Cruachan Power Station is a pumped storage hydro power station operated by ScottishPower, which was opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 1965. It can produce electricity for the grid in two minutes - or 30 seconds if its turbines are already primed on "spinning reserve".
The power station, located near Oban, is built into the hollowed out rock of a mountain, Ben Cruachan. It uses electricity from the grid at times of low demand to pump water from Loch Awe, to its storage reservoir part way up the mountain. Water is also collected from the surrounding hills, providing a hydro-electric power element to our generation.
At times of peak demand, water is released from the reservoir through the station’s turbines to generate electricity. Cruachan’s four units can supply up to 440MW of electricity.
Cruachan also has a Visitors Centre, cafeteria and shop and offers tours where visitors can see the station’s machine hall inside the “Hollow Mountain”.
Cruachan operates under a licence granted and monitored by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to ensure that the requirements of the Water Framework Directive are met.
The station has an Environmental Management System that is certified to the international standard ISO 14001.
For further information, view our site environment management page and the following downloads: