Cruachan 1 upgrade

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.

More information can be found here

Turbine hall, Cruachan Power Station

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: [email protected]