£550m Loch Ness pumped storage scheme approved by government
ILI Group has received the green light to proceed with a £550 million pumped storage project on the shores of Loch Ness.
The Scottish Government has approved proposals for the ‘Red John’ project, which will deliver a 450 MW pumped storage hydro scheme to the Highland beauty spot.
The project was subject to a local inquiry last year, with the findings and recommendation from the reporter being submitted to ministers this February for consideration.
ILI Group said approval of the project signals the start of a process that could see hundreds of millions of pounds invested in the local economy and should bring up to 700 direct and indirect jobs to the area.
The firm claims it will also save 45 million tonnes of CO2 over the lifetime of the project.
Mark Wilson, chief executive, added: “There is currently a pipeline of over 5GW of pumped storage in the UK, but we need to work closely with the UK Government to implement the market mechanisms that are needed to drive investment into these projects to ensure we hit our net zero targets.”
Cabinet secretary for net zero, energy and transport, Michael Matheson, added: “Scotland is a leader in this field, with excellent hydro-electric power heritage built over the last century and this new scheme at Loch Ness will only add to that.
“As we add more renewable electricity generation across Scotland, investing in pumped hydro storage will be key to balancing our electricity demand with supply and keeping the system secure, as well as creating high quality, green jobs and enabling a green recovery from the pandemic.
“That is why we continue to call on the UK Government to take the urgent action required in reserved areas to provide investors with improved revenue certainty and unlock potentially significant investment in new pumped storage capacity in Scotland.”