Inside ‘UK’s first pumped storage hydropower plant in 30 years’


Strabag UK is part of the client team constructing the ‘first pumped hydro storage facility to be built in the UK for more than 30 years’. 

Stragbag's first pump at hyrdopower plant
by Rory ButlerDecember 16, 2022

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The firm was selected by SSE Renewables in May to carry out exploratory works on the Coire Glas scheme in the Scottish Highlands. 

Strabag is now reportedly on site, along with civil engineering specialists RJ McLeod, which, when built, would be the first facility of its kind constructed in the UK for three decades. 

Coire Glas 

  • 95-metre-high x 650-metre-long concrete dam 
  • 67 underground structures, over 18 km 
  • 2 km vertical shafts 
  • 6 km cable tunnel   
  • 6 metric tonnes of excavation 

Water will be transferred between Loch Lochy and a new reservoir at Loch a’ Choire Ghlais, via underground tunnels and a power station. 

Austria reservoir (representation)

The UK currently has four pumped storage schemes. The Government wants to back production of 50GW of clean electricity (wind farms) off the shores of the UK by 2030.   

As the UK scales up offshore wind, more storage capacity will be required, according to Cowi UK managing director, Andy Sloan. 

Coire Glas will be capable of delivering up to 1.5GW and 30GWh of storage by 2030. 

On the job 

  • Stantec 
  • Cowi 

Strabag will begin construction of an exploratory works tunnel by March 2023. 

Strabag UK was approached for comment.  

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