Lochay Power Station

Got to be careful I don’t mutate into Fred Dibner whilst on this trip..  However I can’t help resist a little celebration of British pride and Engineering splendour.  I was given a guided tour of Lochay Power Station before being left to photograph in my own time.  Hosted by Roger Twigg who after 40 years in the game knows a few things about Hydro.  Spinning at 500 rpm this drive shaft supports over 65 tonnnes of generator coils which generate over 25KW of electricity during peak load. The energy coming from pure Scottish rain with a little help from gravity. Zero carbon emissions..

First commissioned after WW2, Lochay is perhaps the most spotless working engineering marvel I have ever toured.  You need to wipe your feet entering the plant from the office!  2 huge turbines and generator sets dominate the main room. Which have only needed new bearings in nearly 60 years of green energy service. No detail or cost has been spared when built but similarly never frivalent, it smells of grease, pride and purpose.

Wood lined ceiling and handrails provide access and house machinery engineered from solid steel to last at least 100 years. Machinery originating from the once proud cities of Bradford, Liverpool, Glasgow dominate the room and hum rhythmically in the background in unison powering our  very modern needs.

~ by Toby Smith on February 27, 2010.

4 Responses to “Lochay Power Station”

  1. Great photos, Toby. I live near these hydro plants and am also fascinated by them and their social history. i’ve written a bit about them at: http://walkingandwriting.blogspot.com/search/label/hydro-electric

    • Great little blog post Linda. Good to find someone else who is equally passionate and in awe of these incredible structures. Glad you like the photos – stay tuned for the final gallery.

  2. Great to see inside – any idea if they do more tours/visits?

  3. great photos toby, I was recently at lochay power station and the Stronuich Reservoir It is incredible engineering.(They seem to be doing some work in the power station at present ) My interest is that, it was the power station used in a the 1970s TV series survivors (The last epsidoe Power) it was amazing to see that they were still using the same switchgear which was shown n the series. Not sure if it was the original from build but I see no reason why not. Also like you i feel saddened that them once engineering companies no longer seem to exist.

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