New energy-from-waste plant hits Exeter

Devon County Council has opened a new energy-from-waste facility which will generate renewable energy from 60,000 tonnes of household waste in Exeter and surrounding areas.

The plant, which opened yesterday (16 October), will export energy equivalent to heating 5000 homes in the form of electricity. The feasibility of using steam generated by the plant for a district heating network is also being explored. 

At the opening, Councillor John Clatworthy highlighted energy from waste as the best way to deal with waste which can’t be reduced, reused and recycled.

He said: “With our new facility here in Exeter, we can recover energy from our waste, turn it into electricity, and export it back to the national grid. That reduces the running costs of the plant, as well as creating a useful form of renewable energy. In time, we hope to use the steam too as part of a district heating network, making it a truly efficient process.”

Educating Exeter

The plant has been developed in partnership with waste contractor Viridor and initial operating company TIRU. It will house an education and visitor area enabling schools to view the process and understand more about waste recycling and management.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Baroness Verma, who was at the plant to open the new visitor area, said: “On my visit it was good to spend time in the Education Centre at the plant to see how Devon County Council is working to inform current and future generations on the importance of recycling and the need to promote Energy from Waste as a key source of our future energy needs.

“Energy is a vital resource and as we look to cut down on our use of fossil fuels, conserving and using waste as one alternative source is a sensible and clean option.”

Lois Vallely

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