When we stayed in Pitlochry, we were a 5 minute drive from this station and the dam. I found it interesting to learn about and I hope you do too.
Why was it built?
It is all part of the Tummel-Garry scheme. As you can see in the image below, (taken from SSE Renewables), this plan consisted of 9 power stations, 6 major dams, and 10 lochs and reservoirs. This system can power 1 million homes for around 7 days!
Did the people of Pitlochry warm to this scheme? NO! Opposition to construction was in fact so strong that there was only one hotel that would accommodate the surveying engineers during construction. The media at the time told locals that if these dams were built, it would be the end of tourism in the area. Only later did they realise that in fact these dams and their fish ladders would be assets and actually attract visitors to the area, increasing tourism.
Power at the end of the Tummel
This dam is situated at the end of the loch, it controls the level of Loch Tummel providing flow regulation and storage for Clunie Power Station. Not only did it raise the level by 17 feet but it widened the Loch, unfortunately I cannot tell you how much.
This dam is a pretty big one, holding over 8 billion gallons of water. It is 69 feet high, and 380 feet long. It was built in a 3 year span, completed in 1950 – it is over 70 years old!!!
Clunie Memorial Arch
When you enter the site of the power station, you drive or walk straight through this MAHOOSIVE arch. This was built to the exact measurements of a tunnel. That tunnel takes water from the Loch Tummel to Clunie Power station. Not going to lie to you, it is overwhelming to imagine the gallons of water that pass through that tunnel everyday. The pounds of pressure that tunnel and the dam walls must be under. I dread to think.
This arch was erected as a permanent memorial to five men who lost their lives in a nearby tunnel due to a lightning strike prematurely detonating an explosive charge.
This Loch isn’t a loch in the traditional sense. It is a reservoir. It isn’t a very big reservoir as it is only 2 miles long. It is popular with anglers. The biggest trout ever recorded caught here was over 30lbs.
Loch Faskally was built between 1947 and 1950 by Wimpey Construction to stabilise river flows below the dam at Pitlochry. The reservoir is fed by the river Tummel and the river Garry.
Have you ever been to Clunie dam? Let me know!