SSE commissioned ASH as environmental consultants for the proposed Glendoe Hydroelectric Scheme

The Glendoe hydroelectric scheme, located east of Fort Augustus, is the first large scale conventional hydro project to be built in Scotland for almost fifty years.

The scheme has the capacity of 100 Megawatts, a load factor of 20%, a high gross head of 608m, with an overall water to wire efficiency of almost 90%, enabling it to generate more energy from every cubic metre than any other similar facility in the UK.

Situated in the western end of the Monadhliath mountains, a catchment of approximately 75km³ feeds a new reservoir directly or via a tunnelled pipeline and cut and cover combined aqueduct, 11km long, connecting into seventeen intake weirs. The new dam is just under 1km long and 35m high. Over 8km of tunnel forms the headrace and tailrace system, constructed using a 5m diameter Tunnel Boring Machine and extensive drill and blast. The cavern power station was constructed 250m below the surface, accessed via a further 1.2km long tunnel. After passing through the 100MW Pelton turbine, water is returned to Loch Ness via a tailrace on the southern shoreline.

50km of temporary and permanent tracks were built to access the site and a semi-buried control building provides permanent operational welfare facilities on the plateau. A buried 132kV power circuit connects a new substation with the national grid.

Key Tasks

Site options appraisal

Screening and Scoping

EIA coordination and project management

Landscape and visual impact assessment

Landscape mitigation

Landscape design

Stakeholder consultation

Environmental monitoring during construction


What we did

SSE commissioned ASH as project Environmental Consultants throughout the planning, development of the scheme, between 2001-2003. ASH managed the environmental impact assessment for the hydroelectric scheme and co-ordinated inputs from a number of specialist sub consultants including: Ecologists; Ornithologists; Hydrologists; Archaeologists; Architects; and Noise consultants. The Environmental Statement for the Glendoe scheme was published in May 2003 and approval for the scheme was received from Scottish Ministers in July 2005. Construction commenced in 2005 and ASH was retained as environmental consultants by SSE to assist with environmental compliance throughout the implementation of the project. The scheme was officially opened by the Queen in 2009 and after further works to the main tunnel in 2010, the scheme recommenced generation in 2012.

The Glendoe project was awarded an the Best Project award at the Green Energy Awards in 2008. It was also awarded Excellent Whole Project Award in February 2013, by CEEQUAL, the evidence-based Sustainability Assessment and Awards Scheme which celebrates the achievement of high environmental performance.


Find out more

We’re always happy to answer your questions. If you’d like to find out more about the services we can offer for your project, you can email us on or call 0141 227 3388.