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-sized house inside the building for students to practise on.
Keith Powell, programme co-ordinator said that the eye- catching 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 systems right here. The benefit of that is tremendous."
The Energy Centre will be officially opened next year but there is an open launch day 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 (pictured right) 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 been stopping by the roadside and asking the builders all about it, we have been giving tours already."
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 café will provide free tea and coffee, with sponsored cakes and mini muffins throughout the open day.
The new centre marks a massive investment for South Devon College.
It has spent more than £120,000 on the project which has attracted £1.2 million government funding.
Keith said that interest in the solar training courses took a downturn when the government reduced the feed-in 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 money saving 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