Client Information

Client: Downing LLP
Site: Gorst Energy Limited
Location: Clyst St Mary, Exeter, Devon

What Our Client Needed

Downing is a London-based investment company who were seeking to deliver a portfolio of renewable energy projects across the UK. A key aspect of this investment involved identifying a team who could deliver several AD projects simultaneously. These projects were at the concept stage and required taking from design into full operation.

One such project (Gorst) needed to become a gas to grid facility that would inject green gas into the mains network serving Exeter’s businesses and households. Initially the site would be fed on farm waste before having the capability to take food by-products. Organic fertiliser would be returned to the land surrounding the plant to displace artificial fertiliser.

What We Delivered

In 2014, Ixora were contracted to undertake the Gorst project and design began in conjunction with Biogest Energie. Construction was completed in late 2015 and operation commenced in 2016.

Ixora provided a full management service including engagement with key stakeholders such as feedstock suppliers, the EA and health & safety executive, local residents, councils and Ofgem.

There is a strong local site management team and operators that are fully responsible for the day-to-day activities of the site. This includes:

  • productivity improvements
  • diet and biological management
  • feedstock coordination
  • full maintenance provision.

This team is supplemented by Ixora’s support services for planning, sustainability submissions, all aspect of finance, HR, environmental support, health and safety maintenance and management and commercial guidance.

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The technology for the plant was supplied by Biogest Energie.

The system has a 10,000m3 ring in ring digester which was designed to be capable of generating 1,000m3 biogas per hour.

Energy Centre

The plant prioritises the export of gas through the DMT gas clean up system. This is then exported directly into the main gas network. 2 CHP engines provide the parasitic load for the site and also export green electricity into the national grid.


The Site Today – and Beyond

Downing’s plant now consistently runs at the designed 1,000m3/hour biogas output with an availability of 98%. We are continuing to work with new feedstock suppliers and the local planning authority to explore ways in which new food by-products can be introduced to the facility.

Our team meets regularly with Downing to discuss the future development of their facility and to ensure expectations are being met and exceeded. The site is widely recognised as being one of the best constructed and operated in the industry.

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