Developer ILI Group proposes 1.5GW/45GWh pumped hydro project in Scotland

By Alice Grundy
Cruachan Dam, Scotland, site of an existing 440MW pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) facility. Image: Drax.

Clean energy developer ILI Group has begun the initial planning phase for a new pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) project in Scotland.

The Balliemeanoch project at Loch Awe, Dalmally in Argyll and Bute will be able to supply 1.5GW of power for up to 30 hours. It is the third and largest of ILI’s pumped storage hydro projects, with the other two being Red John at Loch Ness and Corrievarkie at Loch Ericht.

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The Balliemeanoch project will create a new ‘head pond’ in the hills above Loch Awe capable of holding 58 million cubic metres of water when full.

Mark Wilson, CEO of ILI Group, said that long-duration energy storage, particularly storage over four hours, is “crucial” to reaching net zero, with announcements such as the new seabed leases for offshore wind making energy storage projects such as Balliemeanoch becoming “increasingly important”. 

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