New solar panels helping to power Nissan

Car giant Nissan is going greener after the company unveiled new solar panels which are helping to power its Wearside plant.

Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 8:00 am
Nissan's Colin Lowther next to the new solar panels.

Made of up 19,000 photo-voltaic panels, the new 4.75MW facility is now fully operational at the company’s Sunderland factory as it strives towards its twin goals of zero emissions and zero fatalities.

The solar farm has been installed alongside 10 wind turbines already generating power for the company which produces the all-electric Nissan LEAF and its batteries.

The new solar panels at Nissan's Sunderland plant with the firm's wind turbines in the background.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Colin Lawther, Nissan’s senior vice president for manufacturing, purchasing and supply chain management in Europe, said: “Renewable energy is fundamental to Nissan’s vision for Intelligent Mobility.

“We have built over 50,000 Nissan Leafs in Europe, and the industry-leading new 250km-range Leaf is now available.

“With 10 wind turbines already generating energy for our Sunderland plant, this new solar farm will further reduce the environmental impact of Nissan vehicles during their entire lifecycle.”

Nissan began integrating renewable energy sources in Sunderland in 2005 when the company installed its first wind turbines on site.

The new solar panels at Nissan's Sunderland plant with the firm's wind turbines in the background.

These 10 wind turbines contribute 6.6MW power, with the 4.75MW solar farm bringing the total output of renewables to 11.35MW in Sunderland.

This equates to 7% of the plant’s electricity requirements, enough to build the equivalent of 31,374 vehicles.

The solar farm has been developed and installed within the loop of Nissan’s vehicle test track in Sunderland by European Energy Photovoltaics, with 100% of the electricity generated to be used by Nissan.

Its installation comes as Nissan celebrates its 30th anniversary of manufacturing in the UK, having become the biggest UK car plant of all time and now supporting nearly 40,000 jobs in Britain.

Pursuing a goal of zero emission vehicles and zero fatalities on the road, the company’s Intelligent Mobility vision aims to guide Nissan’s product and technology pipeline, affecting company decisions around how cars are powered, how cars are driven and how they integrate into society.