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Glendoe hydro scheme is missing an opportunity

Antony Oliver is spot on to highlight in his editorial (NCE 4 September) the significance of new hydro-electric developments in Scotland.

However, I have long considered the Glendoe scheme to be not just a lost opportunity but the waste of a potentially tremendous asset.

A paper in Proceedings a few years ago covered the conjunctive use of pumped storage facilities in Norway and Sweden and the industrial "sink" in Germany, with wind powered generation in Denmark utilising the respective interconnectors from Denmark to these countries.

A short distance down Loch Ness from the Glendoe tailrace is Foyers Power Station. Built in 1895 this was Britain's first sizeable hydro-electric project. Following nationalisation, the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board (NSHEB) saw the potential of the 200m plus head and added pumped storage increasing its capacity to 300MW.

Loch Ness is virtually at sea level and Glendoe has the highest head of any Scottish hydro scheme. Of course I know that Glendoe has a single vertical Pelton turbine (which does not work in reverse) but it should have been possible to install separate pumps, staged if necessary, to store electricity.

One redeeming feature is the news that the Scottish government is considering sub-sea interconnectors from Scotland to Norway and Germany to realise fully Scottish wind and marine powered generation at times of low load on the system.

HARRY VALENTINE, 32 Inglewood Crescent, Hairmyres, East Kilbride G75 8QD.

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