Excursion to Gorst Energy Plant, Clyst St Mary

On Friday, 28 July 2023, Exeter Civic Society visited Gorst Energy Ltd in Clyst St Mary, outside Exeter, Oil Mill Lane, EX5 1AF.

As a follow-up to Darren Stockley’s talk on 15 July 2023, Exeter Civic Society was invited to visit the anaerobic energy plant just outside Exeter, run by Ixora Energy. Together with its sister plant located near the Greendale Business Park, these are two working plants generating green energy on our doorstep.

The plant in Greendale is focussed on generating green electricity for the running of the business park. The Gorst Energy plant near St Bridget’s Nursery which 14 of us visited transforms the waste products from the adjacent pig farm and crops grown in the fields around (as a by-product of crop rotation) and mixes them both for anaerobic digestion in a large round container, then extracts the gas,  cleaning it up and then feeding it into the national grid. The plant also uses the gas to run two 500KW engines to produce electricity which is used to run the site and to be exported. What is left over from the digestion is used as natural fertilizer by the farmers who bring in the material used at the plant – a very good example of a truly circular industry.

Darren Stockley, the Managing director,  and Chris Jenkins, the Operational Manager, guided us around the plant and explained its working and green credentials. We were impressed by what we saw, and surprised to not being aware of having such a plant on our doorstep. Many thanks to both of them for their time and for providing us with the chance for this interesting and eye-opening excursion.

We hope to organise more of these excursions alongside our walks, volunteers are asked to liaise with the Committee or Chairman for ideas and planning.

 

Fotos from our visit, showing the group being introduced to the plant by Darren Stockley, the crop store, us on the roof of the digester, the view from there over to the gas storage dome.