Showcase for the future of green energy is set to open ; The builders are putting the finishing touches onto the new South Devon Energy Centre. The... [Western Morning News (England)]
(Western Morning News (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Showcase for the future of green energy is set to open ; The builders are putting the finishing touches onto the new South Devon Energy Centre. The Pounds 6.6 million facility is set to be the home of green technology offering opportunities for renewable energy and sustainable construction. Reporter Hannah Finch has been given a tour ahead of the official opening on Saturday August 31 and found that exciting possibilities await
The brand new South West Energy Centre is a very definite statement of intent. As you head into Long Road, Paignton, its green credentials are obvious from the mass scale solar wall, roof panels and passivhaus in the front yard.
This is about showcasing the very latest developments in renewables that will improve your quality of life, the environment and the career chances for people throughout the South West.
This is a chance for students to get ahead of the game and tradespeople to add eco-systems to their repertoire. The new centre even boasts a full-size house inside the building for students to practise on.
Keith Powell, programme co-ordinator said that the eyecatching addition is the only one in the South West and is an ideal learning tool.
Keith said: In the past, I have had to explain how things work by pointing to it on a piece of paper, now students can see exactly how things work and can install whole systems right here. The benefit of that is tremendous. The Energy Centre will be officially opened on Saturday August 31.
There will be a chance to tour the building and find out exactly what it will be doing to help individuals, communities and businesses in Torbay and South Devon.
The Launch Day is from 10am to 3pm and is free to attend. The star attraction will be the Bay Cycle - a revolutionary new electric vehicle being produced in Torbay.
There will be a chance to find out how to build a house using straw bales, see the biomass boiler, iconic sedum living roof, wind turbines, solar PV and solar thermal panels in action.
The super-insulated Kier Living Passivhaus is attracting plenty of attention already.
The demonstration building is of German origin and based on an airtight structure with an under-the-stairs machine that regulates temperature and airflow.
Keith said: People have already been stopping by the roadside and asking the builders all about it, we have been giving tours already, he said.
More than 40 visits to the passivhaus have been organised for schools in the area. Jill Sheen, Centre marketing officer, said that part of the project is about community and business involvement.
She said: We want to encourage people to stop by and see what we are doing and how it can help them make a decision on what system will work for them.
And any budding or early stage business in the energy sector will be able to find out about renting office space in the centre in the Innovation Suite. The Solar cafe will provide free tea and coffee, with sponsored cakes and mini muffins throughout the day.
The new centre marks a massive investment for South Devon College.
It has invested more than Pounds 120,000 into the project which has attracted Pounds 1.2 million government funding.
Keith said that interest on the solar training courses took a downturn when the government reduced the feedin tariff, making it a less attractive option for householders. But Keith believes that renewable energy continues to be an important way forward. He said: It may no longer be a money-making but a moneysaving scheme and that is only going to become more attractive to householders and businesses as fuel costs continue to rise.
A lot of colleges and universities have halted some of their plans, we are talking to universities which are just talking about doing this type of thing now but we have strode on ahead which means that we are leading the way.
For more information about the South West Energy Centre, ring 01803 540722, email email@example.com or visit www.southwestenergycentre.com
'We want to encourage people to see what we are doing' Jill Sheen
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