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£1 million education resource centre opens at Aberthaw

First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones today officially opened a new £1 million education centre at Aberthaw Power Station, near Barry.

The Aberthaw Centre for Energy and Environment (ACE2) will provide an important new facility for schools, colleges and community groups throughout South Wales delivering interactive educational programmes linked to the National Curriculum.

This brand new facility builds on the work of npower’s award-winning national Climate Cops programme, which has reached over 30,000 young people since it launched and empowers students to make a positive difference to the environment. By the end of the year, over 1,000 South Wales primary school pupils will have taken part in Climate Cops activities.

The centre will also be used for local community events and as a training centre for power station staff.

Phil Allen, Aberthaw Power Station Manager, said: “We hope that many people from across the region will be able to benefit from the new ACE2 centre here at Aberthaw. We want the centre itself to be an example of sustainability and energy efficiency, providing the perfect setting for young people to learn about these important issues. The centre’s location alongside the power station will allow students to see the challenges companies like RWE npower face every day in balancing the demand for electricity with the need to protect the environment.”

Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales said: “Ensuring young people have the skills they need for the future is very important and facilities like this one are important so that they can inspire students with visits outside of the classroom.

“It is good to see businesses like RWE npower playing their part in the education of young people and I am sure this is a facility that will be greatly appreciated and used in the future.”

The centre was designed and built by a local consortium including architects Loyn & Co, structural engineers Mott McDonald and construction company Jones Bros of Ruthin, Denbighshire. The building has been designed to be as eco-friendly as possible; sustainable and recycled materials, such as ash from the power station, were used in construction and the centre is heated and powered using on-site renewable energy sources.

The centre houses an observation deck so visitors to the centre can see the power station, which produces enough electricity for 1.5 million homes – the equivalent of five cities the size of Cardiff – as well as views across the Bristol Channel.

Aberthaw Power Station has formed a partnership with Keep Wales Tidy, which runs the Eco-schools programme in the region, to design and deliver stimulating sessions at the centre linked to science and geography for 7 – 18 year olds.

To book a visit or discuss ACE2 contact the power station on 01446 750271.