Breadalbane hydro-electric power scheme

Breadalbane hydro-electric power scheme

The Breadalbane hydro-electric power scheme for the generation of hydro-electric power is centred around Loch Lyon, Loch Tay and Loch Earn, in Perth and Kinross, Scotland, and lies approximately Convert|22|km|mi|abbr=on north north west of Callander.

The mountainous area is well suited to hydro-electric power generation, containing several deep glaciated valleys such as Glen Dochart and Glen Lyon with several high peaks over 900m high such as Ben Lawers, Ben Vorlich and Ben Chonzie, The steep slopes and significant rain and snowfall in the region provide the favorable conditions for a hydro-electric power scheme. The scheme includes seven power stations and was built by the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board under the chairmanship of Tom Johnston.

Behind Ben Lawers lies the Lawers section, with a catchment area of Convert|45|km2|sqmi|abbr=on, consisting of a system of tunnels and aqueducts which collect water and divert it into Lochan-na-Lairige retained by a massive buttress dam, 344m long and 42m high. From here water is fed by means of a pipeline to Finlarig power station on the shores of Loch Tay. It descends a total of 415m, the greatest drop of any Scottish hydro-electric scheme.

To the west, the Killin section, with a catchment area of Convert|122|km2|sqmi|abbr=on, consists of three dams with power stations at Lubreoch, Lochay and Cashlie. The main storage reservoir is at Loch Lyon retained by another massive buttress-type dam, 530m long and 39m high. Water is diverted into Loch Lyon by a system of aqueducts and tunnels from the catchment above Glen Dochart and the River Lochay to the south. Lochay power station is fed from Stronuich by pipeline and tunnel system over Convert|9|km|mi|abbr=on long and is the largest station on the Breadalbane Scheme. The Killin section includes fish ladders and lifts to allow salmon to reach their spawning areas.

To the south east, between Loch Tay and Loch Earn is the St. Fillans section, consisting of two dams with three power stations at Lednock, St. Fillans and Dalchonzie. The dam at the man-made Loch Lednock is a rare British example of a dam designed to withstand seismic hazards, which are a potential risk due to occasional movement along the line of the nearby Highland Boundary Fault. Water from Loch Lednock is fed via tunnel to St. Fillans power station at the foot of Loch Earn. This power station is buried in the hillside and the machine hall is a cavern hewn from solid rock. A weir below the outlet of Loch Earn diverts water into a tunnel to feed the small Dalchonzie power station midway between St. Fillans and Comrie.

The stations forming the Breadalbane scheme generate a total of 120 MW of power and are run by Scottish & Southern Energy plc (previously the privatised Scottish Hydro-Electric), with headquarters in Perth. Most of the electricity generated on the scheme is fed into the National Grid via the switching station at Killin. Although the Lawers section first came on-stream in 1956, the complete scheme was not fully operational until 1961.

External links

* [ Breadalbane hydro-electric scheme information]
* [ Map of the scheme]
* [ St. Fillans power station]

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