By DARA BUTTERFIELD
Developers have announced proposals to build a large hydro scheme at the disused Glenmuckloch opencast coal mine in Dumfriesshire.
The 100MW hydro-electric pumped-storage facility is the latest in a series of renewable energy schemes planned for the site. The site is owned by Buccleuch Estates which has teamed up with mining company Hargreaves and 2020 Renewables to draw up the plans.
If the project goes ahead, the lower reservoir will be created from the existing opencast void, while a second, upper pond will be excavated at the head of Halfmerk Hill.
The restoration of Glenmuckloch has faced difficulties since the collapse of surface mining firm Aardvark TMC in 2013, leaving a shortfall in the money needed to restore the site to its pre-opencast condition. However since then Buccleuch Estates has worked with Hargreaves to implement a rolling programme of restoration in parallel with coaling operations.
Earlier this year plans for an eight turbine wind farm adjacent to the opencast coal mine were submitted to the local council.