Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Foyers Power Station gets a mention

I always feel a bit sorry for Foyer Power Station. Despite being ‘interesting’ because it is one of the UK’s four pumped storage schemes (two in Scotland and two in Wales), it just… dull.

Unlike many other stations,  built in surprisingly elegant and impressive halls of brick and stone, Foyers just looks like a shed on the side of the loch, and might just as well be a fish-processing plant when seen from outside.

And that’s a bit of a shame.

It’s interesting because it has it roots in 1896, when lots of electricity was needed locally to supply an aluminium smelter. The North British Aluminium Company built an aluminium smelting plant on the shore of Loch Ness which, supplied by power from the station which drew on the River Foyer. But the plant closed in 1971. Notably, the Falls of Foyer (165 ft or 65 m) never ran quite so freely after 1896, when most of the flow was diverted to the power station.

However, although the smelter is long gone, the power station it spawned seems to have a long life ahead of it. Following the plant’s closure, the station became part of a pumped-storage hydroelectric system. The other is Cruachan.

Beginning back in 2011, an £8 milliion major refurbishment is taking place at Foyers, with completion due in 2018:

  • Replacement of existing 3m Main Inlet Valves ­ Project. Commenced 2011, due for completion in Oct 2014
  • Overhaul and upgrade of the 85T Overhead Crane ­ due for completion in Sept 2013
  • Overhaul and refurbishment of the standby diesel ­ on-going
  • Overhaul of existing Pump Turbines/Generators ­ In scoping phase
  • Overhaul of existing electrical systems ­ In scoping phase
  • Overhaul of the existing Mechanical Balance of Plant ­ In scoping phase

SSE said the revamp will extend the life of the site by several decades.

Via Revamp of SSE’s Foyers power station on Loch Ness

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September 3, 2013 - Posted by | Civilian | , , ,

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