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the river lee


hydrorelectric
scheme
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The power stations
The rwo ESB generating stations on the Lee have a combined
capacity of 27 megawatts and produce almost 80 million unis of
electricity e year. At Carrigadrohid there is one generating unit
with a capcity of 8 megawarts and at lnniscarra there ene two:
rhe larger with a capacity of 15 megawatts and the smaller with a
capaciry of 4 megawatts.
The generating plant in the stations is comprised of two vertical
shift Kaplan turbo generators at lnniscarrwhich operate under an
average head of 30 metres. At Carrigadrohid a similar unit
operates under an averate head of l3 metres. Power is generated
ar 10.5 kilovolts and transformed up to 38 kilovolts for local
distribution and to I l0 kilovolts for long distance transmission.
The local
envronment
The lakes at lnniscarra and
Carrigadrohid are environmenully
benefcial to the region. not only from a
scenic point of view. but also because
they created new opportunities for
recreations such as boating, angling.
walking and for the provision ol
lakeside park.
Approximately I million gallons of
water per day are taken from the
reservoir to serve the Cork City and
Counry water supply scheme.This can
be increased to 50 million gallons per
day in he future if it is required.
There is a fish hatchery et
Carrig3drohd where over one million
salmon smolts are reared each year.
These go to stock many lrish rivens and
lakes but over 100,000 are released
into the River Lee, below the dams.
They go into the sea for some years but
ren rn to the River Lee to sprwn,
sustaining the stocks in the river both
for the commercial fisherman and the
anglers.
The Borland qrpe fish passes in the
dams ensure that the fish cen move
easily up and down the river. The
upper portion of the lake at
CarrigSdrohid is an area known as the
Gearagh. lt is probably the only alluvial
forest in Western Europe. lt wes
formed at the end of the last ice age
when thd ice cap that covered lreland
for thousands. of years melted and a
new river f,owed down to the sea
depositing rich soil and rock fragmena
which provided for lush growth existing
to this day.
This area, which is owned by ESB, was
declared a nature reserve in 1987
under the 1976 Wildlife Ac ln Winterl
uP to
there.
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lnniscarro Power Stotion
Carrigodrohid Pter Station
5,000 wild birds ake refuge

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I nniscrro under construction
The River Lee
hydro-lectric
scheme
The River Lee hydro-electric scheme
was builc during the period 1957,-1957
at a cost of {4.5 million. lt involved the
creation of two lakes in the
pcturesgue Lee Valley.
These lakes cover an area of l4 square
kilometres (3,500 acres) and have a
storage capcity of 45 million cubic
metres
(tonnes).
The dams
The concrete dam at lnniscarra, which
is of the bunress type, is 250 metres
long and 42 meres high. lt has three
high level spillway gates which are used
to dispose of excess water. At
Carrigadrohd, the dam is of the mass
concrete gravity type. lt is 130 metres
long and 22 metres in height and has
rhree deep sluice-type spillway gates.
These dams, which are now over 30
years old, are being upgraded to the
highest internadonal standards.
Downstream flooding
Occasional flooding of the valley downsream of lnniscarra has
always been and will continue to be inevtable. This is due to the
topography and the clmatic conditions in the area. Howeve
flooding downstream of lnniscarra has been minimised by the
presence of the dam. The discharge from lnniscarra has always
been less than the peak natural inllow in any of the floods snce the
dam was built. ESB issues flood warnings to those known to be at
risk down stream of the dam during periods of floods.
The River Lee is not a major factor in ciry flooding.
Barometric pressure and south easterly winds combined
spring tides are the main influences on city flooding.
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