Yesterday we came back from a lovely family break in the Northern part of the UK. Of course we took the kids to (many) castles, the Lake District (beautiful!) and we spotted a stranded whale in Scotland. But, according to the kids, one of the highlights was definitely our visit of the Cruachan Power Station near Oban, Argyll.
The generators of the Cruachan Hydro plant are powered by water from a reservoir on the slopes of Ben Chuachan, 396meters above. When electricity needs to be generated it can be at full speed within a few minutes. But what makes the Cruachan Plant special is the design that it works as an enormous rechargeable battery. When the demand for electricity is low and overcapacity exist on the grid the idle electricity is used to pump the water back up the mountain, ready to for reuse. This makes it a cost effective plan and as the Cruachan's operation doesn't (directly) result in air or (CO2 & SO2) gases emission it is considered to be a green provider of electricity.
Even though the plant is more than 50 years old, driving into the mountain to see the generators gives a real "007" feeling. So it is definitely worth a visit if you're in for a James Bond (or Bond girl) experience. But also to learn more about the environmental advantages of Hydro Energy in the information centre at the entrance of the plant!