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TITLE
Storr Lochs Hydro-Electric Dam
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_RAMSAY_D893_1_5_034
PLACENAME
Storr Lochs
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Portree
PERIOD
1950s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
8712
KEYWORDS
Storr Lochs
hydro-electric
dam
reservoir
wing wall
Skye
Storr Lochs Hydro-Electric Dam

This photograph was taken likely in spring 1952 when the Storr Lochs hydro-electric scheme in northeast Skye had officially opened. The dam is central in the photograph, with the full reservoir of water behind. In the foreground extending to the right of the dam is the wing wall. This wall, which extends far into the boggy field, had to be constructed to give support to the structure of the dam itself. Extending over the crest of the hill is the road providing access to the cable railway winch house, and generating station. On the hill just above the dam, is the wooden shed which was built to accommodate some of the up to 60 workmen employed on the site.

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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Storr Lochs Hydro-Electric Dam

INVERNESS: Portree

1950s

Storr Lochs; hydro-electric; dam; reservoir; wing wall; Skye

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

William J Ramsay Archive

This photograph was taken likely in spring 1952 when the Storr Lochs hydro-electric scheme in northeast Skye had officially opened. The dam is central in the photograph, with the full reservoir of water behind. In the foreground extending to the right of the dam is the wing wall. This wall, which extends far into the boggy field, had to be constructed to give support to the structure of the dam itself. Extending over the crest of the hill is the road providing access to the cable railway winch house, and generating station. On the hill just above the dam, is the wooden shed which was built to accommodate some of the up to 60 workmen employed on the site.<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 />