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TITLE
Storr Lochs Generating Station
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_RAMSAY_D893_1_7_019
PLACENAME
Storr Lochs
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Portree
PERIOD
1950s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
8783
KEYWORDS
hydro-electric
Storr Lochs
generating station
pipeline
cable railway
Storr Lochs Generating Station

This photograph was likely taken on 31st May 1952, the day of the official opening of the Storr Lochs Hydro-Electric scheme on northeast Skye. The cable railway was constructed to facilitate moving materials and workers to the site of the generating station. The railway goes down the steep 350 foot cliff to the shores of Bearreraig Bay. A set of 647 steps was roughly cast in the foundation of the railway. The pipeline runs alongside. The architects for the forward looking North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board were given freedom in the design of the buildings, with their policy to create pleasing as well as functional buildings a priority. For the Storr Lochs generating station, the slate roof and rugged stonework are very much in keeping with the rugged surroundings.

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 Generating Station

INVERNESS: Portree

1950s

hydro-electric; Storr Lochs; generating station; pipeline; cable railway

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

William J Ramsay Archive

This photograph was likely taken on 31st May 1952, the day of the official opening of the Storr Lochs Hydro-Electric scheme on northeast Skye. The cable railway was constructed to facilitate moving materials and workers to the site of the generating station. The railway goes down the steep 350 foot cliff to the shores of Bearreraig Bay. A set of 647 steps was roughly cast in the foundation of the railway. The pipeline runs alongside. The architects for the forward looking North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board were given freedom in the design of the buildings, with their policy to create pleasing as well as functional buildings a priority. For the Storr Lochs generating station, the slate roof and rugged stonework are very much in keeping with the rugged surroundings.<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 />