His Excellency Mr Tulga Narkhuu and the Mongolian delegation were interested to learn more about Cruachan as Mongolia begins its transition to a low carbon energy system.
The Mongolian authorities recognise the value of pumped hydro, and wanted to see it in action at Cruachan. At present the country relies heavily on coal-fired power stations for its electricity but is actively decarbonising and transitioning towards using more renewables like wind and solar.
Mongolia has a wealth of natural resources including mountainous terrain – ideal for the development of both run-of-river hydro power stations and pumped storage hydro facilities.
Cruachan is one of only four pumped storage hydro stations in the UK and has a capacity of 440 MW – enough to power more than 90,000 homes at times of peak demand.
Built on the shores of Loch Awe in Argyll and Bute, it was the first reversible pumped storage hydro system on this scale to be built in the world.
The turbine hall is located 1km within the hollowed-out mountain of Ben Cruachan and houses four generators, supplying a range of vital balancing and ancillary services to the grid, helping to maintain secure power supplies.
Ian Kinnaird, Drax’s Head of UK Hydro said:
“As the first plant of its type in the UK, Cruachan has been providing stability and storage to the power network since 1965. That Mongolia is going through a similar energy transition to the one the UK has been on, gave us a prime opportunity, as a member of the government’s Power Past Coal Alliance to share the learnings and expertise we’ve built up over the decades with the Ambassador and his colleagues.
“Services such as those which Cruachan provides are of growing importance as we transition to a system with more renewables.”
The visit was supported by the UK government’s Department for International Trade.
Notes to Editors
- In January Drax Group completed the acquisition of a portfolio of renewable, low-carbon and flexible power stations, in strategic locations across the country – from Scotland to the South East coast.
- Drax signed up to the Powering Past Coal Alliance, a coalition of coalition of countries, states, cities and businesses committed to ending coal-fired power generation.
Drax Group’s ambition is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future. Its 2,600-strong employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.
Drax owns and operates a portfolio of flexible, low carbon and renewable electricity generation assets across Britain. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.
Having converted two thirds of Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.
Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan. It also owns and operates four gas power stations in England.
For more information visit www.drax.com/uk