North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board

Summary

The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board (1943–1990) was founded to design, construct and manage hydroelectricity projects in the Highlands of Scotland. It is regarded as one of the major achievements of Scottish politician Thomas Johnston, who chaired the board from 1945 to 1959.

North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board
FormerlyNew establishment
TypeGovernment body
IndustryElectricity generation and supply
Founded1943
FounderAct of Parliament: Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Act 1943
Defunct1990
FatePrivatisation
SuccessorNorth of Scotland Electricity plc
HeadquartersEdinburgh,
Scotland
Area served
North of Scotland
Key people
Thomas Johnston (Chairman)
ProductsElectricity
Production output
7073 GWh (1989)
ServicesGeneration and supply of electricity
£15.741 million (1988)
Total assetsElectricity generating stations and transmission system
OwnerUK Government (Secretary of State for Scotland)
Number of employees
3917 (1989)
ParentUK Government
DivisionsDistribution areas (see text)

BackgroundEdit

In the 1930s several schemes were proposed to develop hydro-electric power in the north of Scotland. These met with opposition by landowners, sporting interest and the coal mining industry on the grounds of competition.[1] The wartime Secretary of State for Scotland Tom Johnston established a committee chaired by Lord Cooper to inquire into hydro-electric power. The 1942 report[2] recommended the establishment of a North of Scotland Hydro-electric Board to initiate and develop schemes. The necessary legal powers were obtained by the Hydro-electric Development (Scotland) Act 1943.

ConstitutionEdit

The headquarters of the board were in Rothesay Terrace, Edinburgh (outside the board's operating area). The 1943 Act specified the management board was to comprise a chairman and not less than four and not more than eight members. All appointments to the board were to be made by the Secretary of State for Scotland.[3] The Board in 1958 comprised: Thomas Johnston (Chairman), Sir Hugh Mackenzie (Deputy Chairman), Sir John Erskine, Sir George McGlashan, A.I. Mackenzie, A. Macrae, I.A. Duncan Millar, William Hughes, John Jardine.[4]

When the UK electricity supply industry was nationalised in 1948, the board took over the assets of the Grampian Electricity Supply Company and other bodies producing electricity in the northern part of Scotland, these were: Campbeltown and Mid-Argyll, Crieff, Dunoon and District, Loch Leven, North of Scotland, Peterhead, Stornoway, Thurso and District, Dundee, Aberdeen, Perth, Inverness, Buckie, Lossiemouth, Branderburgh and Oban Corporations.[4]

Power generationEdit

The board's generating capacity was mainly provided by the construction of "schemes" of linked hydro-electric stations, with multiple generators located across one or more catchment area. There were also steam driven and diesel engine driven power stations. When the board was first constituted it owned only two power stations: the oil-fired Kirkwall and Rothsey stations.[5]

Hydro-electric power stationsEdit

The following hydro-electric stations were operational prior to nationalisation.[5] Some were transferred to the South of Scotland Board.

Hydro-electric stations operational in 1946
Station Owner Electricity supplied 1946, MWh Maximum load, kW
Maxwell Town Dumfries Corporation 220.6 87
Loch Luichart Grampian Electricity Supply Company 13,219 2035
Rannoch Grampian Electricity Supply Company 157,273 44,520
Tummel Grampian Electricity Supply Company 113,081 23,950
Glebe Greenoch Corporation 635.2 3382
Bught Inverness Corporation 680.7 98
Inshes Inverness Corporation 159.6 26
Lochaber hydroelectric scheme Lochaber Power Company 455,385 55,950
Tobermory Tobermory Corporation 60.3 37

The principal schemes constructed by the board were:[6]

In 1958 the following hydro-electric stations were in operation:[4][7]

Hydro-electric stations (1958 and 1968)
Station Capacity, MW Water head, feet Commissioned Electricity Output (1958), GWh Output (1968), GWh
Sloy 130 910 1957 104.88 120
Nostie Bridge (Lochash) 1.25 490 1947 4.607 6
Morar 0.45 16 1948 2.422 3
Pitlochry 15 50 1950 52.948 55
Clunie 61.2 173 1950 147.398 165
Grudie Bridge (Fannich) 24 550 1950 99.487 82
Kerry Falls (Gairloch) 1.25 185 1952 2.801 5
Striven (Cowal) 6 403 1951 17.84 19
Fasnakyle (Affric) 66 522 1951 209.437 223
Lussa 2.4 380 1952 8.837 10
Shira (Clachan) 40 965 1955 45.826 74
Storr Lochs (Skye) 2.85 447 1952 5.871 7
Tummel Bridge 34 173 1933 55.023 120
Rannoch 48 512 1930 150.174 174
Gaur 6.4 92 1953 15.93 17
Luichart 24 185 1954 114.743 124
Torr Achilty 15 52 1954 29.838 36
Loch Dubh (Ullapool) 1.2 543 1954 4.299 5
Errochty 75 610 1955 80.2.2 84
Mullardoch Tunnel 2.4 1956 1956 6.92 8
Finlarig (Lawers) 30 1362 1956 53.747 80
Quoich 22 320 1955 90.252 77
Achanalt 2.4 65 1956 6.99 8
Invergarry 20 175 1956 72.017 82
Ceannacroc 20 296 1956 58.086 73
Allt-na-Lairige 6 817 1956 14.444
Kilmelfort 2 365 1956 9.19 9
Small compensation water stations 0.675

Hydro-electric power stations under construction in 1958 were:[4][7]

Hydro-electric stations under construction 1958 (output in 1968)
Station Capacity, MW Output (1968), GWh
Sron Mor (Shira) 5 6
Mossford 24 112
Glenmoriston 32 114
Breadalbane (Killin Section) Lochay 47 160
Breadalbane (Killin Section) Lubreoch 4 13
Breadalbane (Killin Section) Cashlie 11 25
Breadalbane (St Fillans Section) St Fillans 21 76
Breadalbane (St Fillans Section) Dalchonzie 4 18
Breadalbane (St Fillans Section) Lednoch 3 5
Lairg 3.5 10
Shin 24 103
Cassley 10 24
Orrin 18 76
Small compensation water stations 3.7

The following additional hydro-electric stations were commissioned in the 1960s.[7]

Hydro-electric stations commissioned in the 1960s
Power station Commissioned Head of water, m Catchment, km3 Generating capacity, MW Annual output, GWh
Loch Ericht 1962 55 89 2.2 11
Kilmorack 1962 17 906 20 55
Aigas 1962 18 780 20 55
Culligran 1962 60 290 24 57
Deanie 1963 113 212 38 94
Livishie 1962 259 41 15 24
Lairige 1956 249 14 6 20
Inverawe 1963 36 839 25 100
Nant 1963 172 44 15 27
Chliostair 1960 122 8 1 2.4
Gisla 1960 47 16 0.54 2
Loch Gair 1961 109 62 6 18
Mucomir 1962 7 383 1.95 9

By 1968 the installed capacity of all conventional hydro-electric power stations operated by North of Scotland Board was 1047.06 MW, the total average annual output was 2911.4 GWh.

Cruachan pumped storage schemeEdit

See main article: Cruachan Power Station

The Cruachan power station (also known as the Cruachan Dam) is a pumped-storage hydroelectric power station commissioned in 1965.[7] It can provide 440 MW of power and has a capacity of 7.1 GWh.

Steam power stationsEdit

There were two steam power stations in 1958.[3]

Steam power stations
Station Steam raising, lb/hr Generating sets Maximum demand, MW Electricity generated, GWh
Aberdeen (Ferryhill) 604,000 2 × 5 MW, 2 × 12.5 MW, 1 × 15 MW, 1 × 6.25 MW, 1 × 1 MW 53.1 65.906
Dundee (Carolina Port) 812,000 1 × 15.625 MW, 2 × 30 MW, 76.8 228.655

Diesel engine stationsEdit

There were nine diesel fuelled power stations in 1958.[3]

Diesel engine stations
Station Engines Electricity output, MW Maximum demand, MW Electricity generated 1958, GWh
Bowmore 3 × 0.6 MW, 2 × 0.265 MW 2.33 1.38 4.978
Brodick 1 × 0.88 MW, 1 × 0.685 MW, 1 × 0.6 MW, 1 × 0.425 MW, (1 × 0.135 MW water driven) 3.087 2.18 5.725
Campbeltown 1 × 1 MW, 2 × 0.6 MW, 2 × 0.4 MW 2 × 0.37 MW 3.74 2.71 3.332
Daliburgh 1 × 0.46 MW, 2 × 0.45 MW, 1 × 0.2 MW 1.56 0.730 2.798
Kirkwall 4 × 1 MW, 1 × 0.52 MW, 2 × 2 MW 8.52 4.48 14.807
LerwIck 2 × 2 MW, 3 × 1 MW, 1 × 0.6 MW 7.6 3.985 12.894
Lochalsh 1 × 0.375 MW, 1 × 0.135 MW, 2 × 0.2 MW 0.91 0.59 0.059
Stornoway 2 × 2.04 MW, 1 × 2.0 MW, 3 × 1.0 MW 9.08 5.55 18.963
Tobermory 1 × 0.45 MW, 1 × 0.425 MW, 1 × 0.274 MW, 3 × 0.075 MW 1.375 0.47 1.486

TransmissionEdit

The supply of electricity was through the Highland Grid operating at 132 kV. In 1958 this comprised 1,630 circuit miles with 31 substations. The total length of all mains was 17,369 circuit miles.[3] By April 1989 there were 1,694 km of 275 kV lines; 3,403 km of 132 kV lines; and 44,340 km of less than 132 kV lines.[8]

Distribution areaEdit

Supply to customers was through 13 distribution areas.[3] The areas' supply capacity and key data for 1956 were as follows:

North of Scotland Hydro-electric Board Distribution areas
Distribution area Supply (generating) capacity, MW Max load, MW Electricity sold 1956, GWh Consumers
Aberdeen 57.25 72.7 238.752 74,479
Cowal 2.952

6.0 (hydro-electric)

10.56 36.65 15,308
Dalriada 3.14

2.4 (hydro-electric

6.658 23.953 7,451
Dundee 45.625 80.97 277.295 66,086
Lewis 7.68 4.73 13.079 7,285
Lochaber 0.3.5

0.75 (hydro-electric)

3.66 12.735 3,628
Lorne and the Isles 1.56

2.0 (hydro-electric)

6.36 21.893 5,539
North Caledonia 0.12 (hydro-electric) 70.889 210.655 63,289
Orkney 5.04 3.93 11.408 5,123
Perth (city) Electricity imported 13.647 3181 13,725
Shetland 6.2 3.465 9.756 4,651
Skye and Lochalsh 0.91

2.85 (hydro-electric)

2.5 7.81 4,121
South Caledonia 75 + 30 + 6.4 +15 + 48 + 34 (hydro-electric) 70.193 226.956 57,050

Operating data 1949 to 1989Edit

Key operating data for the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board is summarised in the table.[8]

Key operating data for the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board
Year Total installed generating capacity, MW Maximum demand, MW Customers, thousands Employees Capital expenditure, £ million Net profit, £ million
1949 251 216 222 2453 13.4 0.097
1959 1047 861 384 3038 13.0 –0.029
1969 1815 992 454 3860 7.8 –1.399
1971 1830 1045 473 3832 11.3 0.093
1972 1821 1289 482 3641 14.4 –3.207
1973 1832 1339 488 3588 16.1 –2.474
1974 2150 1456 477 3673 16.9 –2.725
1975 2150 1498 486 3745 32.2 –2.274
1976 2160 1486 498 3808 70.1 0.103
1977 2176 1614 510 3796 77.2 5.888
1978 2109 1576 520 3910 63.5 1.794
1979 2116 1691 528 4059 47.6 2.065
1980 2116 1695 536 4146 42.7 2.473
1981 2125 1637 543 4115 41.5 11.214
1982 2551 1740 549 4005 32.5 13.217
1983 3173 1443 556 3920 41.9 18.358
1984 3179 1495 563 3840 38.9 12.191
1985 3259 1552 571 3830 38.3 –6.075
1986 3259 1502 578 3767 44.5 5.930
1987 3262 1660 585 3795 54.7 17.298
1988 3265 1486 590 3861 54.0 15.741
1989 3265 1419 597 3917 38.3 0.584

The amount of electricity supplied by the board, in GWh, is shown on the graph.[8]

DissolutionEdit

North of Scotland Electricity plc was formed in 1989 to acquire the board's assets ahead of privatisation, however the name was later changed to Scottish Hydro-Electric plc. The board was dissolved in March 1990 and privatised in June 1991. The company's head office was moved from Edinburgh to Perth.

A further name change to Scottish and Southern Energy plc was made in December 1998 after the merger with Southern Electric plc. The brand name "Scottish Hydro-Electric" continues to be used for the company's Scottish business.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hannah, Leslie (1982). Engineers, Managers and Politicians. London: Macmillan. pp. 149–60. ISBN 0333220870.
  2. ^ Presented to Parliament December 1942 Cmd. 6406, 1943
  3. ^ a b c d e Garrett, Frederick (1959). Garcke's Manual of Electricity Supply vol.56. London: Electrical Press. pp. C-1 to C-18.
  4. ^ a b c d Electrical Journal (1958). Electricity undertakings of the world. London: Benn Brothers. pp. 234–235.
  5. ^ a b Electricity Commission (1947). Generation of Electricity in Great Britain year ended 31 December 1946. London: HMSO. p. 12.
  6. ^ "Power From the Glens" (PDF). Scottish and Southern Energy. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 18, 2007. Retrieved 2015-04-09.
  7. ^ a b c d Lea, K J (March 1969). "Hydro-Electric Power Generation in the Highlands of Scotland". Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. No. 46: 155 to 165. doi:10.2307/621414. JSTOR 621414.
  8. ^ a b c Electricity Council (1990). Handbook of Electricity Supply Statistics. London: Electricity Councik. pp. 86–91. ISBN 085188122X.