Pinsent Masons advises on landmark pumped storage hydro and windfarm project in Scotland

11 Oct 2022 | 09:26 am | 1 min. read

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has advised Buccleuch on the sale of the Glenmuckloch pumped storage hydro and windfarm project in Dumfries and Galloway to Foresight.

The firm advised Buccleuch which, together with renewable energy, also has interests in agriculture, forestry and rural and commercial property in its deal with Foresight Energy Infrastructure Partners, Foresight Group’s flagship energy transition fund.

The project, located at the disused opencast coal mine near Kirkconnel, Scotland, will see the construction of a co-located 1,600 MWh capacity pumped storage hydro plant and a 33.6 MW wind farm. The investment will enhance and aid the balancing of the UK power system enabling the integration of more renewable generation.

The Pinsent Masons team advised Buccleuch on all aspects of the deal including the sale of the pumped storage hydro project as well as the option and lease arrangements between the project development vehicle and Buccleuch as landlord going forward. The team was led by Energy Partner Ian McCarlie and Energy Corporate Partner Brian Thumath. Energy Property Partner David Ross lead on negotiation of the option and lease arrangements on behalf of Buccleuch. Energy consenting partner, Gary McGovern advised Buccleuch on detailed consenting and permitting matters.

Ian McCarlie said: “Volatility in global energy markets in the last few months have emphasised the need to have secure energy supply. This project can be a strategic project within the national energy mix but at the same time contribute to the drive for low-carbon energy and the journey to net zero. Projects like Glenmuckloch are now more important than ever.”

Once constructed, the PSH plant will have a 1,600 MWh storage capacity which can be delivered at a rate of 210 MW per hour providing 8 hours of storage capacity. Utilising two 105 MW reversible hydro-turbines, the site will store power during periods of excess energy supply and release stored energy at times of peak demand. The co-located wind farm will comprise of 8 x 4.2 MW turbines and will have the ability, via a direct connection, to power the PSH plant.

Brian Thumath added: “We were delighted to work with the Buccleuch team and their wider advisers to deliver this innovative transaction. Our Energy Transactions team prides itself on being able to deliver complex and strategically important transactions on behalf of our Energy clients. We wish Buccleuch and Foresight every success in their ongoing relationship”.

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