Presentation on the Galloway Hydro Scheme, which has been generating power for nearly a century. It includes a total of six power stations – Glenlee, Tongland, Kendoon, Drumjohn, Earlstoun and Carsfad – 11 dams and a network of tunnels and pipelines, giving it a flexible capacity of up to 109 MW, enough to power more than 90,000 households.
Hydro power is one of the most widespread sources of electricity generation in the world – it is also one of the biggest.
In Scotland, the Galloway Hydro Scheme is one that makes use of the country’s plentiful water sources to help the local community, the economy and the surrounding environment. Acquired by Drax Group in late 2018, the Galloway Hydro Scheme has been generating power for nearly a century.
It includes a total of six power stations, 11 dams and a network of tunnels and pipelines, giving it a flexible capacity of up to 109 MW, enough to power more than 90,000 households.
Providing important supplementary capacity for the National Grid, the Galloway system mainly generates power when there are peaks in electricity demand. To do this it operates a conventional storage hydro scheme where dams situated along the river are used to create small reservoirs, which are supplemented by two main storage reservoir. When demand for electricity peaks – typically between 5pm and 7pm – water is released from these reservoirs and used to spin turbines and generate electricity.
Dumfries & Galloway is a region defined and dominated by its river systems. As such, extreme weather can lead to occasional natural flooding. The Galloway scheme not only has to be diligent in working with extreme weather, but can actually play a role in monitoring and managing it. The team also takes a similar approach to monitoring and protecting the local wildlife. Fish, such as north Atlantic salmon and trout, migrate upstream from the ocean through the Galloway Rivers using manmade fish passes (also known as ‘fish ladders’), which allow fish to bypass dams along the scheme.
The scheme’s continued role in the region’s electricity system highlights the relevancy of small-scale hydropower, even as demand for electricity grows.
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