Panasonic has been manufacturing combined heat and power fuel cell systems for homes in Japan for a number of years and plans to introduce similar products to the UK and Europe markets.
Mrs Hart said the Welsh Government had worked closely with Panasonic to help secure the fuel cell R&D programme for their Pentwyn facility in Cardiff.
"Panasonic is one of the global leaders in this low-carbon technology and its excellent news they have chosen Wales for this prestigious research programme.
"I welcome the official confirmation today and am delighted the Welsh Government helped secure the investment with £456,000 support from our Research, Development and Innovation funding programme."
The new centre, due to open in September, will adapt and modify fuel cell products for the UK and European markets. Fuel cells convert fuels such as hydrogen and natural gas into electricity through an electro chemical reaction and the heat generated warms buildings.
The aim is to provide the majority of the heating , hot water and electricity requirements of a typical United Kingdom home with a much reduced carbon foot print .
Mr. T. Shimizu , Head of Panasonic’s Fuel Cell Business Group, commented that given the historic links to Wales of hydrogen fuel cell development it was appropriate that the company’s Cardiff operation would have a pivotal role in developing future products.
He also thanked the Welsh Government for their support with the project.
The announcement was made today at the National Eisteddfod’s Science and Technology pavilion where Panasonic is participating as part of a wider exhibition on Welshman Sir William Robert Grove, the Swansea judge, inventor and physicist, who developed the first basic fuel cell in 1842.
The National Eisteddfod exhibition will depict the time line of the fuel cell from its invention by Sir William through to the present day. Panasonic will display their domestic combined heat and power fuel cell on which the research and development will be undertaken. The exhibition will also have displays from other domain sectors of Panasonic Manufacturing U.K. Ltd such as industrial lap tops.