Aqua~Media International Ltd is the publisher of The International Journal on Hydropower and Dams, and the organizer of the HYDRO, ASIA and AFRICA event series.
The Pitlochry hydro scheme, owned and operated by SSE will be the main focus of this tour. It was constructed between 1947 and 1951, and its visitor centre provides an opportunity to learn of Scotland’s hydropower heritage. In addition to historical interest, the plant has a number of modern features, including a technique based on artificial intelligence to count and monitor fish.
En route there will be visits to mini hydro schemes in Perthshire: three on the private Atholl estate, equipped by Gilkes, UK; and, another implemented and operated by Green Highland. On the first day there will also be a visit to the impressive Blair Castle and its gardens. Over 750 years it has been home to politicians, soldiers, agriculturalists and entrepreneurs. Its history is brought to life against a backdrop of fine 18th century interiors and Scots Baronial architecture, in 30 rooms. On the second day, a tour of the Aberfeldy distillery has been arranged. There will be two nights’ stay at the Atholl Palace hotel.
The major expansion project at the Cruachan pumped-storage scheme, in the west of the country, operated by Drax, will be the main focus of this tour, along with a visit to SSE’s Sloy powerplant on Loch Lomond on the first day, and also be a chance to see a barrage which controls the level of the loch. Two nights will be spent at the Oban Bay hotel, and there will be a chance for a walking tour in Oban, as well as a visit to the Oban distillery.
On the way back to Edinburgh on 21 October, there will be a stop to visit Inverary Castle, on the shore of Loch Fyne. The castle is one of the earliest examples of Gothic Revival architecture, and has been the seat of the Dukes of Argyll, Chiefs of the Clan Campbell, since the 18th century.
Transport on each tour will be by luxury coach, with the services of a local tour guide. At each hydro or dam site, technical briefings will be given, ahead of a guided tour of the main features of the scheme. All meals for the group will be included.