The Anonymous Widower

Repurposing The Great Glen Hydro-Electric Scheme

The Great Glen hydro-electric scheme was built in the 1950s and early 1960s, by the North of Scotland Hydroelectric Board.

  • The scheme is now owned by SSE Renewables and has a page on their web site.
  • There are six individual power stations; Ceannacroc, Livishie, Glenmoriston, Quoich, Invergarry and Mucomir.
  • There are five dams; Cluanie, Loyne, Dundreggan, Quoich and Invergarry.

This map from the SSE Renewables web site shows the layout of the dams and power stations.

The sizes of the power stations in the scheme are as follows.

  • Ceannacroc – 20 MW
  • Livishie – 15 MW
  • Glenmoriston- 37 MW
  • Quoich – 18 MW
  • Invergarry – 20 MW
  • Mucomir – 1.7 MW

This gives a total power of 112.7 MW.

This Google Map shows the same area as the SSE Renewables Map.

Note.

  1. Loch Quoich is in the South-West corner.
  2. To the East of Loch Quoitch is Loch Garry and to the North-East is Loch Loyne.
  3. Loch Cluanie is to the North.
  4. Invermoriston is in the North-East corner.

The scheme also includes three underground power stations and several miles of tunnels.

Strathclyde University And Pumped Storage Power For Scotland

This page on the Strathclyde University gives a list of the pumped storage potential for Scottish hydrogen-electric dams and power stations.

These figures are given for the dams and lochs in the Great Glen scheme.

  • Invergarry – 22 GWh
  • Glenmoriston- 41 GWh
  • Quoich – 27 GWh

It would appear that based on research from Strathclyde University, that the Great Glen scheme could support up to 90 GWh of pumped storage.

Water Flows In The Great Glen Scheme

Looking at the SSE Renewables map of the Great Glen scheme, water flows appear to be as follows.

 

  • Loch Quoitch to Loch Garry via Quoitch power station.
  • Loch Garry to Loch Oich via Invergarry power station.
  • Loch Loyne to Loch Dundreggan via River Moriston.
  • Loch Cluanie to Loch Dundreggan via Ceannacroc power station and River Moriston.
  • Loch Dundreggan to Loch Ness via Glenmoriston power station.

All the water eventually flows into the sea at Inverness.

Refurbishing And Repurposing The Great Glen Scheme

Perhaps as the power stations are now over fifty years old, one simple way to increase the generating capacity of the Great Glen scheme, might be to selectively replace the turbines, with modern turbines, that can generate electricity more efficiently.

I suspect that SSE Renewables have an ongoing program of improvements and replacements for all of their hydro-electric stations in Scotland. Some turbines at Sloy power station have already been replaced with larger ones.

Adding Pumped Storage To The Great Glen Scheme

I would assume that the water to pump uphill at night or when there is a surplus of electricity will come from Loch Oich or Loch Ness.

Some power stations like Glenmoriston and Invergarry might be updated to both generate electricity or pump water up hill, as is required.

Conclusion

There would appear to be up to three schemes, that could  each add around 30 GWh of pumped storage.

One advantage is that the waters of Loch Ness can be used for the lower reservoir.

February 20, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

LNER Launches International Website Making Travel Simpler For Overseas Tourists

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release on LNER.

These four paragraphs describe the new website.

The new website coincides with the removal of pre-departure testing and quarantine rules for vaccinated people arriving in England or Scotland from 11 February 2022.

In a move that expands LNER’s global market, customers in 10 countries, including China, Japan, Spain, South Korea and Italy, are among the first to benefit when booking directly online.

LNER’s new search and booking engine offers international customers in those countries an option to purchase train tickets using their language and currency. The LNER.co.uk website will automatically detect those customers who are searching outside of the UK and will redirect them to the customised site to improve their online booking experience. The website launch comes as LNER reintroduces its full timetable, excluding pre-planned engineering works, meaning customers can discover destinations across the full 956-miles of East Coast route.

LNER has been working with travel tech company and rail retailer, Omio, to develop the site, which has the capability to operate in up to 20 languages and 26 currencies, including Euros, Korean Won and Japanese Yen or by using a payment method recognised in the home country.

Surely, if you run a travel company, your web site must be accessible to buy tickets from everywhere.

February 20, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 5 Comments

Repurposing The Affric/Beauly Hydro-Electric Scheme

The Affric/Beauly hydro-electric scheme was built in the 1950s and early 1960s, by the North of Scotland Hydroelectric Board.

  • The scheme is now owned by SSE Renewables and has a page on their web site.
  • There are six individual power stations; Mullardoch, Fasnakyle, Deanie, Culligran, Aigas and Kilmorack.
  • There are seven dams; Mullardoch, Benevean, Monar, Loichel, Beannacharan, Aigas and Kilmorack.

This map from the SSE Renewables web site shows the layout of the dams and power stations.

This description of the scheme is from Wikipedia.

The Affric / Beauly hydro-electric power scheme for the generation of hydro-electric power is located in the western Highlands of Scotland. It is based around Glen Strathfarrar, Glen Cannich and Glen Affric, and Strathglass further downstream.

The scheme was developed by the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board, with plans being approved in 1947.

The largest dam of the scheme is at Loch Mullardoch, at the head of Glen Cannich. From there, a tunnel takes water to Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoinn (Loch Benevean) in Glen Affric, via a small underground power station near Mullardoch dam. Loch Benevean is also dammed, with a tunnel taking water to the main power station of Fasnakyle, near Cannich.

To the north in Glen Strathfarrar, Loch Monar is dammed, and a 9 km tunnel carries water to an underground power station at Deanie. Further down the glen, the River Farrar is dammed just below Loch Beannacharan, with a tunnel to take water to Culligran power station (also underground).

The River Farrar joins with the River Glass near Struy to form the River Beauly. Downstream on the River Beauly, dams and power stations have been built in gorges at Aigas and Kilmorack.

As the rivers in this scheme are important for Atlantic salmon, flow in the rivers is kept above agreed levels. The dams at Kilmorack, Aigas and Beannacharn contain Borland fish lifts to allow salmon to pass.

Note

  1. Culligran, Deanie and Mullardoch power stations are underground.
  2. Loch Beannacharan is the English name for Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin.
  3. The salmon impose a constraint on water levels.

The sizes of the power stations in the scheme are as follows.

  • Mullardoch – 2.4 MW
  • Fasnakyle – 69 MW
  • Deanie – 38 MW
  • Culligran – 19 MW
  • Aigas – 20 MW
  • Kilmorack – 20 MW

This gives a total power of 168.4 MW.

This Google Map shows the Western area of the SSE Renewables Map.

Note.

  1. The three lochs; Monar, Mullardoch and Beinn a’ Mheadhoin can be picked out on both maps.
  2. Fasnakyle, where the largest of the hydro-electric power stations in the Affric/Beauly scheme, is at the Eastern edge of the map about half-way up.
  3. The area doesn’t seem to have a large population.

This Google Map shows the location of Fasnakyle power station in more detail.

Note.

  1. Fasnakyle power station is in the South-West corner of the map. marked by a grey flag.
  2. It appears that all of the water that goes through the power station flows into the River Glass, Strathglass, which meanders its way towards Inverness on the bottom of what appears to be a broad valley.

This Google Map shows the next section of the river.

The River Glass, Strathglass joins the River Farrar near the top of the map an becomes the River Beauly.

This Google Map the River Beauly to Kilmorack.

Wikipedia says this about this section of the River Beauly.

The river is part of the Affric-Beauly hydro-electric power scheme, with dams and power stations at Aigas and Kilmorack. Both have 20MW generators and include fish ladders to allow salmon to pass, the Aigas fish ladder is open to visitors in the summer.

This last Google Map shows the Beauly Firth.

Note.

  1. Kilmorack is in the South-West corner of the map.
  2. The River Beauly flows into the Beauly Firth and ultimately out to see in the Moray Firth.
  3. The water flows past Inverness to the North.

It does strike me, that a lot of the water collected in the dams to the West of Fasnakyle, flows out to sea.

Strathclyde University And Pumped Storage Power For Scotland

This page on the Strathclyde University gives a list of the pumped storage potential for Scottish hydrogen-electric dams and power stations.

A figure is given for only one dam or power station in the Affric/Beauly scheme.

  • Fasnakyle – 78 GWh

That would be a lot of pumped storage.

Water Flows In The Affric/Beauly Scheme

Looking at the SSE Renewables map of the Conon scheme, water flows appear to be as follows.

  • Loch Monar to Loch Beannacharan via Deanie power station
  • Loch Beannacharan to River Beauly via Culligran power station
  • Lochs Mullardoch and Beinn a’ Mheadhoin both supply water to the Fasnakyle power station
  • Fasnakyle power station to River Beauly via the River Glass, Strathglass.
  • River Beauly to Beauly Firth via Aigas and Kilmorack power stations.

Note.

  1. Water from Loch Moray goes via Deanie , Culligran, Aigas and Kilmorack power stations on its journey to the sea.
  2. Water from Loch Mullardoch goes via Mullardoch , Fasnakyle, Aigas and Kilmorack power stations on its journey to the sea.
  3. Water from Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin goes via Fasnakyle, Aigas and Kilmorack power stations on its journey to the sea.

Fasnakyle, Aigas and Kilmorack power stations must work very hard.

Refurbishing And Repurposing The Affric/Beauly Scheme

Perhaps as the power stations are now over fifty years old, one simple way to increase the generating capacity of the Affric/Beauly scheme  might be to selectively replace the turbines, with modern turbines, that can generate electricity more efficiently.

I suspect that SSE Renewables have an ongoing program of improvements and replacements for all of their hydro-electric stations in Scotland. Some turbines at Sloy power station have already been replaced with larger ones.

I also suspect that the whole scheme has a very sophisticated control system.

Consider.

  • There is a need to control water levels to agreed minimum levels for the Atlantic salmon.
  • Hydro-electric power stations have the ability to get to full power quickly, to cover sudden demands for more electricity.
  • Electricity only needs to be generated if it can be used.
  • Water might be held in Lochs Mullardoch and Beinn a’ Mheadhoin, as a reserve, as it goes through three or four power stations when it is released.

Over the years, SSE Renewables will have developed very sophisticated control philosophies.

Adding Pumped Storage To The Affric/Beauly Scheme

To do this a source of fresh-water must be pumped into Loch Mullardoch or Beinn a’ Mheadhoin, when there is a surplus of electricity.

It looks from Google Maps, that the river system between Fasnakyle and Aigas power stations has been effectively turned into a canal.

  • I wonder, if it is deep enough to contain enough water to act as the lower level reservoir of a pumped-storage system.
  • The higher level reservoir would be Loch Mullardoch.
  • There would be a height difference of 200 metres.
  • Calculations show around 1850 cubic metres of water would need to be pumped into Loch Mullardoch to store one MWh.

So long as enough water is left for the salmon, I suspect that if a way of pumping water from the River Glass to Loch Mullardoch, that an amount of pumped-storage can be added.

Conclusion

There would appear to be only one scheme, but if it was built it could add over 50 GWh of pumped storage.

 

February 20, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , | 2 Comments