ARKANSAS, Nov 16 (Future Headlines)- Japanese electronics giant Panasonic is set to embark on a major retrofit of its manufacturing factory in Cardiff, Wales, incorporating advanced technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, and battery storage. The company has earmarked approximately €130 million (£113 million) over two years for the launch of its RE100 demonstration production facility, pending planning consent. The initiative aligns with Panasonic’s commitment to sustainability and its goal to create a society that achieves both well-being and environmental sustainability.
Panasonic plans to combine 21 of its hydrogen fuel cell generators, with a total output of 105 kW, along with 290 kW of solar PV panels and 1 MWh of battery energy storage. This integrated system aims to reduce excess and wasted electricity and heat energy while ensuring a stable supply of renewable power.
The retrofit is expected to be completed in 2024, showcasing the potential for a manufacturing facility used for the production of microwave ovens and small appliances to be fully powered by renewable sources.
The Cardiff project is part of Panasonic’s RE100 initiative, which focuses on demonstrating sustainable and renewable energy solutions. The company has already established a RE100 demonstration facility in Japan and hints at a similar pilot project in another European location in the coming year.
Masahiro Shinada, CEO of Panasonic, emphasized the company’s commitment to contributing to the well-being of people, society, and the planet. He highlighted the long-term view of the business, aiming to create a society that achieves both well-being and sustainability. The retrofit aligns with Panasonic’s broader goals of contributing to a hydrogen society and achieving carbon neutrality.
Vaughan Gething, the Welsh government minister for the Economy, expressed enthusiasm for Panasonic’s continued investment in Wales. He emphasized the significance of Panasonic’s commitment to the workforce in Cardiff and the wider Welsh economy, highlighting the alignment with the Welsh government’s journey to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Panasonic hinted at the potential development of a similar pilot project in another European location in the next year, underscoring its commitment to advancing sustainable and renewable energy solutions.
Panasonic’s ambitious retrofit project in Wales reflects the company’s dedication to integrating cutting-edge technologies to achieve sustainable and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. By combining hydrogen fuel cells, solar PV, and battery storage, Panasonic aims to demonstrate the feasibility of powering manufacturing facilities with renewable energy sources, contributing to the fight against climate change and fostering a transition toward a hydrogen society and carbon neutrality. The project also signifies a positive partnership between Japanese businesses and the Welsh government, emphasizing the importance of industrial collaboration in driving sustainable economic growth.
Reporting by Alireza Sabet; Editing by Sarah White