Statkraft to develop energy hub in Wales to power trains with green hydrogen

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Europe’s largest renewable energy producer, Statkraft, has announced plans for a new green energy hub in Wales, which will produce green hydrogen for use on trains travelling in Swansea.

The new hub, called the Trecwn Green Energy Hub, will be developed on the site of a former Royal Navy Weapons depot in Pembrokeshire and is Statkraft’s first green hydrogen project to be announced in the UK.

The hub is the first of several projects planned by Statkraft which would create jobs and use local knowledge and skills, helping transport services to stop using fossil fuels and adopt clean alternatives.

The plant in Pembrokeshire, which is planned to be built on the site of a disused train transfer shed, would produce around three tons of green hydrogen every day. This is enough to run one bus for over 40,000 miles, or the equivalent of traveling 350 times from Fishguard to Cardiff, but without the harmful emissions produced by traditional diesel or petrol fuels.

Hydrogen is traditionally extracted from fossil fuels, but Statkraft’s proposal for Trecwn involves green hydrogen – which is extracted from water through a process powered by electricity generated from renewable energy. In this case, from three wind turbines and solar panels on the ground, with no carbon emissions.

The green hydrogen produced at Trecwn is intended to be used to power trains running on railways to the west of Swansea, achieving many of the benefits of electrification, such as using carbon-free fuel, but at significantly lower capital costs and with fewer requirements in terms of new infrastructure.

The proposals would help support the Welsh Government’s Net Zero Strategy to produce the equivalent of 70% of the electricity used in Wales through renewable sources by 2030, as well as contributing to the achievement of the Big Green Plan, which is Pembroke County Council’s decarbonization strategy.

Matt Kelly, from Statkraft UK, said, “The Trecwn Green Energy Hub is an exciting opportunity to produce green energy for local use, and has the potential to be a catalyst to trigger the redevelopment of the region.