Sunderland council leader says Nissan's £1bn investment will 'secure the workforce for decades'
Political leaders say Sunderland and the entire North East will get an economic boost from one of the most significant investments in the city in decades.
Sunderland City Council leader Graeme Miller has spoken of his pride at the key enabling role the organisation has played in securing the investment.
Today’s announcement of a £1bn investment in Sunderland, creating and securing thousands of jobs across the North East, represents the biggest job-creating project Sunderland has seen since Nissan arrived in the city more than 30 years ago.
Cllr Miller said it will ”secure the workforce for decades” and added: “It puts Sunderland at the forefront of electric vehicle manufacturing for the foreseeable future.”
A key part of the infrastructure that will enable the flagship Electric Vehicle (EV) Hub - Nissan 36Zero – is the development of a trailblazing Microgrid that aims to deliver a 100% renewable electricity power source and save 55,000 tonnes of carbon annually.
With the ability to incorporate the existing Nissan wind and solar farms, initial plans suggest there could be as many as ten solar farms created, with an anticipated 132MW generation, and with a direct connection to renewable energy from the UK grid for ‘firm’ supply to Nissan and automotive companies located on the adjacent IAMP.
The first-of-its-kind, this project – estimated to be an £80 million investment - also includes plans for a 1MW battery storage system using second-life Nissan EV batteries, which will also allow for excess energy generated during daylight hours to be captured and used at another time.
The project has been led by the council so far, and the ambition is to attract private sector partnership to make the vision a reality.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We have worked tirelessly, in lockstep with Nissan, Envision Group and UK Government to ensure that Sunderland landed this transformational project that will deliver jobs and prosperity for our residents.
“The Microgrid infrastructure is a key enabler of this game-changing project and, through this, we are helping to create the conditions for Nissan, Envision AESC and indeed the wider manufacturing cluster in the area to thrive. We have a long track record of partnership working with businesses in the city and this is just that… a demonstration of our commitment to the success of our manufacturing sector, and to our people – for whom this investment will create jobs and opportunities.
“Put simply, these will be green jobs, utilising green energy to create green products – the perfect blend for a city focused not only on economic growth, but also on putting in place the foundations of a cleaner healthier future for our children and young people.
"And it is the next generation that we do this great work for. Inspiring them about careers at Nissan, Envision AESC and in the associated supply chain is something we will work closely with both companies to achieve as this exciting EV hub takes shape.”
Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, said: "I am thrilled with Nissan’s announcements, which have the potential to transform car-making in the UK.
"I have been working with Nissan to call on the Government to invest locally in the Nissan supply chain.
"The Sunderland plant is the jewel in the crown not only for Nissan but for our region’s economy, with local jobs and a local supply chain we in the North East benefit most.
"This announcement is also testament to Sunderland City Council’s dedication to becoming a city of the future, providing green energy, green jobs and green investment."