Wales developer Quarry Battery Co. announced its Snowdonia Pumped Hydro unit has received 3 million pounds (US$4.8 million) in private funding for initial work at the 49.9-MW Glyn Rhonwy Pumped-Storage project near Llanberis in Wales.
The project is to include construction of a 20-meter-tall dam on the upper reservoir and a 15-meter-tall dam on the lower reservoir, the former Glyn Rhonwy slate mine, in addition to tunnels, a powerhouse and transmission infrastructure. The Gwynedd Council of Wales' Gwynedd subdivision granted Quarry Battery planning permission for the project last year.
Quarry Battery said the new funding will enable Snowdonia to strengthen its delivery team and to design and carry out ground exploration works of the slate geology in early 2015 prior to negotiating with potential construction company partners.
"We'll be looking at the ground where the upper and lower dams are planned, along the 1.5-kilometer length of the tunneled connecting pipe that will run 50 meters or more below the surface and at the intended location of the turbine house," Quarry Battery Managing Director Dave Holmes said. "Once we've completed this, we will be shovel-ready and able to invite contractors for the construction phase. We are also working now to conclude negotiations with the District Network Operator over how underground cables will connect the site to the grid."
Quarry Battery said the project also received news that it is eligible to bid for a 15-year contract to supply grid balancing services under the British government's Electricity Market Reform Capacity Mechanism. A successful bid in that auction later this year would allow Glyn Rhonwy to earn predictable annual revenues generated by trading in the market to supply short-term balancing services to the National Grid.
The developer said Glyn Rhonwy would be the first new grid-scale electricity storage plant to be built in the United Kingdom in more than 30 years. As a result, National Grid is finding it difficult to balance electricity supplies.
The US$155.5 million project was designed in conjunction with AECOM and is to have a minimal impact on the area's wildlife and landscape, while offering benefits to the surrounding area, Quarry Battery said. The Glyn Rhonwy project is to create up to 300 construction jobs and 30 full-time jobs for operation.