The Jeuns

‘ANDRITZ chosen for upgrade at Drax’s Cruachan Power Station’

April 29, 2024 | by The Jeuns

Drax, a UK power producer, has chosen hydropower technology supplier ANDRITZ Hydro as the main contractor for a significant upgrade project at the Cruachan Power Station in Argyll. This facility is one of only four pumped storage hydro facilities in the UK.

The £80 million (0 million) project aims to increase the generating capacity of two units by a combined 40MW to raise the total capacity of the plant to 480MW. This upgrade will not only enhance capacity but also improve operability and reliability.

The units at the Cruachan Power Station were commissioned in 1965 and contain components, such as turbines, that are more than 50 years old.

Penny Small, Drax’s interim chief operating officer, stated, “These plants play a critical role in stabilising the electricity system, helping to balance supply and demand through storing excess power. When wind turbines generate more power than needed, Cruachan steps in to store the renewable electricity to prevent waste.”

In addition to this upgrade, Drax is also planning to construct a new 600MW pumped storage power station next to the existing facility. Pumped storage offers rapid back-up during periods of high demand, maintaining stability on the National Grid. According to Drax, Cruachan can reach full load within 30 seconds and sustain maximum power production for over 16 hours if required.

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