Although built back in the 1920s to produce ‘clean energy’ before anyone had even heard the phrase, the Lanark area’s two hydro electric power stations still have a part to play in Scotland’s 21st Century drive towards a totally environmentally-friendly electricity supply.
The Bonnington station near New Lanark and the sister station at Stonebyres near Kirkfieldbank have been bought by British power company Drax as part of a £702 million buy-up of British hydro stations.
It is understood that the two local stations were the first of their kind in the entire United Kingdom when they were built and are now regarded as two of Scotland’s most attractive ‘art deco’ buildings in their own right.
Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO, said: “As a British energy company we’re really proud to be the new owners of these critical power stations. We’re looking forward to working with our new colleagues at each of the sites and playing an increasingly important role in the UK’s power system.
“We’ve been to meet the team at Stonebyres Power Station and have been impressed with the skill and expertise there – this hydro power system has operated on the Clyde for over 90 years, generating reliable supplies of electricity almost continuously.”
Powered by three waterfalls which are part of the famed Falls of Clyde, the Lanark Hydro Scheme uses weirs to divert water from the river to generate electricity. Drax have also purchased veteran hydro stations in Galloway and Argyll.