Visit to Gorst Energy Anaerobic Digestion Plant, Exeter

Biogas export pipe to the gas grid providing enough gas for 30% of Exeter
buyer of the biogas is Wales and West — at Oil Mill Lane Clyst St mary.
Combine heat and power plant converting biogas to electricity for site use
Crop clamp
drain for slops to go into digestion tank
dry digestate by-product
electric motors for digestion tank stirrers. Note not sound proofed.
Emergency gas flare
Gas scrubber to clean up the gas for export to the grid.
gas storage dome
inside the gas scrubber
Part of feeder into main digestion tank
Top of main crop digestion tank
top of pig slurry digestion tank

Dee Ross and I visited this AD Plant in Exeter on the 24th January 2019. It is similar in design to the one proposed on Lords Meadow Industrial estate in Crediton, although the Exeter one is several times larger than Crediton's would be. This plant produces 30% of the gas used in Exeter.

I have never been to an AD plant befor
e and I wanted to observe levels of pollution on site and in the neighbourhood as this appears to be a major concern for local residents and businesses in Crediton.

I was impressed by the overall cleanliness, being able to walk round the whole site in shoes which did not get dirty. I expected to be able to smell crops within the crop clamp, but only caught a small whiff as a dumper collected a load of maize. This was a sweet not unpleasant smell.

This plant takes raw pig slurry from the adjacent pig farm. There was an odour around the slurry digestor, but again not at all bad.

There were various pieces of equipment making noises which will also be on the Crediton plant. These include stirrer motors, combined heat and power plant, scrubber plant, vehicle movements. We were told that the Crediton plant will be quieter as it will be smaller, the stirrer motors will be sound proofed ( not sound proofed in Exeter) and vehicles will not have reversing noise but will have flashing lights on reversing.

The plant is close (less than 200 yards) from some private dwellings. However at our time of visit the close by road noise was much louder than any plant noise we could hear.

I think objectors to the Crediton plant should visit (with permission of course) a modern AD plant and I think a lot of their fears will be allayed.

It is still possible to comment on the Crediton AD Plant planning consultation at MDDC planning portal.

There is a mini-poll on Facebook where you can indicate if you approve or not of this planning application if you prefer not to comment in public on the planning portal.