07 Jun 2024

Seismic Surveys Begin for Expansion to Cruachan Pumped Storage Project

07 Jun 2024  by waterpowermagazine   

Seismic surveys are being taken to provide crucial geological data about the rock in which the new plant would be housed inside.
Exploratory ground works have commenced on Ben Cruachan, near Oban, Scotland, for the UK’s first pumped storage scheme in 40 years.

Renewable energy company Drax is advancing its plans to construct a 600MW underground plant next to its current Cruachan facility. The project involves seismic surveys to gather essential geological data about the rock where the new plant will be located. This process includes drilling holes into the rock and using small explosive charges to create sound waves, which are measured by geophones to detect fractures, fissures, or weak spots up to 60m below the surface.

“The expansion of Cruachan will be one of the most significant engineering projects in Scotland for many decades,” said Steve Marshall, Development Manager at Drax. “The start of these seismic surveys of the mountain is a real milestone moment for the project and everyone at Drax is excited to see the development take another step forward, These surveys will further complement borehole drilling works undertaken in 2022 and 2023 at the site.

“With the project granted development consent from the Scottish Government, we hope the next UK Government will continue policy development in this area at pace to enable a new generation of pumped storage plants to come online as soon as possible,” Marshall added.

“Expanding Cruachan will strengthen the UK’s energy security by enabling more homegrown renewable electricity to come online to power homes and businesses across the country. This major infrastructure project will support hundreds of jobs and provide a real boost to the Scottish economy.”


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