Nicholas Pearson Associates

Projects /
Glen Lyon Hydro Power Scheme

Client: Shawater Ltd, Glen Lyon Partnership

Location: Glen Lyon, Perthshire

In response to government initiatives and calls for renewable energy and following the upgrade of appropriate National Grid connections within Glen Lyon by Scottish and Southern Energy, seven small scale-hydro power schemes were proposed within the designated Loch Rannoch and Glen Lyon National Scenic Area (NSA).

We were commissioned by Shawater Ltd and the Glen Lyon Partnership to prepare a Cumulative Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) to address landscape and visual concerns raised by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) within this sensitive highland environment.

Comprised of seven separate run-of-river hydro power schemes, we worked in conjunction with the project engineers to contribute to the integration and mitigation of key components within the glen. Through comprehensive Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) we assisted with the sensitive positioning of weirs and intakes within highland crags and corries; the alignment of buried pipelines along deer stalking and forestry tracks; the location of buried turbine housings and outfall structures within the glen away from scenic routes, gamekeeper cottages and farmhouses. We also assisted with the siting of construction compounds and pipe stores during the construction phases of the schemes.

Using LSS digital terrain modelling software, contour relief and topographic analysis tools, we were able to generate a Zone of the Theoretical Visibility (ZTV) for each individual scheme that was verified with field studies and observations. We also considered the potential visual effects on waterfalls, rapids and cascades through the diversion of water from the burn catchment.

The cumulative landscape and visual effects of the seven schemes as a whole was assessed through the generation of Combined Zones of Theoretical Visibility (CZTV) and inter-visibility tables. The potential combined, simultaneous and sequential landscape and visual effects was also considered to meet the requirements of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).