By Mike Torpey on 2016-06-01 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Nissan switches on
NISSAN has switched on a new solar farm at its Sunderland plant in the North East, the latest landmark in the company's journey towards Intelligent Mobility.
Made of up 19,000 photo-voltaic panels, the new 4.75MW facility is now fully operational as the Japanese company strives towards its twin goals of zero emissions and zero fatalities.
The solar farm has been installed alongside 10 wind turbines already generating clean power for Nissan in Sunderland, the European production centre for the all-electric Nissan LEAF model and its batteries.
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 solar farm produces seven per cent of the plant's electricity requirements, enough to build the equivalent of 31,374 vehicles.
It has been installed within the loop of Nissan's vehicle test track in Sunderland by partner company European Energy Photovoltaics, with 100% of the electricity generated to be used by Nissan.
Its installation comes as Nissan celebrates its 30 anniversary of manufacturing in the UK.
Pursuing a goal of zero emission vehicles and zero fatalities on the road, Nissan's Intelligent Mobility vision is designed to guide the company's product and technology pipeline.
And breakthrough initiatives recently announced concerning electric vehicles include a future generation of electric vehicle batteries for the UK battery plant and a major vehicle-to-grid trial in the UK in partnership with energy provider Enel that will see Nissan electric vehicles supplying the UK's National Grid.
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