Sale of the hy­dro scheme

The Galloway News - - REVELATION -

The Gal­loway hy­dro­elec­tric scheme is to be bought by an English power gen­er­a­tor.

Scot­tishPower is sell­ing the Ken-Dee net­work to Drax to con­cen­trate solely on wind­farms.

NorthYork­shire com­pany Drax wants to move into re­new­able power as tough car­bon emis­sion tar­gets loom.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Keith An­der­son said: “We are leav­ing car­bon gen­er­a­tion be­hind for a re­new­able fu­ture pow­ered by cheaper green en­ergy.”

It is un­clear whether the deal will af­fect ex­ist­ing con­ser­va­tion and flood pro­tec­tion ar­range­ments.

Cas­tle Dou­glas his­to­rian Alis­tair Liv­ingston said: “The pump­ing sta­tion on Car­ling­wark Lane man­ages wa­ter flow be­tween Car­ling­wark Loch and the Dee.

“Farm­ers were com­plain­ing their fields next to the marshes were be­com­ing wa­ter­logged. Scot­tishPower did look at switch­ing it off in 2004 but agreed not to do it.

“Should it be de­com­mis­sioned it could mean the marshes be­tween the loch and the Dee be­ing per­ma­nently un­der­wa­ter.”

Mr Liv­ingston added: “There is an agree­ment with the RSPB na­ture re­serve to man­age wa­ter lev­els to ben­e­fit wildlife. The Gal­loway Glens is also work­ing with Scot­tishPower to use the whole sys­tem for ca­noes.The ques­tion is whether these ar­range­ments hold.”

The six sta­tions from Drumjohn toTong­land can deliver up to 109 megawatts – equiv­a­lent to 40 wind tur­bines.

Scot­tishPower is also to sell its gas-fired sta­tions to Drax in the mega deal.

Cas­tle Dou­glas councillor Iain Howie said: “I have been in con­tact with Drax seek­ing as­sur­ances on job se­cu­rity and the main­te­nance of the Black­parks pump­ing sta­tion.

“I will be seek­ing a meet­ing with them when the trans­fer is com­plete.”

A Drax spokesman said: “It’s early days and we haven’t yet com­pleted the ac­qui­si­tion of the Scot­tishPower as­sets.

“We would ex­pect to man­age the en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tions and flood de­fences in a way con­sis­tent with previous prac­tices.

“The deal is due to com­plete at the end of the year, sub­ject to share­holder ap­proval.”

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