RWE Innogy has officially inaugurated its 4MW Maldie hydroelectric storage scheme in Scotland.

The project, which took 20 months to build, features two Francis turbines, the first of which went into operation in May 2013 and the second in March 2014.

Maldie is the first storage scheme RWE Innogy has commissioned in the UK. It uses water from a catchment area of around 22km2. A weir located at the outlet of a Loch will raise the water level by 1.5m to form a storage reservoir. Up to 2.8m3 of water will be abstracted per second at the weir and fed into 2km of buried pipeline connecting to a buried powerhouse located 170m below the weir.

“The construction of Maldie was challenging as particular care had to be taken to ensure the hydro scheme would fit in with its surroundings," commented RWE Innogy UK’s senior project manager Mary Drury. "The power house has been semi-buried and the pipeline and grid cable completely buried to ensure that any construction works blend into the local environment."

RWE Innogy is planning to expand its hydropower activities in Scotland further – the company is currently developing the 3MW Cia Aig hydro scheme in the country.

Image: Maldie hydropower plant. Courtesy RWE Innogy