follow us
Dot by Dot is Supported by:
supported by
Saturday 24 March 2018
24 March 2018 - NEWS UPDATE
Renewable Energy

South West Energy Centre aims to grow green sector

A £6.6m community Energy Centre to drive sustainability and low carbon training in the South West has been launched in Paignton.


The South West Energy Centre

The South West Energy Centre offers a range of practical advice and hands-on training, such as the full time Enviroskills courses and short courses including the Green Deal Advisor and the Smart Metering courses.

The Centre's mission is to be a catalyst for private sector growth, opening up market opportunities in the green sector through activities specifically designed to drive demand and promote regional growth.

The project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme Competitiveness and Employment Programme and is a dynamic partnership facilitated by South Devon College bringing together key partners including Schneider, Worcester Bosch, SEMA, Western Electric, Nu-Heat, British Ceramic Tiles, Havmain, Romag, Sunfarming, Torbay Development Agency, Green Tourist Business Scheme, Energy Saving Trust, and RegenSW.

The project has also been allocated £1.2m of funding from the Government's Regional Growth Fund and the next phase of South West Energy Centre is an investment which will provide a leading edge, state of the art, training facility and interactive visitor centre.

South Devon College launched the first phase of South West Energy Centre at the main college campus in May 2011 with initial courses in renewable technologies including Solar Thermal, Photovoltaic systems & installation and training in Air and Ground Source Heat technologies.

This latest phase includes:

A Construction Hall containing two full size single-storey houses and a dedicated sustainable construction area, all of which will be available to visitors to the Centre, as well as allowing all weather, year round training and demonstration:

A plant room which will be used to demonstrate low carbon and sustainable technology is action as it runs the building;

Incubation and innovation space for businesses;

Near market R&D facilities;

* A meeting and seminar room;

* Flexible training and teaching spaces;

* Accessible roof space to demonstrate solar PV and solar thermal in action;

* A green roof to encourage and support biodiversity and help manage draining and water consumption.

There is also a real-size demonstration of an almost zero carbon Passivhaus.


The Pasivhaus demonstration

The Centre has many low carbon and energy saving features including: thermal cooling through night vents; computer-managed energy systems; biomass boiler; plus optimum daylight to reduce lighting requirements. The building will achieve an "excellent" rating on the BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) scale, sitting well with the College's "Outstanding" Ofsted rating and prestigious "Beacon" Status, plus its "Fairtrade" status, recognised by the Fairtrade Foundation.

The Energy Saving Trust is supporting the project, which it describes as a centre of national significance - exciting, ambitious, innovative and a very necessary response to the market need.

The Energy Saving Trust has identified that subject to appropriate investment in the South West, alone more than £2.5bn of sales and 15,000 jobs will be generated by the Feed in Tariffs, the Renewable Heat Incentive and the Green Deal.

More than 400 members of the public visited the launch day last week.

Centre Director Paddy McNevin said: "It was great to see some many people from the community coming along and helping us celebrate the launch of the South West Energy Centre at South Devon College. We can now start the hard work of helping businesses to grow and create jobs in the South West.

"The centre will also be a place for consumers to visit and get valuable advice and guidance on issues such as energy bills, low carbon technologies and tackling fuel poverty. "

"We are looking forward to giving advice to individuals and businesses to reduce their energy usage and therefore their costs, helping businesses to diversify into environmental areas, or working with industry to develop new energy related technologies and find new markets for them."
Get involved and join the twitter conversation #sdcollege