Hollow Mountain welcomes former Australian PM

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Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull visited the iconic Hollow Mountain power station during COP26 to see plans for its extension.

Earlier this year owner’s Drax published  plans to build a new underground pumped storage hydro power station at Cruachan on Loch Awe – more than doubling the electricity generating capacity at the site.

Mr Turnbull is a board member of the International Hydropower Association and co-chair of the International Forum on Pumped Storage Hydropower.

During his time in office he announced the construction of Snowy Hydro 2.0, the biggest pumped hydro scheme in the southern hemisphere.

During the visit, he said: ‘Within the climate crisis the world is facing an ignored crisis – how to ensure that we do not fall back on fossil fuels when the wind isn’t blowing, and the sun isn’t shining. We need green energy security solutions. I commissioned the Snowy 2.0 Pumped Storage Hydro plant to prevent blackouts in Australia – the biggest such project in the southern hemisphere.

‘It was fascinating to visit Drax’s Cruachan Power Station in Scotland. It reminds me that this is a tried and tested technology.’

Ian Kinnaird, Drax’s Scottish assets director, said: ‘Expanding Cruachan will unlock more renewable electricity to power homes and businesses across the country, and support hundreds of new jobs in rural Scotland.’

Cruachan’s expanded power station could be up and running as soon as 2030, subject to planning, with the project supporting around 900 jobs during construction.