Work finished on the new hydro electric power plant in November 2008, and it started to generate electricity on a trial basis in December of that year. Her Majesty The Queen visited the plant and reservoir and officially declared the plant open on 29 June 2009. Less than 2 months later, disaster struck.
On 16 August 2009 Scottish and Southern Electricity (SSE) shocked the people of the Highlands by reporting that the plant would be closed for an investigation after falling rocks caused a partial blockage. SSE identified a blockage caused by a fall of rock near the top of the tunnel carrying water from the reservoir to the power station. Investigations confirmed that the amount of debris was very substantial, but confined to a section near the top.
SSE had to hold emergency meetings to examine options in order to identify the best way to achieve a resumption of electricity generation at the site, including possible construction of a tunnel to by-pass the blockage, all of which would require a significant programme of work.
Mercifully, no human life was lost in the disaster.