Plans for an £800million power station in the Highlands remain on hold as the UK government delays decisions on energy policy in the wake of Brexit, it was claimed.
Energy giant SSE has said it cannot make a final investment decision on planned 600mw pumped-storage hydro scheme at Coire Glas above Loch Lochy until Westminster makes a funding mechanism available.
The firm is seeking to strike a “cap and floor” funding arrangement which regulates how much money a developer can earn. The desired payment scheme is similar that proposed for funding interconnectors.
UK involvement in a major North Sea “supergrid” is also under question as the UK seeks to distance itself from major European infrastructure projects.
SNP energy spokesman Callum McCaig said pumped storage schemes like Coire Glas had “an important role to play in the energy mix, particularly with the increasing deployment of renewable technologies”.
He added: “In the four months since the European Union referendum we have not heard anything from the UK Government as to how they will address energy policy; it is clear the inaction from Westminster is putting investment decisions like SSE’s under question.
“The best solution for security of supply, cost to the consumer, and carbon reduction would be for the UK to stay part of the EU’s energy union, but with Theresa May’s government being deathly silent on the issue, it’s impossible to tell if this is even a priority for them.”