THE FIRST HYDROELECTRIC power station to be built in Scotland for nearly 40 years has been inaugurated by Scotland’s Environment Minister Ross Finnie. Cuileig power station, a run-of-river scheme, located near Ullapool in the Highlands, is operated by Scottish and Southern Energy and will generate enough electricity to power 1500 homes.
To minimise the impact on the surrounding landscape, the US$6M plant is almost entirely buried in the hillside. The diverted water is transported to the power house by a 2.5km long buried penstock Finnie said: ‘Our potential to generate electricity from renewable sources is one of the largest in Europe. Only by exploiting Scotland’s renewable resources fully can we play a full part in delivering on international climate change commitments.’
Hydro power is set to play a major part in hitting executive targets for renewable energy. A recent study suggested Scotland has enough potential renewable resources to meet the country’s electricity demand almost ten times over. Current proposals could see as much as 40% of Scotland’s electricity being generated from renewable sources by 2020.
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