Exmouth power plant would keep the lights on at peak times

Exmouth could lead the way in how East Devon generates electricity if a new power plant is given the green light.

Landowner Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) has proposed to build a flexible power plant at Liverton 2 Business Park, in Salterton Road, to operate at times of high demand.

The landowner said the proposed small-scale flexible gas power plant would fill the gap locally, helping the electricity network meet demand at peak times.

John Wilding, head of forestry and environment at Clinton Devon Estates, said new ways were needed to keep the lights on during peak times.

The seven-megawatt gas plant is being proposed for a site at the Liverton 2 Business Park in Exmouth, next to commercial units.

Landowner CDE said the location has been ‘carefully chosen’ to be as unobtrusive as possible, while providing straightforward underground connections to existing electricity and gas networks.

Mr Wilding said: “We have commissioned a series of independent studies which show that the plant will have no significant impact on the local environment, air quality or existing noise levels.

“The plant is known as a gas peaking plant, which means it only operates when needed to help the electricity network meet demand at peak times.

“This means it won’t run at all between 11pm and 7am, unless the National Grid declares an emergency.”
Mr Wilding said renewable energy powered from wind and solar has ‘obvious limitations’, relying on the right conditions, but failing to meet any demand.

He said: “To fight climate change, coal is being phased out by 2025 and it’s not certain when new nuclear capacity will come on stream.

“Unless we take steps now, we could be short of electricity at peak times, especially cold, dark winter evenings when there’s little or no wind.”

The plans have been submitted to East Devon District Council.

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