finance

Plans proposed for cryogenic battery plant in disused Highland quarry



A cryogenic energy storage company has proposed plans to build a new battery energy plant in a disused Caithness quarry.

Developer Highview Power has notified the Highland Council of its plan to submit an application for the project.

The Albannach Power Island I is set to be located in a disused quarry adjacent to the working Spittal Mains Quarry near Wick.

The total quarry site is 17 acres, with the footprint of the new plant taking up to five acres of an area already quarried.

The battery system would be connected to the transmission network at the existing Spittal substation.

The plant will be designed to use off-peak electricity from local windfarms to compress and cool air in an insulated, low pressure tank, so it becomes a freezing liquid.

During periods of high demand for electricity, the frozen liquid air is then evaporated into a gas to drive a turbine to create more electricity.

The project will be able to deliver 50MW of electricity for up to six hours about 300 per megawatt hours, providing enough power for around 120,000 homes.

The company said that once operational, the plant should create long-term, high-paying, local jobs.

Construction work is expected to generate up to 300 jobs during the two year period it should take to build the battery plant.

It should also create seven to 10 permanent jobs overseeing operations and maintenance.

Albannach Power Island I plant is hoped to be able to displace between 150-300 thousand metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, depending on the contracted services with the National Grid.

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