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PEMBROKESHIRE council should find out by the end of this month whether an ambitious plan to ‘de-carbonise’ Milford Haven with a £4.5million funding bid to develop an ‘energy kingdom’ has been successful.

Pembrokeshire County Council is leading the multi-partner bid which will develop a plan to shift from using natural gas to hydrogen.

Cllr Cris Tomos, cabinet member for the environment, said that the local authority “will hopefully be on the shortlist of approved projects by the end of September.”

It will look at “diverse, local seed markets to support the transition to hydrogen and renewables of the cluster of major energy infrastructure along the Milford Haven waterway,” he added.

Cabinet approved a retrospective bid with the deadline 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 occurring during the summer break.

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 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 bid is made up of £2.05million from the ISCF with £2.45m match funding pledged from bid partners Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC), Port of Milford Haven, Riversimple Hydrogen, and Wales and West Utilities.

It is also supported by Energy Systems Catapult, RWE, Western Power Distribution, Arup and Welsh Government, a report to cabinet adds.

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

New cabinet member Cllr Jon Harvey highlighted that no council match funding was required, adding: “The whole energy sector is going to change in the future and we should grab this with both hands.”

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.”

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