Renewable Energy on Timetable as College Expands

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Byline: Chris Kelsey

AN ENERGY training centre to be opened next week will allow plumbers and engineers to learn the latest in renewable energy technology.

The Energy Centre is part of a pounds 30m development programme at Pembrokeshire College in Haverfordwest and will have specialist centres for gas, oil and renewables.

The renewables facility will teach participants about the design and installation of air source and ground source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting and grey-water management, solar thermal hot water heating, and biomass, solid fuel and under-floor heating.

Courses will be available both for commercial plumbers and engineers and for individuals wishing to engineer energy-efficiency measures into their own homes.

The renewables centre is based in the new pounds 2.1m engineering wing, part of the college's pounds 3.8m investment into its engineering facilities, that has been built as an extension onto the main college.

The extension is so energyefficient that it doesn't require a boiler, being heated with renewable technologies that have been built into the construction. Air handling units enable heat to be re-circulated to minimise energy use. The other parts of the energy centre, the gas and oil centres, are located in the newly built pounds 3.1m Construction Centre, which has a BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) Excellent rating.

Both buildings have been designed by Austin Smith Lord architects, with the Construction Centre built by Dawnus and the engineering wing by Cottons.

Insulation is 25% more efficient than standard, a biomass boiler provides zero carbon fuel, and solar panels give free water heating for the building.

Water use is kept to a minimum, with rainwater harvested for toilets. …