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Pitlochry Power Station

Pitlochry Power Station
©2019 Gazetteer for Scotland

Pitlochry Power Station

Comprising a monumental block attached to the southern end of the Pitlochry Dam, the Pitlochry Power Station provides the last electricity generation of the Tummel Hydro-Electric Power Scheme, and may represent the fifth station that some of the water passing down through the scheme has powered. Completed in 1951, the power station is unsubtle, built of pre-cast slabs of reconstituted Aberdeen granite to the designs of English-born architect Harold Ogle Tarbolton (1869 - 1947). Metal window frames, terrazzo flooring and wooden bannisters are distinctively of their time. On the north side of the station is the crest of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board, with its motto Neart nan Gleann (the power of the glens). The building houses two 7500 kW generator sets in a large machine hall, with a travelling gantry crane and control equipment. Each generator sits above a vertical Kaplan turbine with four variable pitch blades. The location of the station next to the village of Pitlochry was controversial at the time and this brought a desire to avoid transformers and power lines, so all output passed through underground cables to a distribution substation located near Clunie power station. Depending on generation requirements, water passed through either one or both turbines to emerge into a partially screened tailrace, providing most of the water for the River Tummel. Now A-listed, the power station building also contains the Scottish Hydro Electric Visitor Centre.

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