Education minister opens renewables training centre

The Bicton EaRTH Environmental & Renewable Technologies Hub has been opened today by education secretary Rt Hon Michael Gove MP.

Bicton College, Devon, has historically been a land-based college but has launched its renewable training centre in a bid to increase sustainability in land-based industries such as animal care and agriculture.

The centre has been developed in conjunction with renewable energy consultancy Granted which contacted Bicton College back in 2010 and project managed the centre to completion.

Bicton College says it will deliver courses on solar thermal, PV, biomass, heat pumps and rainwater harvesting in order to introduce new entrants to the expanding ‘green collar’ workforce. The building is heated by a combination of air source heat pumps, solar thermal and biomass.

Jonathan Davis of Granted said: “The future of buildings in the UK is no longer an ‘either or’ scenario as far as renewables is concerned. Increasingly traditional UK trades are being challenged by the arrival of mature renewable technologies from Western Europe and around the globe and Britain needs to be ready to respond to the changes and training centres such as Bicton EaRTH are the answer.”

College principal David Henley added: “We now have a world class facility that will engage our learners, the local community, the private sector and the wider educational community.”