South Scotland

Glenmuckloch opencast mine hydro energy scheme supported

Glenmuckloch Image copyright Other
Image caption The council has backed the project at Glenmuckloch near Kirkconnel

Dumfries and Galloway Council has given its support to a hydro energy scheme as part of the redevelopment of an opencast coal mine site.

The pumped storage hydro (PSH) scheme would be constructed at Glenmuckloch near Kirkconnel.

The final decision on the 400MW scheme - led by Buccleuch Estates and 2020 Renewables - will be made by the Scottish government.

However, the local authority has fully endorsed the project.

Planning committee vice chairman Jim Dempster, who is a councillor in Upper Nithsdale, said he believed it would be a real boost for the area.

"I think in terms of the local economy it is hugely significant," he said.

"And, indeed, in terms of energy production it is a very innovative method of producing electricity and something that the local community will be enthusiastic about."

'Hugely important'

He said the use of the site could be seen in some ways as a continuation of its role in energy production.

"Being new technology it is hugely important that we embrace that," he added.

"It will provide new skills, long-term employment and it will be of huge benefit to the community locally."

It has been claimed that the system could generate power for more than a century.

The developers have said the construction phase of up to six years will support many jobs and generate tens of million of pounds for the local economy.

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