Last links to be severed in Wick's cheap power pipe dream

THE ill-fated power scheme, designed to provide parts of Wick with cheap electricity, is to be dismantled.
Highland Council pulled the plug on the scheme which had completed its first phase, giving 242 houses in the Pultneytown area unlimited supplies of heat and hot water, for as little as 8 a week.
The scheme was dogged by technical problems since it was set up, in 2004, under a council-supported company, Caithness Heat and Power (CHaP) and was eventually taken over by the authority.
However, it failed to find a private operator to take on the enterprise and decided to throw in the towel, having spent some 15 million on it, attracting criticism from the Accounts Commission. Householders will continue to get their cheap power, from the diesel boiler, installed at the Pulteneytown distillery, to get the scheme underway.
The council has now advertised for a contractor to disconnect the pipework linking the homes to the gasometer, and has earmarked 1m to meet the bill.