Centre Introduction

South West Energy Centre (SWEC) is a dynamic partnership facilitated by South Devon College, bringing together key public and private sector funding in a visionary project that sits in the heart of the Government’s policies for the transition to the Green Economy. It is physical hub acting as a catalyst to drive demand from business and domestic customers to open up innovative, new market opportunities for renewable technologies and to stimulate sustainable growth.

The award winning, iconic centre boasts many of the products that are required to teach our range of environmental technology courses, including:

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems
• Solar Thermal systems
• Ground Source Heat Pump system
• Sedum roof
• Biomass boiler
• Thermal cooling through night vents
• Computer managed energy systems
• Optimum natural lighting
• Rainwater harvesting system
• South facing solar wall for heating

The centre also holds an 'excellent' BREEAM rating and was awarded Eco Project of the year and Building of the Year at the Michelmores 2014 Property Awards.

SWEC is open to the public daily and refreshments are available from the Solar Café, so you could have a coffee or lunch with your energy advice!

South Devon College is proud to be the first training provider to build and utilise a Passivhaus for training and research purposes. Passivhaus buildings provide a high level of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling. They are built with meticulous attention to detail and rigorous design and construction according to principles developed by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany. To date, 2 local families have occupied the Passivhaus for 2 to 3 weeks at a time to experience living in a low-carbon-building and how it can impact on their lives and lifestyle, and this research will inform national and international research.

How is the Centre funded?

SWEC has been funded through an award of £1.2m from the BIS Regional Growth Fund and £2m from Skills Funding Agency (Enhanced Renewal Grant). The project is also part financed by the South West European Regional Development Fund Competitiveness and Employment Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit This investment of £2.5m enables the full potential of this development to be realised and provide a long-term sustainable investment for the area.

The Energy Centre is a dynamic partnership facilitated by South Devon College bringing together key partners including Schneider, Worcester Bosch, SEMA, MITIE Group, Western Electric, Nu-Heat, British Ceramic Tiles, Havmain, Romag, Sunfarming, Torbay Development Agency, Green Tourist Business Scheme, Energy Saving Trust and REGENSW and others in a visionary project to kick start the green economy in Torbay.


Solar Cafe

Located within the South West Energy Centre, the Solar Café  provides a great place to relax and enjoy a light snack, hot and cold drink or something more substantial. Farmhouse bread sandwiches with various fillings are available, alongside of course a wide selection of pasta, pastries, paninis, jacket potatoes & cakes. All delicious & perfect with a good quality freshly ground Fairtrade coffee!

The Solar Cafe is open from Monday to Friday, 8.30am - 4.00pm


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