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Finance

Drax pushes ahead with ‘UK’s first’ pumped storage hydro plant in 40 years

Drax has unveiled the next step in its mission to build what is described as the UK’s first new pumped storage hydro plant in nearly four decades.

To optimise the construction of the 600MW underground plant which will be located next to the existing underground Cruachan facility in Argyll, Scotland, Drax has brought in the engineering consultants Studio Pietrangeli.

The consultants will optimise the layout and detailed design of the new plant, excavation and tunnelling of rock within Ben Cruachan, and prepare the specifications for a Front End Engineering and Design study.

According to Drax’s Scottish Assets Director, Ian Kinnaird, the project matches the company’s ambitions when it comes to tackling the climate crisis, with over two million tonnes of rock set to be excavated to create a new cavern big enough to house Big Ben on its side.

Managing Partner of Studio Pietrangeli, Antonio Pietrangeli, said that pumped storage is becoming increasingly valuable in facilitating countries’ efforts to meet their carbon-reduction goals and reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

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