Wales to gain its first electric and hydrogen charging facility

Wales is set to gain its first battery electric and hydrogen charging facility for vehicles in Swansea via £1.7 billion Blue Eden project.

A renewable hub will be developed with the capacity to expand EV charging infrastructure in addition to hydrogen refilling capacity. This is the latest element of the £1.7 billion Blue Eden renewable energy project being led by DST Innovations.

The £1.7 billion project also includes; 320MW of turbines generating power from a tidal lagoon, a 60,000 square metre battery energy storage manufacturing plant, a battery facility to store the renewable energy produced by Blue Eden – if this element were constructed now it would be the biggest battery facility in the world, according to Swansea Council.

Alongside this, a 72,000 square metre floating solar array anchored in the Queen’s dock area will be developed, a 94,000 square metre data centre – which will be powered entirely by the renewable generation on site, an oceanic and climate change research centre and approximately 150 floating, energy-efficient eco-homes.

“The renewable energy transport hub is an exciting addition to everything that’s been announced so far,” said Councillor Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader.

“With more and more electric cars on the road nowadays – and the move towards vehicles powered by hydrogen gathering pace too – facilities will be needed to charge these vehicles in the coming years.

“The transport hub help meet that demand and also potentially create hydrogen on site from 100% renewable energy sources. Facilities like this – which would have close links to walking and cycling routes – mean motorists can leave their cars to charge while heading to the city centre.”

This could be a major development not only for the Welsh energy transition but also for the wider UK transition.

The project would be situated along an extensive area of land and water, to the south of the Prince of Wales Dock in the SA1 area of Swansea.

The council has also applied to the UK Government for funding that would help cover the costs of road and access improvements to support the Blue Eden development. Subject to planning consent, work on the Blue Eden site could start in 2023.

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