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TITLE
Hydro-Electric Generating Station at Bearreraig Bay, Isle of Skye
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_RAMSAY_D893_1_4_019
PLACENAME
Storr Lochs
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Portree
PERIOD
1950s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
8632
KEYWORDS
Storr Lochs
hydro-electric
generating station
Raasay
landscape
Hydro-Electric Generating Station at Bearreraig Bay, Isle of Skye

This photograph gives a good view of the steep Storr Lochs pipeline and generating station at Bearreraig Bay. In the planning stages, it was thought that machinery and materials could be brought in to the site of the generating station by landing vessel, but the strong tides in the bay prevented this, with one vessel laden with equipment being lost. After that, all material, equipment and machinery had to come down the steep cliff. A railway was constructed to facilitate moving supplies down to the station. Across the Inner Sound is the north of the Island of Raasay, and in the distance the hills of the mainland.

The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board received permission to construct a dam and power station at Storr Lochs on the Isle of Skye in 1949. The project combined the waters of Loch Fada and Loch Leathan in the Storr Lochs reservoir, with the generating house below on Bearreraig Bay. Construction began in early 1950, and was commissioned in May 1952. Before this a number of houses in the Broadford area had electricity via underwater cable from Kyle of Lochalsh, sourced at Nostie Bridge power station. In Portree, the Royal Hotel had a small diesel generator which provided some street lighting and a few houses with electricity, while most hotels and some larger houses had their own generators.

The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board was established under the Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Act 1943. Thomas Johnston presented the Act in the House of Commons, declaring that by harnessing 'the great latent power of the region' it would assist in remedying the ills that affected the Highlands. Johnston told the Commons that 'industries, whether owned nationally or privately, will be and ought to be, attracted to locations in the Highlands, as a result of this measure'.

Ordinary consumers would have priority, then the anticipated large power users, and any surplus energy would be sold to the national grid. Profits from these sales would help reduce distribution costs to more remote areas, and assist in carrying out measures for the economic development and social improvement of the Highlands. This famous social clause gave recognition that the Hydro Board was envisaged as an instrument for the rehabilitation of northern Scotland, not just an organization to provide electricity.


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Hydro-Electric Generating Station at Bearreraig Bay, Isle of Skye

INVERNESS: Portree

1950s

Storr Lochs; hydro-electric; generating station; Raasay; landscape

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

William J Ramsay Archive

This photograph gives a good view of the steep Storr Lochs pipeline and generating station at Bearreraig Bay. In the planning stages, it was thought that machinery and materials could be brought in to the site of the generating station by landing vessel, but the strong tides in the bay prevented this, with one vessel laden with equipment being lost. After that, all material, equipment and machinery had to come down the steep cliff. A railway was constructed to facilitate moving supplies down to the station. Across the Inner Sound is the north of the Island of Raasay, and in the distance the hills of the mainland.<br /> <br /> The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board received permission to construct a dam and power station at Storr Lochs on the Isle of Skye in 1949. The project combined the waters of Loch Fada and Loch Leathan in the Storr Lochs reservoir, with the generating house below on Bearreraig Bay. Construction began in early 1950, and was commissioned in May 1952. Before this a number of houses in the Broadford area had electricity via underwater cable from Kyle of Lochalsh, sourced at Nostie Bridge power station. In Portree, the Royal Hotel had a small diesel generator which provided some street lighting and a few houses with electricity, while most hotels and some larger houses had their own generators.<br /> <br /> The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board was established under the Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Act 1943. Thomas Johnston presented the Act in the House of Commons, declaring that by harnessing 'the great latent power of the region' it would assist in remedying the ills that affected the Highlands. Johnston told the Commons that 'industries, whether owned nationally or privately, will be and ought to be, attracted to locations in the Highlands, as a result of this measure'.<br /> <br /> Ordinary consumers would have priority, then the anticipated large power users, and any surplus energy would be sold to the national grid. Profits from these sales would help reduce distribution costs to more remote areas, and assist in carrying out measures for the economic development and social improvement of the Highlands. This famous social clause gave recognition that the Hydro Board was envisaged as an instrument for the rehabilitation of northern Scotland, not just an organization to provide electricity. <br /> <br /> <br /> This image can be purchased.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href= "mailto: skyeandlochalsh.archives@highlifehighland.com" >Skye and Lochalsh Archives</a><br />