastern shore of the north end of Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland. Loch Ness is to be the tail pond for the project, with the head pond to be newly constructed. It will use the natural topography between Loch Duntelchaig, Loch Ashie and Loch na Curra and Lochan an Eoin Ruadha, from where the development gets its Red John name.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note.

  1. Loch Ness is in the West.
  2. Loch Ashie is in the North.
  3. Loch Duntelchaig is in the East.

This second Google Map shows the area between Lochs Ness, Duntelchaig and Ashie in more detail.

Loch na Curra and Lochan an Eoin Ruadha are now named and can be picked out in the previous map.

It looks like there will be a lot of heavy construction works to create the head pond.

Conclusion

This scheme has the output of a large gas-fired power station for just over six hours.

The finances must add up, as no-one would back a scheme like this if they didn’t get an adequate return on their money.

February 10, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , | 5 Comments