Green Highland was proud to join the visit of Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Ian Murray MP, to Swiss energy storage project to talk about the world leading services they deliver.
- Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Ian Murray MP, visits Switzerland's Nant de Drance Pumped Storage Hydro project.
- Visit alongside Glen Earrach Energy (GEE) and international industry leaders to explore potential of similar technology in the UK.
- The visit comes amidst UK Government’s increasing focus on enhancing energy storage and Labour’s commitment to make Britain a clean energy superpower.
- Murray's tour is a crucial step in learning how pumped storage hydro technology can boost energy growth and jobs in Scotland and the UK.
Valais, Switzerland: 31 January 2024 – Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Ian Murray MP, visited the Nant de Drance Pumped Storage Hydro project, one of the most powerful pumped storage plants in Europe, commissioned in 2022.
The visit, undertaken with Glen Earrach Energy (GEE), Green Highland, Alpiq and AECOM, is set against the backdrop of the UK government’s consultation on designing a policy framework to enable investment in long-duration electricity storage (LDES).
The Labour Party has committed to investing in long duration energy storage to ensure that there is sufficient zero emission back-up power and storage for extended periods without wind or sun, while maintaining a strategic reserve of backup gas power stations to guarantee security of supply.
The visit to Nant de Drance offered crucial insights for the UK, which has not seen the development of new pumped storage hydro facilities since 1984. Learnings included how to create a pro-growth investment framework so the sector can realise its full potential in Scotland, as well as how to maximise community benefits and minimise the environmental impact of big engineering projects.
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Ian Murray MP, reflecting on the visit, said:
"Under Labour's vision, Scotland is set to become a global leader in green energy. This visit to the Nant de Drance project is a stepping stone towards realising that ambition. Our goal is clear – deliver clean energy by 2030, support the creation of thousands of jobs, and ensure energy security.
“With a UK Labour government, Scotland can lead the world and deliver the green energy of the future.
“We are committed to doubling the number of Scottish jobs in low carbon, and today’s visit to Switzerland is an opportunity to learn what more can be done to back the builders not the blockers, so Britain gets the cheap, clean and secure power that we need.”
Roger Nordmann, a member of Switzerland’s Committee on the Environment, Regional Planning and Energy, said:
“Hydro pump-storage is a useful complement to Wind and Photovoltaics (PV) generation. While battery is optimal for day-night storage, hydro pump storage can furnish monthly or seasonal storage. It also offers security back-up for grid stabilization. Hydro pump storage is highly efficient, with an overall efficiency by 80%, far better than hydrogen (H2) Storage (around 35%)”.
GEE Director, Roderick MacLeod, said:
"Having Ian Murray MP with us in Switzerland is invaluable. The Nant de Drance project is a pioneering example of renewable energy. We're excited to apply these learnings to our Loch Ness project, which we believe will be instrumental in the UK's energy future."
For more information contact: Daniel Mazliah – firstname.lastname@example.org – +44 7745 639073).
Photos: You can download photos from the visit here.
Notes to Editors:
- Pumped Storage Hydro is a sustainable and reliable electricity storage solution, leveraging the gravitational force of water between two reservoirs at different elevations. In times of low demand, excess energy is used to pump water to the higher reservoir, storing energy. When demand peaks, the stored water is released to generate electricity, offering a balanced and responsive energy supply.
- The UK Government's consultation on LDES is part of an effort to increase electricity storage capacity and support the transition to renewable energy sources. The consultation proposes the development of a cap and floor mechanism to overcome these investment barriers. Key aspects under consultation include the eligibility criteria for assessing applications, the design of the cap and floor mechanism, and the proposed options for delivering the scheme.
- The Lords Science and Technology committee's inquiry into long-duration energy storage underscores the national importance of this issue is on-going. More information can be found here.
- The ESNZ Committee recently held an oral evidence session on the role of energy storage and emerging technologies in the UK (24th January 2023).
The UK Government's consultation on LDES is part of an effort to increase electricity storage capacity and support the transition to renewable energy sources. The consultation proposes the development of a cap and floor mechanism to overcome these investment barriers. Key aspects under consultation include the eligibility criteria for assessing applications, the design of the cap and floor mechanism, and the proposed options for delivering the scheme.
About Glen Earrach
Glen Earrach Energy Ltd is developing a Pumped Storage Hydro facility on Loch Ness, supported by Green Highland, Alpiq SA, AECOM, Frontier LCP-Delta and Newstream Renewables. The Pumped Storage Hydro project, located at Balmacaan Estate, Scotland, is a critical component for achieving a net-zero grid by 2030.
Alpiq SA is a leading Swiss energy services provider and electricity producer in Europe. An international energy trader, Alpiq is active on all major European markets. Its power plant portfolio comprises a large hydropower portfolio including two PSH plants, shares in two Swiss nuclear power plants as well as flexible thermal power plants, wind farms and photovoltaic systems in Europe. Alpiq is the largest shareholder in Nant de Drance.
About Green Highland
Green Highland was established in 2007. It was founded to utilise the technical expertise and knowledge of delivering energy projects to help unlock a new wave of hydropower projects. Initially developing small projects in the Highlands of Scotland, Green Highland has tackled the most challenging of hydropower projects and grown into a business that can deliver at every step of a hydropower development.
About Nant de Drance
The Nant de Drance power plant has a capacity of 900 MW, making it one of the most powerful pumped storage plants in Europe, It is located 600 meters underground, between the Emosson and Vieux Emosson reservoirs, and has a storage capacity of 20 million kWh. The plant offers flexible power generation playing a key role in stabilising the electricity grid throughout Europe and in safeguarding Switzerland’s power supply.
About Roger Nordmann, Social Democrat Party
A recognised expert on energy and climate, Roger Nordmann is a member of Switzerland’s Committee on the Environment, Regional Planning and Energy (CEATE), and author of Plan solaire et climat. Roger has served on the National Council for the SDP since 2004 and sits on the committee for Environment, Land Planning and Energy CN. Roger’s book ‘Energy and Climate Emergency – Investing for a rapid and just transition’ was published last August. In the book, he provides an overview of the issues and proposes a global, operational strategy to free the industry from fossil fuels. Roger is a member of the Board of Directors for Swiss energy company Group E. He also Chairs the Board of Directors for sustainable engineering consultancy firm Planair. He holds a degree in political science and political economy from the University of Bern.