The Anonymous Widower

Albannach Island: Multi-Million Pound Green Energy Plans Would Create 300 Construction Jobs

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Aberdeen Press and Journal.

This is the introductory paragraphs.

A multi-million pound green energy power venture – called Albannach Island – would give a much-needed jobs boost to Caithness.

Highview Power is behind the plans to build a liquid air energy storage plant in a disused part of a quarry in Spittal, adjoining the most northerly stretch of the A9.

The plant appears to be a 50MW/250 MWh CRYOBattery, that is probably similar in size to the one currently being built by Highview Power at Carrington, near Manchester.

This Google map of the North-East corner of Scotland, shows the location.


  1. John O’Groats is in the North-East corner of the map.
  2. The red arrow shows the location of the A & D Sutherland quarry, where the Highview Power’s CRYOBattery will be located.

This second Google map shows the location in more detail.


  • The A & D Sutherland quarry is in the South-East corner of the map.
  • The CRYOBattery will use five acres at the North of the quarry site.
  • In the North-West corner of the map is the Spittal sub-station.

The Spital sub-station is described like this on the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks web site.

Spittal is a new electricity convertor station and is part of the £1.1bn Caithness-Moray project which represents the largest investment in the north of Scotland’s electricity network since the hydro development era of the 1950s and is the largest capital investment project undertaken by the SSE Group to date. It is also the largest Living Wage contract ever awarded in the UK, demonstrating SSEN’s strong commitment to ensure all employees working on its sites get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

It looks like the CRYOBattery will be the cherry on top of the very billion pound cake of the Caithness-Moray Link.


We’ll be seeing more battery installations like this to stabilise power.

Nothing is said in the article, about who is paying for the battery. The only clue is it talks about Highview as a London-based conglomerate.

I wonder, if the company has formed a partnership with one of the energy trusts or a battery site developer.

May 6, 2021 - Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , ,


  1. This is a superficially attractive project, to Southerners. There are so many things wrong with this proposal.

    It will only create between 7 and 10 permanent jobs, that will pay the “living wage”. The living wage doesn’t go far in north East Scotland.

    Most of the 300 construction workers will be blow-ins, probably quite a few of them will be redundant oil industry workers. No skills transfer to locals.

    As far as the “greenness” of the project, check this out –

    Caithness paving stone quarries have extraordinary historic interest, you will the streets of cities as far afield as St.Petersburg in Russia, New Zealand, Australia, China, Argentina –

    The planned site for this venture is a Site of Special Scientific Interest

    If this project is such a great idea, then why not locate it close to where the consumers are? The population of Caithness is declining, currently it may be less than 3,000.

    Caithness has experience of deeply regrettable projects with a scorpion-like sting in the tale – consider the environmental disaster that is the Dounreay project, which will continue not for decades but for centuries.

    I’m sure Albannach Island is a great idea, but inside the M25.

    Comment by John Robin St.Clair | May 6, 2021 | Reply

    • I suspect that after building the billion pound link between Caithness and Moray, that because of the variations of wind power, that the system needs a backup.

      Traditionally, a lithium-ion battery would have been put in at one end of the link. But we all know the problems with these batteries, with respect to the Chinese and the environmental problems of the mining of lithium and other materials needed.

      Strangely, there is also a quarry at Blackhillock at the other end of the HVDC link.

      From an engineering point of view, I like the Highview system and we’ll see lots in the UK in the next few years. Some will be inside the M25. After all the one at Carrington is in Greater Manchester

      Comment by AnonW | May 6, 2021 | Reply

  2. The Caithness Moray HVDC link benefits Britain to the South and East of the Great Glen. It is of marginal utility to the residents of Caithness.

    Central governments do not care about desecrating important and valuable historic and natural assets, if they are far enough away from the population centres.

    If we are going to see lots of these projects in the UK, in the next few years, build them where the consumers are.

    The biggest single enlistment the British Army has ever seen (c.3,800) was of Caithness men at the outbreak of World War 2. If they don’t think this project offers a good return, they will make their feelings felt.

    Comment by John Robin St.Clair | May 6, 2021 | Reply

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