Extreme E’s May X Prix in Scotland will race EVs through a former coal mine

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After releasing its tentative race schedule for season 3 in late 2022, we’ve known Extreme E has been planning an all-electric X Prix event in Scotland in May. However, today we have learned that the Scottish event will be a Hydro X Prix held at the site of a former coal mine before it’s revamped as a hydropower plant and wind farm.

Extreme E is an FIA-sanctioned off-road racing series that showcases the potential of all-electric SUVs barreling through some of the Earth’s toughest climates as both motorsport entertainment and a subtle reminder of the global effects of climate change. As a series with a cause, Extreme E simultaneously gives back to the areas it races in by setting up environmentally-focused “legacy programs.”

Leading up to the final X Prix event of season 2 last fall, Extreme E shared its initial race calendar for season 3 in 2023. Locations once again included Saudi Arabia and Italy, but also promised a new X Prix event to be held in the US for the first time, or through the Rainforest of Brazil.

That particular race location in September is yet to be determined, but we do know Extreme E is bringing an X Prix to another new country for the first time in May – Scotland. Today, the electric racing series has given even more specifics regarding its second event held in the UK, sharing that the Scotland race will be a Hydro X Prix held at the site of a former coal mine.

Extreme E race
Credit: Extreme E

Extreme E will race a coal mine before its transformed

According to the details released overseas early this morning, Extreme E’s Hydro X Prix will be held at the former Glenmuckloch opencast coal mine site in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. The Extreme E series states that the coal mine is the perfect race location to provide a “natural amphitheater” to showcase the industry’s transition into clean energy.

Furthermore, the water on site (seen in the video below) will help signify how vital H2O can be in bolstering the use of renewable energy. Extreme E founder Alejandro Agag elaborated:

Extreme E uses its racing platform to tell inspirational stories of global locations on the forefront of climate issues. Here in Scotland, our race site will play homage to the much needed transition of an old coal mine which is being given a new and exciting lease of life as a hydro-project which will provide a fully renewable energy source for the region for centuries to come.

Not only will this site provide one of the most dramatic and extreme race courses we have seen in our global journey, it will tell a poignant story about transition and the changing of courses that the energy industry and communities must all take if we are to succeed in the fight against climate change.

Looking ahead, the Glenmuckloch site will soon be revamped as a Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH) plant and wind farm for Scotland. When construction is complete, the PSH plant will have a capacity that will be able to deliver a rate of 210 MW per hour alongside eight hours of storage capacity. The estate director for the mine property said 1MW is enough to power 2,000 homes for an hour under average energy demands. The site will act as a power storage site during periods of excess energy supply, then release that stored energy back during peak grid demands. 

Additionally, the wind farm being built on site will consist of eight 4.2 MW turbines offering the ability to directly power the Pump Storage Hydropower plant with 100% renewables. Extreme E is also promoting sustainability beyond its race it Scotland. Per the release:

Extreme E will also embark on a community led project of its own, as part of its Legacy Program, to implement a multi-stage project, focused on mitigating climate change effects on local salmon stocks.  From the impactful re-planting of over a thousand trees, to using innovative technologies to monitor the habitat, Extreme E will focus on a long-term transformation of the River Nith area that will protect the salmon stocks so important to local industries.

Extreme E’s Hydro X Prix will take place in Scotland May 13-14. Here’s some drone footage of the former mining site to give you an idea of what the driving teams will have to endure.

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