Foresight Energy Infrastructure Partners, Foresight Group’s flagship energy transition fund, has made its first investment in pumped storage hydro technology.
The project, located at the disused 1547 acre Glenmuckloch opencast coal mine near Kirkconnel, in Scotland, will see the construction of a co-located 1600 MWh capacity pumped storage plant and a 33.6MW wind farm. There have only been five plants like this constructed to date in the UK.
The pumped storage plant’s stored energy can be delivered at a rate of 210MW for 8 hours. The site will contain two 105MW reversible hydro-turbines, while the wind farm will consist of 8 x 4.2MW WTGs. It will be able, via a direct connection, to power the pumped storage plant.
The project is expected to help with growing energy security concerns, as well as providing grid support services. Such a plant builds grid resilience by replacing conventional thermal peaking plants, and facilitates the integration of intermittent renewable energy generation technologies.
Social benefits include the introduction of a community benefit fund to provide financial support for local community projects, and the creation of two reservoirs will further drive the ecological restoration work being undertaken at the site to remediate the scar on the landscape left by the now defunct coal operations.
Commenting on the investment, Richard Thompson, Partner at Foresight said: “Long Duration Energy Storage has a critical role to play in the UK helping to reduce power prices for bill payers, enhancing security of supply and accelerating the road to net zero by enabling the integration of more renewables on the system. Foresight is delighted to be making its first Long Duration Energy Storage investment in a project that will create such a long lasting environmental legacy through the repurposing of a disused coal mine.”