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 constructed after the introduction of the 1943 Hydro Electric Development (Scotland) Act, which brought hydro-electric power to the Scottish Glens 80 years ago.
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.
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.
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.
Also in the Scottish Highlands, we're currently investing almost £50m in the repowering of its 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. 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 to 38MW, with a peak output of 40MW during optimum conditions. The repowering works are expected to be completed in late 2023, coinciding with the hydro power plant’s 90th anniversary.
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.
Explore our unique heritage
We own and operate the Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre located beside our Pitlochry Hydro Power Station in Perthshire. The centre has been open since 2017 and showcases the rich history of hydro electricity in the north of Scotland and how it has transformed lives across the Highlands. For more information about the visitor centre please visit https://pitlochrydam.com/.