Andritz to refurbish pumped storage power plant in Scotland

Andritz will be the main contractor for the upgrade of Drax’s Cruachan pumped storage power plant in Scotland.

Cruachan dam, reservoir and substation
Cruachan dam, reservoir and substation - Image © Drax.

Cruachan Power Station, located on the shores of Loch Awe in Argyll, is one of just four pumped storage hydro facilities in the UK, playing a critical role in the country’s energy security. It is a reliable energy source for almost 1 million households.

Andritz will supply two new generating units comprising pump turbines and motor generators, alongside essential main inlet valves.

The modernization project will increase the station's power output by 40 MW to a total of 480 MW. It will also improve the plant’s operability and reliability and extend its lifecycle.

Pumped storage power plants balance energy supply and demand by storing excess power from volatile renewables.

“Pumped storage hydro is vital to the UK’s energy security, it’s a technology which works in partnership with other renewables. When wind turbines are generating more power than we need, Cruachan steps in to store the renewable electricity so it doesn’t go to waste,” said Penny Small, Drax’s interim chief operating officer.

“We are proud to have been entrusted with the refurbishment of the Cruachan Pump Storage Power Plant,” said Dominik Fust, managing director at Andritz Hydropower Germany. “This project aligns with our mission to contribute to the global transition toward sustainable energy generation.”