Our hydro schemes
We operate the largest fleet of hydro-electric power assets across eight hydro schemes in Scotland.
These include some of the most iconic power station sites built after the introduction of the 1943 Hydro Electric Development (Scotland) Act, which brought hydro-electric power to the Scottish Glens 80 years ago.
Number of hydro electric schemes
Total installed capacity
Our hydro portfolio totals 1,459MW of installed capacity, including 300MW of pumped storage and 750MW of flexible hydro. This includes the 100MW Glendoe Power Station which opened in 2009 becoming the first large-scale hydro power station to be constructed in Scotland since the hydro revolution of the 1940s and ‘50s.
We're putting hydro at the heart of a net-zero future
As Britain transitions to a renewables-led net zero energy system, we're actively seeking investment opportunities for hydro generation, including repowering of existing hydro power plants and adding pumping capabilities to existing stations.
Coire Glas potential investment
We're currently developing two new pumped hydro storage projects to deliver the large-scale, long-duration electricity storage needed as part of Britain’s future energy mix and set out in 2022 in the UK Government’s ‘British Energy Security Strategy’. These include plans to develop our fully consented 30GWh Coire Glas project in the Scottish Highlands, a potential £1.5bn-plus investment in what could be Britain’s biggest pumped hydro storage scheme in 40 years.
We've also announced plans to convert our 152.5MW Sloy Power Station, Britain’s largest conventional hydro power plant in central Scotland, into a new 25GWh pumped hydro storage facility.
We're repowering Tummel Bridge
We're currently investing around £50m in the repowering of our existing Tummel Bridge Hydro-Electric Power Station with modern and efficient turbine technology. The repowering is expected to extend the station’s operational life by at least 40 years.
Repowering investment around
Repowered peak output up to
This means the Tummel Bridge Hydro plant will be running in the power system of 2050 and so will play a continuing role in harnessing hydro power for a net-zero future in Scotland and the UK. The repowering programme will increase generation output at the plant from 34MW to 38MW, with a peak output of 40MW during optimum conditions.
Originally completed in 1933, Tummel Bridge has recently passed it's 90th year in service and is being prepared to help provide the energy we need for decades more to come.
We're protecting and enhancing the natural environment
Many major river systems in the Highlands have long been renowned as breeding grounds for salmon and trout. As far back as the 1943 Act of Parliament that established the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board, there was a requirement on us to avoid, as far as possible, injury to fisheries and the stock of fish.
When our power stations and dams were first constructed during the second half of the last century, great care was taken to minimise their environmental impact.
As we have refurbished our stations, great care has been taken to ensure modern technology is employed to further reduce the environmental impact of the stations.
Our hydro schemes
To find out more about our hydro schemes and plans for Coire Glas, please click on the links below:
We're proud of our hydro story
If you would like to know more about our hydro history, we recommend a visit to our Pitlochry dam in Perthshire where we have an award winning visitor centre packed with information about our hydro history, along with a café offering a tasty selection of food and drink which you can enjoy overlooking the dam itself.
There's more information below.
Or you can click to join our 'virtual hydro tour' to find out how our schemes work and more or visit our 'Cascades' virtual art exhibition.