Ground investigation works have commenced at the site of the proposed 900MW Earba pumped storage project in Scotland, marking an important step forward in the development process, Gilkes Energy has confirmed.

The project, which is still in its early stages prior to the submission of the planning application, aims to gain a comprehensive understanding of the ground conditions across the site through a series of boreholes, trial pits, peat probing, and geophysical assessments.

These initial exploratory works play a crucial role in providing valuable insights into the soil and rock profiles, allowing for the creation of a detailed 3D model of the underground conditions. The data gathered will also help facilitate a more comprehensive description of the construction methodology. 

Plans for the Earba pumped storage project were announced earlier this year. If it goes ahead, the project will store up to 33,000 MWh of energy, making it the largest such scheme in the UK in terms of energy stored. The proposal is to use Loch a’ Bhealaich Leamhain as the upper reservoir and Lochan na h-Earba as the lower reservoir. A tunnel approximately 3km long will connect the two water bodies.

A powerhouse will be constructed on the shore of Loch Earba which will extend deep underground.