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Caithness Heat And Power

What area is covered byt he New Heating scheme?
Initially CHP is being installed in the Pulteneytown  area of Wick.  It is hoped to roll it out across the whole of wick in later years.

Questions And Answers About CHP

What's It All About?
Highland Council are tackling fuel poverty head on in Wick and have formed a new limited company Caithness Heat and Power (ChaP) to bring a wood chip scheme able to create electricity and cheaper heating for people that can be linked to the new system.  Starting in Pultneytown a new pipe system will be laid connected to a boiler house.  The Old Pulteney Distillery is a partner in the scheme.  Eventually if the scheme proves a success it will gradually be extended round the whole of Wick and then carried to other towns and villages in the county possibly with separate schemes - perhaps in Thurso Lybster and Halkirk.  But that is in the future.  Over the next few months starting in March the new pipe system will be laid around Pultneytown with an expected switch on for the new heating system in the Autumn to be ready for next winter.

The open day held on 18 February was the first big introduction for local people and this will be followed up with more face to face meetings and information being sent out to ensure everyone understands the concept and the potential for warmer homes and cheaper energy costs.  The scheme will cost about 5 million and the finance is all in place.  Everything is ready to go and councillors, and staff of Highland Council are all behind the project.  The new company has its own board of directors and staff already working for the past few months to get ready to commence the work required to deliver the project to the people of Pulteneytown..

This new section on the web site will continue to bring more news of the scheme as it moves forward.  This is a determined effort to bring in an alternative energy scheme to an area of the Highlands with long winters and starting with part of Wick that suffers from fuel poverty which in the light of recent energy price rises for gas and electricity may be coming just in time to save even worse conditions for many elderly and families on low incomes.

Pultenytown People's Project has been involved in the new CHP enterprise and the new offices at Murchison street have demonstration system already installed for anyone to see.

Latest News

8 July 07
Wick's New Town Heating System Reaches Caithness General Hospital
The new wood chip heating system for parts of Wick run by the Caithness Heat And Power company has been working its way through the streets of Pulteneytown and South Wick for over a year and has now reached Caithness General Hospital.  The benefits of having a fixed monthly charge for unlimited heating and hot water are attracting more and more enquiries to the company that was set up by Highland Council almost two years ago.

7 May 07
New Heating System Spreading Out Underground In Wick
Slowly but surely a revolution in home heating is spreading out in Wick.  The laying of pipe work reached Macrae Street and Brown Place.  Caithness Heat and Power now has it new wood chip furnace being installed and contracts for the wood chip are in place.  The new heating system for homes gives unlimited heating and hot water for fixed weekly price. 

8 March 07
Plant And Machinery Being Installed At Wick

The  plant needed to burn gasified wood chip was being swung into place at Wick yesterday.

4 February 07
Wick's New Alternative Energy Power Plant Moving Ahead Fast
Everything is moving ahead as Wick progresses towards the goal of having more of its energy used from a renewable source.   the gas burning engine arrived a few days ago and the building in which it will be housed is moving towards completion.  Homes are currently being supplied with power from the Old Pulteney Distillery next door to the new plant.  More and more people are signing up to join the scheme to supply unlimited heating and hot water for fixed weekly price that in view of recent increases has become much more attractive to consumers.

2 February 07
New Gas Engine Arrives For Wick's Heating Scheme

The Jenbacher "Gas Engine" which will burn cleaned up gas produced in the Plant's Gasifier Unit. It is housed in a temporary enclosure which has been fitted out with an environmental control system to protect the equipment's power generation train.

6 January 07
Project Manager, District Heating Scheme, Wick
An innovative wood fired District Heating Scheme is in the process of being installed in Wick in Caithness. This project is alleviating fuel poverty in the Pulteneytown area of Wick and is targeted to be installed in nearly three hundred homes by March 2007.

An opportunity now exists for a locally based Project Manager, who should be a chartered engineer preferably with MICE, MIEE or MIMechE qualifications, good communication skills and several years experience of project management experience.

Responsibilities and duties will include;

  • Overseeing the construction completion, operation, monitoring and maintenance of the CHP (Combined Heat and Power) Station, including mechanical, instrumentation and electrical works and utility connections
  • Oversee the planning, installation and commissioning of new works as the scheme expands
  • Co-ordinate the activities of Contractors
  • Checking that Health and Safety standards are maintained
  •  Monitoring the overall system
  • Liaison with heat and power consumers, analysing and alleviating faults in the system as they occur
  • Management of Material ordering, receipt and issue as required
  • Regular reporting the Caithness Heat and Power Board on system status and new works progress

Salary will depend upon experience.

The contract will be initially for thirty six months.

For further information and an application please apply to:

Caithness Heat and Power Limited
50A High Street
Wick, KW1 4DF
Telephone: 01955 606122
Attention; Glenys Kenny

2 August 06
Switch On For Heat And Power Scheme In Wick
The Heat and Power Scheme was switched on by councillor Graeme Smith on Monday 1 August 2006 at the Pultenytown Distillery and at the demonstration house in 39 Murchison Street.  the distillery will supply heat to the first 170 houses in the scheme until the new wood chip boiler house is ready early in 2007..  the new boiler house will then pipe hot water for central heating and other household uses to a further 330 houses.  The scheme which will sell electricity to the national grid as well as producing heat and hot water for residents is coming in at just the right time as other forms of heating have had several price rises in the last coupe of years.  Prices for the new scheme have been set and will only rise by no more than the retail price index over the next five years making it look more and more attractive.  Elizabeth Marshall the Highland council economic development officer based in Wick who has brought the scheme into being is keen to drive on and increase the total investment from 5million to 15 million and cover the whole of Wick including public and commercial buildings. Other funding is being targeted for second wood chip burner in order to extend the capacity of the scheme. The distillery boiler will act as backup to the woodchip plant.  There are substantial savings for the distillery once the scheme is up and running.  the sale of electricity to the grid will provide further revenue for expansion.  Vital Energi have been responsible for the pipe-work being laid.  A new era in home heating has begun in Wick.

28 March 06
Pipes Have Arrived and Road Digging Started

Open Day 18 February 2006

Open Day Competition Winners
The open day had its fun elements and was real community day with visits from a number of people including MP John Thurso.  With quizzes and a draw for folk who entered a survey.  the two winners of cheques for 100 were C MacPhee, Battery Road and E Sutherland, Nicolson Street.


Map Showing Area To Be Covered By New Scheme