After a rigorous tendering process, SSE Renewables has selected Strabag UK to undertake the exploratory works for the 150MW Coire Glas project in Scotland, the first large-scale pumped hydro storage scheme to be built in the UK for more than 30 years.

Scheduled to begin at the site this summer, the exploratory works will provide essential information on the nature of underground conditions at the location. The findings 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 project.

The work will see the creation of 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 the tunnel and cavern support structures. 

The selection of Strabag UK as the preferred tenderer will enable detailed preparations for the works to be progressed over the coming months, including engagement with businesses in Lochaber to identify supply chain opportunities.

Coire Glas, located in the Great Glen between Fort William and Inverness, would create enough long duration storage capacity to power three million homes for periods of up to 24 hours.