The Rt Hon Des Browne MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, visited Cruachan Power Station in Argyll on Friday afternoon (9th May). Mr Browne was shown the inner workings of the reversible pumped-storage operation by John Campbell, Director of Energy Wholesale at ScottishPower and Bob Wales, station manager at Cruachan.
The station, which opened in 1965 and has the capacity to power over 225,000 homes, is hidden deep within the mountain of Ben Cruachan on the shores of Loch Awe. The unique location of the power station makes it a popular attraction, with over 60,000 visitors touring the site each year.
Notes to Editors:
Picture 1 and Picture 2: Des Browne MP is shown the machine hall at Cruachan Power Station by ScottishPower staff. The 90 metres long by 36 metres high cavern houses four generator units.
Picture 3 and Picture 4: ScottishPower station manager Bob Wales explains the workings of Cruachan Power Station to Des Browne MP on the ridge of the 316m long dam beside the reservoir near the summit of Ben Cruachan.
Picture 5: Des Browne MP talking to ScottishPower staff (Stephen Lawson, Production Supervisor and Randy Twigg, Assistant Production Supervisor) in the Control Room at Cruachan Power Station.
Cruachan Power Station facts
The station consists of a machine hall hidden deep within the mountain of Ben Cruachan, and a reservoir at the top of the mountain with a 316m long dam. The creation of the "Hollow Mountain" involved the excavation of 220,000 cubic metres of rock and soil.
The catchment area of the reservoir covers 23sq km.
The station can generate 440MW of power and can produce electricity in just two minutes from cold.
With 1420 steps, a staircase in the cable shaft is the tallest in Britain.
Media Information: Paul Ferguson 0141 566 4515 / 07702 665 924