The Royal Mint, in collaboration with Infinite Renewables Group Ltd (IRGL), has developed an innovative Local Energy Centre (LEC), part of the Generation Storage Consumption Supply (GSCS) project and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government and Albion Community Power.
This project integrates renewable and low carbon generation technologies with battery storage, creating a local micro grid network that will generate up to 70% of the electricity needed to power its 38-acre manufacturing site.
The LEC comprises a 2MW 4,000+ panel solar farm, two wind turbines, a hydrogen-ready combined heat and power unit (CHP) and a dual chemistry battery energy storage system (BESS).
Compared with the first quarter of FY21/22 (the Royal Mint’s baseline year for measuring its decarbonisation performance) the LEC has helped contribute to a decrease of approximately 40% in CO2 emissions from energy (electricity and gas). The ground-mounted solar farm alone generated 244,245kWh in the first three full months of operations (from January to March 2023), enough to power 84 UK households for a year.
The Local Energy Centre is enabling the TRM to power various facilities across the site. For example, the CHP used for the brass plating line is expected to provide around 70% of the electricity needed to power this particular process/equipment. In another example, the LEC’s solar farm and wind turbines are providing around 50% of the power consumption needs of the Armour 2 nickel plating line.
In total, the project aims to decrease reliance on grid electricity from approximately 97% to around 30%, and forms a key part of TRM’s ommitment to decarbonise its operations by transitioning away from fossil fuels to renewable energy and reducing energy consumption.
In addition, as part of its community engagement efforts, TRM supported a competition for local primary school children, involving the creation of a bilingual (Welsh and English) ‘Clean Energy’ poster. Six winners and their classmates were invited to The Royal Mint Experience, where they had the opportunity to meet met Iolo Williams (a well-known Welsh ornithologist and broadcaster), strike their own coins, and learn about TRM’s sustainability initiatives.