Milford Haven : Energy Kingdom systems architecture

The Milford Haven: Energy Kingdom (MH:EK) project is focused on developing diverse, local markets to support the transition to hydrogen and renewables for the major energy infrastructure cluster along the Milford Haven Waterway in Wales.

MH:EK Detailed Design was an initial two-year deliverable exploring what a decarbonised smart local energy system could look like for Milford Haven, Pembroke and Pembroke Dock.

Energy Systems Catapult provided Energy Kingdom with expert guidance and support from our Systems Engineering team to design a solution that could also be used as a template for other Smart Local Energy Systems around the UK.

The Catapult delivered this work as part of our Energy Revolution Integration Service, funded through InnovateUK’s the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund – Prospering from the Energy Revolution.

The Challenge

Achieving the UK target of Net Zero carbon emission by 2050 will require a transition away from fossil fuels such a natural gas to lower emission energy sources such as hydrogen.

Large scale hydrogen markets could provide an essential cross-vector system balancing and inter-seasonal energy storage for an energy system dominated by the UK’s abundant renewables, especially offshore wind and marine resources. This gas to hydrogen transition may be built out from the UK’s critical natural gas infrastructure.

As the UK’s largest energy port, Milford Haven is an industrial cluster that can handle 30% of total UK gas demand. Facilities include South Hook Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal, Dragon LNG terminal, RWE’s 2.2GW gas-fired power plant, and National Grid’s pipeline that connects the Milford Haven Waterway with other assets like Grain LNG terminal, in Kent, and St Fergus gas terminal, Aberdeenshire.

MH is also home to Europe’s largest gas power station powering 3.5 million homes and businesses, with ambitions to build 90MW of floating offshore wind, it supports 5,000 jobs and injects £324m to the Pembrokeshire economy.

The Project

The MH:EK Detailed Design project focused on the whole energy system inside and beyond the industrial cluster including surrounding communities around Milford Haven, Pembroke and Pembroke Dock – aiming to identify and design a future smart local energy system based on a truly multi-vector approach and comprehensive energy systems architecture.

The project explored a mixture of decarbonisation pathways available locally — including the potential of hydrogen as part of a multi-vector approach.

Project partners include: Pembrokeshire County Council, Riversimple, Milford Haven Port Authority, Wales and West Utilities, and Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. With assistance and support from Energy Systems Catapult, RWE, Western Power Distribution, Arup and Welsh Government Energy Services, will design a local, renewables-hydrogen energy system for the Milford Haven Waterway.

The Solution

Energy Systems Catapult’s Systems Engineering team investigated local renewable energy, including solar, onshore wind, future offshore wind and biomass for decarbonised gas transition; diversified seed markets for hydrogen across buildings, transport and industry; consumer trials of fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen-ready heating systems.

Central to the project, and to achieving Net Zero, was a commitment to engage with the community and local industry – covering energy generation and storage, transport, import, export and right through to end users – providing insight and opportunities for growth.

The MH:EK Detailed Design included:

  • Heating and transportation needs of local communities, including via fuel cell vehicles
  • Transport solutions for Pembrokeshire’s 4.2 million annual tourists
  • H2 production from curtailed onshore wind and solar generators
  • Improving off-take markets for offshore renewables in the South-Western Approaches, including the consented Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone (PDZ).

The detailed design also featured 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.

Read the Report

Milford Haven : Energy Kingdom – System Architecture Report

The Impact & Next Steps

Energy Systems Catapult presented a novel system architecture that allows integration from national to local network levels, and future integration of major natural gas infrastructure and current and future large-scale hydrogen infrastructure.

The project built 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.

The project will help to define designs of future energy system architectures, combining: technology, the interconnectivity between them and data; with markets, trading platforms and policies; with business models and defined organisational governance. The aim of these designs is to provide:

  • The basis for a roadmap for the next phases of development and implementation,
  • Confidence to innovators and investors in the future longevity of investments in hydrogen and,
  • A common basis of understanding for all stakeholders wishing to contribute to the Milford Haven: Energy Kingdom.

The core findings for this project are:

1. Smart Local Energy Systems (SLES’) are dominated by a huge number of complex inter-relationships.

2. Net Zero might be driven locally but there are key enablers which are currently in the hands of central government

3. The final report identified a number of actions at varying levels (central government, future discussions, immediate actions and local decisions) which form the basis of required next steps. They are collated and summarised in section 11.

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