Garry-Moriston Hydro-Electric Power Scheme

(Great Glen Hydro-Electric Power Scheme)

The Garry-Moriston Hydro-Electric Scheme (sometimes known as the Great Glen Scheme) is centred to the west of Fort Augustus in the Great Glen and lies to the south of the Affric-Beauly Scheme. This is an ideal location, being one of the wettest areas in the UK, with over 3100mm (122 inches) of rainfall per annum, more than four times that of the East Coast of Scotland.

The Garry section forms the southern part of the scheme, with Loch Quoich acting as the main storage reservoir, retained at its eastern end by the largest rockfill dam in Scotland, some 320m (1050 feet) long and 38m (125 feet) high. Water is sent by tunnel to the 22 megawatt (MW) Quoich power station on the River Garry. Downstream, Loch Garry forms a second reservoir, with a small concrete dam built across the gorge at its outlet. Water is carried by tunnel to the 20 MW station at Invergarry, near the mouth of the River Garry on Loch Oich in the Great Glen.

The Moriston section, to the north, has two main reservoirs, Loch Loyne and Loch Cluanie. Cluanie dam is 675m (2214 feet) long and over 40m (131 feet) high. Water is conveyed via a tunnel to the 20 MW Ceannacroc power station, which was one of the first underground power stations to be built in Britain, the rock having been left bare on the walls of the machine hall. This station discharges into the River Moriston.

Downstream, a further development is centred around Loch Dundreggan, retained by a small dam. To the north, water is collected and delivered to the 15 MW Livishie Power Station, which discharges into Loch Dundreggan. The Glenmoriston Power Station, at 36 MW the largest in the scheme, lies some 90m (295 feet) underground, beneath Dundreggan dam. Water is finally discharged into Loch Ness.

The scheme became fully operational in 1962 and has a total capacity of 113 MW. Today, it is run by the privatised Scottish & Southern Energy Plc, headquartered in Perth, with an annual turnover of £2.3 billion. Fish lifts are used on many of the dams to allow the migration of salmon.

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