The proposed 20 MW extension to the solar farm at the site, consisting of 37,000 additional solar panels, represents a further step in Nissan’s path to carbon neutrality and would result in 20 percent of the plant’s energy coming from onsite renewables if approved. This would generate enough renewable energy to build every single zero-emission Nissan LEAF sold in Europe.
The plans are to be shared with the local community this week, ahead of a formal planning application being submitted.
“Renewables have already made a big difference to our business and we continue to look for ways to make the manufacturing process more sustainable” said Alan Johnson, Vice President Manufacturing at Nissan Sunderland. “As our products made in Sunderland become increasingly electrified, our manufacturing operations are an important part of the ecosystem that will take us to carbon neutrality.”
Nissan began integrating renewable energy sources in Sunderland in 2005 when the company installed its first wind turbines on site. These 10 turbines contribute 6.6 MW power, with the existing 4.75 MW solar farm installed in 2016. The proposed 20 MW solar farm extension would take the total output of renewables to 32 MW at the plant.
The solar farm is being developed and installed by partner company Engenera. The first step in the process is a community consultation which starts this week, with a full planning application expected to follow later this year.
Nissan has set itself the goal to achieve carbon neutrality across the company’s operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050. As part of this effort, by the early 2030s every all-new Nissan vehicle offering in key markets will be electrified, as well as introducing innovations in electrification and manufacturing technology. The company launched the Nissan LEAF over ten years ago and it is now driven by 180,000 EV enthusiasts across Europe, thus preventing 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere every year.
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