Bicton College's brand new EaRTH project opens its doors

PUBLISHED: 16:31 14 March 2012 | UPDATED: 21:09 20 February 2013

On Wednesday 29th February, Bicton College's innovative new Environmental and Renewable Technologies Hub (EaRTH) is holding its first open evening for local businesses, authorities and those working in the energy sector.

Bicton Colleges brand new EaRTH project opens its doors

On Wednesday 29th February, Bicton Colleges innovative new Environmental and Renewable Technologies Hub (EaRTH) is holding its first open evening for local businesses, authorities and those working in the energy sector.

The informal invitation event will be an opportunity for people to take a tour of the fantastic centre, to find out about training courses and to hear from those that have been involved in this exciting new facility at Bicton. The main launch will not be until the summer but the local business community has been invited in advance to hear first-hand about EaRTH.

Also attending will be guest speaker Juliet Davenport, Chief Executive of Good Energy, plus builders, Skinners Construction Ltd, TFQ Architects and key staff who will be situated in the centre and will be on hand to answer questions and to show visitors around.

Juliet Davenport, CEO and Founder of Good Energy, the UKs only 100% renewable electricity supplier said, Green technology is one of the few economic sectors which is growing in the UK at the moment, so its vital that young people have access to training and learn the skills that are in increasing demand. And with the South West at the centre of the action,EaRTH has a key role to play in delivering this, as well as providing a fantastic focal point for the local community, schools and businesses. Its an exciting project and I am really pleased to be involved in its launch.

Graham Waddell, Section Leader Environment & Sustainability and Head of the EaRTH Programme at Bicton, said Given our regions leading position in the UKs low carbon industries, the imminent launch of EaRTH is a really exciting development for specialist training provision in sustainable energy, construction and environmental technologies for businesses and young people in the South West.

Bicton College Principal David Henley adds, Bicton is at the forefront of delivering high quality land-based education provision and EaRTH will further integrate our expertise in energy and the environment for the benefit of our learners. Having already delivered very successful solar training courses to trade professionals, we are now launching our full training programme for industry, individuals and young people wanting to develop their career in this important sector.

Bicton EaRTH will provide high quality training for businesses and communities across the South West in renewable energy technologies and environmental education. It is a local facility supporting commercial and educational development in the growing low carbon sector. EaRTH also offers unique conferencing and interpretation facilities to host events, seminars and education days for local businesses, schools and community groups. It is already being recognised as a centre of excellence and a local resource for impartial information and development support.

Devon-based renewable energy specialists Rainbow Renewables designed the bespoke Bicton EaRTH renewable energy system. From design to commissioning, Rainbow drew on its portfolio of experience and expertise to provide an integrated heating system for the Centre. This modern system works effectively by combining solar thermal panels, an air source heat pump and a biomass boiler to provide 24 hour heating through a co-ordinating cascade in which each technology works to its optimum level.

Rainbows Chairman, Rex Ingram said: Our experience and expertise allowed us to custom design a bespoke renewable heating system for Bicton EaRTH which demonstrates how the different technologies work best in combination with each other. We wanted the Centre to showcase the most up-to-date approach to renewables system design the renewable industry currently offers. Our collaborative working with Bicton College, and with Fords of Sidmouth who installed the system, has enabled the regions new environmental education Centre to demonstrate a building that is not only energy neutral but one that maximises the use of free solar energy.

By renovating old stable blocks, the BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) very good rated, EaRTH project demonstrates best practice in sustainable building refurbishment techniques whilst applying leading renewable technologies and building management services to create a unique and fully functioning regional demonstration centre of excellence.

Courses in Photovoltaics (PV), Solar Thermal Hot Water, Biomass, Heat Pumps, Rainwater Harvesting and Micro Certification Scheme Accreditation will be held on a regular basis, visit for details.

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