Drax has confirmed it is to spend almost £6 million on refurbishment of a key piece of the historic Galloway hydropower scheme’s infrastructure in Scotland.

The 103m long Glenlochar Barrage, which spans across the river Dee, controls the flow of water from Loch Ken to Tongland power station through its six sluice gates. Built in 1934, the barrage is a critical component of the scheme’s operations.

Over the next three years Drax will fully refurbish the barrage, alongside its project partners KGAL Consulting Engineers and AJT Engineering, to ensure the continued operation of the hydro scheme for many decades to come.

Commissioned in the mid-1930s, the Galloway scheme was the first large-scale integrated hydroelectric complex to be built in Britain and consists of six power stations, eight dams and a network of tunnels, aqueducts and pipelines. At its peak during construction, more than 1500 people were employed on the project.

Drax acquired the Galloway hydro scheme alongside the Lanark hydro scheme and the Cruachan pumped storage facility in Argyll in January 2019.

Construction of the Glenlochar Barrage