THE MAJOR shift from using natural gas to hydrogen is behind ambitious plans for a 'Milford Haven Energy Kingdom'.

Pembrokeshire County Council is leading a bid for £4.5million for the project which will focus on developing "diverse, local seed markets to support the transition to hydrogen and renewables of the cluster of major energy infrastructure along the Milford Haven waterway."

Milford Haven is home to the South Hook and Dragon LNG terminals, an RWE power station and part of National Grid's national transmission system pipeline.

A report to Cabinet describes how the project was pitched in March and "received a great deal of interest and offers of support."

The report details how the project would evolve: "This transition will occur via a mixture of pathways locally - meeting heating and transportation needs of local communities, including via fuel cell vehicles and creating transport solutions for Pembrokeshire's 4.2m annual tourists."

Cabinet is set to provide retrospective permission for the bid to the Industrial Challenge Strategy Fund (ICSF) as part of  its ‘Prospering from the Energy Revolution Detailed Design of Smart Local Energy Systems’ fund.

The funding, which requires no match funding from the council, is to develop a business case for an ‘energy kingdom’ by 2022 but not implementation.

The project partners will then design a local renewables-hydrogen energy system for the waterway.

The report adds: "This will feature a flexibility trading platform to lower costs for consumers using hydrogen-ready hybrid heat pumps and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and to help lift constraints on local development of solar, wind and offshore renewable power generation.

"The project will immediately build hydrogen-ready features and technologies into the Port's housing, commercial and renewables projects and will allow local people to test real-world hydrogen vehicles and home heating equipment."

Funding for the business case will focus on decarbonisation of transport, decarbonisation of heating, local hydrogen energy system balancing/trading and creating markets for co-benefits such as reducing transport poverty and improving air quality.

The report to Cabinet concludes: "Subject to successful detailed design ICSF funding bid, the Milford Haven Energy Kingdom Project will help sustain the Haven's credentials as a major UK energy centre."

Cabinet meeds on Monday, September 9.