Cruachan 1 Upgrade Project

Proposed Upgrade of Units 3 & 4 in Cruachan 1

Drax is progressing plans to upgrade units 3 and 4 at Cruachan Power Station.

The project will see the generating capacity of the two units each increase from 100MW to 120MW, enlarging the station’s total output to 480MW.

This project is separate to Cruachan 2, Drax’s planned new underground pumped hydro power station which would be located adjacent to the existing plant. The work is set to begin in 2026 and would be carried out in tandem with the construction of Cruachan 2.

Why the Upgrade? 

As well as enabling Cruachan to generate more flexible power for tens of thousands of homes, the upgrade will form part of a refurbishment of the units.

The units were commissioned in 1965 and contain parts, including their turbines, which are now more than 50 years old. This project will enable the units to not only generate more power, but increase their operating flexibility and efficiency – as well as extending their lives for many more years to come.

Cruachan’s other two units – units 1 and 2 – were similarly upgraded and refurbished in the early 2000s.

Section 36 Application 

Drax intends to submit an application to Scottish Ministers under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989, seeking permission for the upgrade.

We expect to submit the application by the end of this year and are expecting the process to conclude around one year after the application’s submission.

For further details on the application, please contact: cruachanupgrade@stantec.com

Public Exhibition September 2022

Drax has scheduled a consultation event to allow engagement on its development plans as it moves forward with its application for upgrading Units 3 and 4 in Cruachan Pumped Storage Hydro Electric generating station.

An in-person event is scheduled for:

  • Taynuilt Village Hall: Wednesday 14th September, 2pm – 6.30pm

Members of the project team will be on-hand throughout the event to talk through the plans with the wider community and gather further feedback on the proposals for the development at Cruachan Power Station.

If you can’t attend the exhibition, you can download a copy of the Public Exhibition material at the bottom of this page.

We are keen to hear your views about the proposals to upgrade Units 3 and 4 in Cruachan Power Station, please use the feedback form to have your view taken into account in the public consultation.

Please note, comments made to the applicant are not representations to Scottish Ministers. When the applicant submits an application, there will be an opportunity to make representations on that application to the Scottish Ministers.

Public Exhibition Materials

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Public Exhibition Material September 2022

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Public Exhibition Notice September 2022

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Public Exhibition Poster September 2022