Proposed hydro developments

Scottish & Southern Energy (who now own the old Scottish Hydro Board) have proposed two new pumped storage hydro-electricity schemes. The planning applications will be submitted in 2011 and completion dates are expected around 2017 if permission is granted. The last hydro scheme built up here was the Glendoe 100MW scheme near Loch Ness which came on line this year before breaking down! With the demand for more green energy there’s likely to be more and more such schemes unveiled.

Assuming planning permission is granted access to a few Scottish Marilyns may be affected during construction. If access is not affected, the views will be affected during and after construction. This means that anyone who wants to experience what the countryside is like before the extensive changes should consider getting themselves up these hills before work starts. There’s no rush, you have a couple of years at least!

The first scheme is near Sron a’Choire Ghairbh WS-092. There is a magnificent horseshoe ridge range of hills here with a spectacular lochan in the choire, Loch a Choire Ghlais. Looking on the map it’s an obvious hyrdo scheme with a dam across the end of the choire. The power station will be buried on the North side of Loch Lochy. The other is North of Foyers above Loch Ness. This will affect Glas-bhein Mhor WS-250 and Meall Fuar-mhonaidh WS-225 where Loch nam Breac Dearga will be considerably enlarged.

So if you want to see the land the way the ice-age left it you need to visit sooner rather than later.