Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 15:08 UK

Controlled blast at hydro scheme

Construction site at Glendoe
The hydro-electric scheme is being constructed above Loch Ness

Earth and rock on a section of Loch Ness shoreline were removed in a controlled blast in the construction of a 140m hydro-electric scheme.

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) said nearby residents were given prior warning of the explosion at Fort Augustus, planned for Monday afternoon.

The blast was to aid the construction of a tailrace exit for water running through the Glendoe power plant.

SSE expect the project to begin generating electricity by early 2009.

More than one tonne of high explosives were used to clear 1,500 tonnes of earth.

The tailrace will allow water to flow out from the plant into the loch.

In January, a huge boring machine completed a five-mile tunnel for taking water to the plant.

Once operational, the scheme will provide power for 250,000 homes.

It is the first large-scale hydro-electric project since 1957.

Hydro tunnel makes breakthrough
07 Jan 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Digging deep for hydro electric
10 Nov 06 |  Highlands and Islands
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