Friday, January 22, 2010

Hydro-Electricity In the Highlands

New Dam at Glendoe is the First For More Than Fifty Years

In June 2009, high in the Monadhliadh Mountains, the Queen opened the Glendoe hydro-electric project. It was almost sixty years after another Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother) opened the newly-built power station at Sloy, on the banks of Loch Lomond in 1950 – and the first major new hydro-electric project in Scotland for over half a century.
The Beginnings of Hydro-Electricity in Scotland
The first hydro-electric project in the world was opened in Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1882. Scotland, with its high annual rainfall and mountainous terrain, was - and remains - ideally suited to benefit from the technology and development wasn’t far behind, with the country’s first hydro-electric plant opening in Greenock in 1885.
In the Highlands, hydro-electricity arrived in 1890 at Fort Augustus on the shores of Loch Ness, just a few hundred yards from where the new plant at Glendoe has its outfall. A publicly-funded enterprise, the Fort Augustus project was run by the monks of the local abbey and generated enough electricity for the village’s 800 inhabitants. Read more.

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