Statkraft to generate its first UK-based green hydrogen via solar. Image: Statkraft.

Statkraft has unveiled its first UK-based green hydrogen project in Pembrokeshire, which will harness solar energy to generate the clean energy carrier.

The green hydrogen hub, dubbed the Trecwn Green Energy Hub, will utilise the clean energy carrier as a fuel for zero-emission buses, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), trains and industry in Wales. This will reduce the overall carbon footprint of the transportation sector.

Set to be developed on a disused rail transfer shed, the project will generate around three tonnes of green hydrogen per day. To supply the renewable energy required for green hydrogen production, the electrolyser will be coupled with three turbines and ground-mounted solar arrays, the capacities of which were not disclosed.

“Trecwn Green Energy Hub presents an exciting opportunity to produce homegrown green energy for local use and has the potential to act as a catalyst for the redevelopment of Trecwn Valley. We’re working closely with Pembrokeshire County Council, and despite being at an early stage of the project, we’re keen to hear what local people think,” said Matt Kelly, head of RES eFuels at Statkraft UK.

“We’re determined that our renewable energy projects benefit local people more widely and have distributed over £2 million to communities near our projects, as well as working to make environmental improvements to the sites we operate. We look forward to sharing more details of our plans as they progress.”

One of the uses of the green hydrogen will be to power zero-emission trains running on railway lines to the west of Swansea. Not only could this provide a reduction in carbon emissions within the transportation sector but could also spearhead future developments in mobility.

It could also power Pembrokeshire Council’s fleet of HGVs and local buses, with the site able to produce enough green hydrogen to run around 170 buses every day when operational, the company said.

“Today’s announcement in respect of the Trecwn Green Energy Hub is evidence of the building momentum behind the green energy market in Pembrokeshire,” said Cllr Paul Miller, deputy leader and cabinet member for place, the region and climate change.

“Growing and nurturing renewable technology and industry right across the county, including in our more rural communities, is vital to ensure we position Pembrokeshire and the South West region at the heart of Wales’s renewable energy push.”

In August, Statkraft revealed it had passed a 1.5GW milestone in its third-party distributed flexible generation and battery storage (flex) portfolio in Britain. According to the company, it now provides approximately 27% of the total capacity in this market segment.

Branching into hydrogen could be an additional revenue source for the company in an up-and-coming market. The UK has placed an emphasis in scaling the industry as an additional measure to drive decarbonisation.

The UK Government is targeting up to 10GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030, as set out in the British Energy Security Strategy.

Interest and activity in the hydrogen space has been growing over the past year and had been bolstered by the government’s Hydrogen Strategy in August 2021. This set out plans to achieve 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030, a target which has since doubled to 10GW.