A new 4.75 megawatt solar energy installation was recently brought online by Nissan outside of the company’s Sunderland production plant in the UK, according to reports.
The new solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant will — along with 6.6 megawatts (MW) of previously installed wind energy generation capacity at the manufacturing plant — help to power the Japanese firm’s largest production plant in Europe. Specifically, it will help to power the manufacture of the all-electric Nissan LEAF units produced there.
The new solar energy facility is comprised of around 19,000 solar PV panels. The previously installed (back in 2005) 6.6 MW of wind energy generation capacity is comprised of 10 wind turbines.
Altogether, the two renewable energy installations possess a nameplate generation capacity of more than 11 MW. Electricity generated by the installations should account for around 7% of the facility’s annual electricity needs, according to a recent press statement. That’s enough electricity to manufacture around 31,374 electric vehicles a year.
The recent connection of the solar project was used to mark the 30th anniversary of the Sunderland plant. Installation was completed by European Energy Photovoltaics. Notably, the new solar energy installation is located within the loop of the facility’s test-drive track — an otherwise unused bit of space.
Nissan’s Senior Vice President for Manufacturing, Purchasing, and Supply Chain Management in Europe, Colin Lawther, commented: “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.”
And will provide the manufacturing facility with some resiliency against power outages as well, presumably.