Drax to dig giant cave in Scottish mountain to store power

Biomass power company Drax Group plans to excavate part of a Scottish mountain to house a new hydropower station that will double the capacity of its plant there. 

Drax is applying for permission to build a new underground pumped storage station that would increase total capacity of its existing hydro site to over one gigawatt, the company said in a statement. Construction work could start by 2024 and the station may be operational by 2030, according to Drax, creating hundreds of jobs in Scotland.  

The company, primarily known for its biomass power station in northern England, aims to excavate 2 million tonnes of rock to house the potential 600-megawatt power station inside a hollowed-out cavern in Ben Cruachan, a mountain in western Scotland. 

“Drax’s plan to expand 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,” said Ian Kinnaird, Drax Scottish assets director.  

The company’s shares rose as much as 3 percent following the announcement, to 799 pence. 

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