Lanark Hydro-Electric Scheme

(Falls of Clyde Hydro-Electric Scheme)

Opened in 1927, the Lanark Hydro-Electric Scheme consists of two power stations on the River Clyde, taking their water from the Falls of Clyde. This is the oldest hydro-electric power scheme in the United Kingdom.

Both power stations are classically-styled whitewashed re-inforced concrete buildings, which have been Category A-listed since 2011. Stonebyres Power Station is located 2 miles (3 km) west of Lanark and draws water from above the Stonebyres Linn waterfall, a head of 30m (98 feet), and generates 5 mega-watts of power.

Bonnington Power Station is located a half-mile (1 km) south of New Lanark below the Corra Linn waterfall. It draws water from above the Bonnington Linn waterfall, thus bypassing these two waterfalls and gaining a head of 51m (167 feet) to generate 11 mega-watts of power using two vertical-shaft generators attached to Francis turbines. For approximately 5 days between April and October each year, Bonnington Power Station is switched off and the Falls of Clyde can be seen to full effect.

The Lanark Hydro-Electric Scheme is owned and operated by Drax Group, a Yorkshire-based power generation company, which bought the hydro-power assets of Scottish Power in 2018. Scottish Power was formed from the privatisation of the South of Scotland Electricity Board. The scheme was initiated to promote development and alleviate unemployment by the Labour government led by Ramsay MacDonald.

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