August 20, 2008

ScottishPower Outlines Upgrade Program for Three Hydroelectric Plants

UK-based electricity utility ScottishPower has announced a GBP20 million two-year investment program to upgrade equipment at its three hydroelectric plants in Scotland, to safeguard their operation for at least the next 25 years.

The three facilities at Cruachan, Galloway and Lanark have a combined output of 562MW. The largest of the three, Cruachan in the Argyll region of Scotland, has reportedly enjoyed its best performance in 10 years, with production rates at an all-time high due to recent investment.

The GBP20 million investment will be used to carry out civil works at each of the sites, and to maintain and upgrade operational equipment. Some of the plants were originally designed in the 1920s and this investment will ensure continued high performance in the coming years, the company said.

ScottishPower's commitment will also mean that both the Lanark and Galloway plants will still be in operation when they celebrate their centenary years in 2027 and 2036, respectively.

Frank Mitchell, generation director at ScottishPower, said: "In a climate of global volatility in the wholesale energy markets, hydroelectric plants are proving to be an extremely efficient method of generating electricity as input costs are relatively low. With no signs that the global markets will level off any time soon, hydro will continue to be an important aspect of our generation business and this is reflected in our investment."