Glendoe Hydro Electric Scheme
These Highland Quality Construction Volvo's are constructing a road to get to the new electrical scheme.
The Glendoe Hydro Scheme for the generation of hydro-electric power is located near Fort Augustus, above Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland.
The scheme is operated by SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy PLC). It was opened on 29 June 2009 by Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
It has the highest drop from the reservoir to the turbine (or head as it's known) of any hydro electric scheme in the UK, and is thus ideally suited to generating large amounts of energy from the stored water in the reservoir. Glendoe's turbine is capable of generating up to 100MW of energy. This coupled with the high rainfall in the area of around 2,000mm guarantees a high percentage output at full capacity.
It's Scotland's biggest civil engineering project, producing enough energy to power a quarter of a million homes.
The immediate catchment of 15km² is supplemented by a further 60km² connected to the scheme by an underground network of pipes and tunnels, and this is fed into the reservoir on the River Tarff. The dam, a 905 metre-long rock-filled embankment reaching a height of 35 metres above the valley floor, is hidden from view from all current houses and public roads in the area.
The scheme is made up of a large network of tunnels, including an 8.6km tunnel bringing water to the reservoir and 8km of larger tunnels that will carry the water to the turbines and out into Loch Ness. An access tunnel of 1.3km in length services the turbine and power station cavern.
The power station itself, 2km from Loch Ness and containing the turbine and generator units is housed in a large cavern a quarter of a kilometre below the hillside, adjacent to a smaller cavern containing the main transformer.
In August 2009 the station was shutdown and the power tunnel drained because of rockfalls inside and near the head of the tunnel. Although the equipment in the power station has been unaffected, Glendoe will no longer be able to generate power until repairs have been made. The delay to production will be unknown until a detailed survey can be completed.
Picture added on 21 September 2009 at 16:06