Buccleuch has announced that with the assistance of Edinburgh-based investment bank, Noble & Co, it is to put on the market a consented 210 MW pumped storage hydro system together with an adjacent wind farm.

The project, which will be built on a former opencast coalmining site at Glenmuckloch, on the Queensberry Estate in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, would see the development of an energy park, which would also hide the remaining traces on the landscape of previous mining activities.

Alan Wilson, Energy director at Buccleuch commented “With much of the background work now completed for the site, and Buccleuch as sole owners of the projects, we have reached a pivotal moment and are now looking for a purchaser to take the project through to commercial operation. The scheme has the potential to be economically and environmentally transformational, both regionally and nationally.” 

It is estimated that the project will cost circa £250 m to complete, with a proportion of this likely to be spent within the local economy, and will provide employment within the local communities; not only during the construction phase, when there will be a potential for over 300 jobs, but also over its operational lifetime, which could be up to one hundred years.

Once completed, the PSH system will help provide a means of balancing an energy system increasingly based on renewable energy sources. Dumfries and Galloway Council declared a climate emergency for the region in 2019; and the UK government aim to reduce carbon emissions by 78% by 2035.

Alan Wilson again: “PSH at Glenmuckloch will support both these targets, with the windfarm alone having the capability to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by almost 40 000 tonnes.”