Exploratory works have begun at the site of the UK’s first large-scale pumped storage hydropower scheme to be developed in 30 years – the planned 150MW Coire Glas scheme at Loch Lochy in the Great Glen in the Scottish Highlands.
After a rigorous tendering process, SSE Renewables selected Strabag UK to undertake the exploratory works earlier this year. Strabag will create a tunnel approximately 4m wide and up to 1km long, which will cut into the hillside towards the proposed location of the underground powerhouse complex. Samples of the materials within the hill will be analysed, and survey and assessment work will be carried out to give a detailed understanding of the geological conditions. The information will then be used in detailed design of underground structures.
The findings of the exploratory works will be used to inform the final design of the project and will be an important consideration in SSE Renewables’ final decision on whether to proceed with the Coire Glas project.
"Coire Glas is one of the most significant engineering projects to take place in the UK for decades. The commencement of these exploratory works is a great milestone for everyone on the Coire Glas Project Team and at SSE Renewables,” said Ian Innes, project director for Coire Glas. “With a reputation for innovation and delivering a wide variety of specialist skills and services on major construction projects, I am confident that Strabag UK’s experience will prove an asset as we undertake this critical phase in the development of the Coire Glas project."