Solar power is being used to decrease Nissan's environmental impact, creating enough power to produce 31,000 cars annually
2 June 2016

Nissan has switched on a solar farm at its Sunderland plant, in its latest bid to create a sustainable future.

Made up of 19,000 individual photovoltaic panels, the facility can produce 4.75MW of electricity. It runs in conjunction with 10 wind turbines at the Sunderland factory, which together, Nissan says, produce enough power to produce more than 31,000 cars each year and save 3000 tonnes of CO2 compared to more conventional power sources.

Alternative power makes up seven percent of the overall electricity supply to the plant.

The factory, which produces the popular Qashqai and electric Leaf, produced 476,589 cars last year, which means the new solar farm is capable of producing 6.5% of vehicles built.

Colin Lawther, Nissan’s senior vice president for manufacturing, purchasing and supply chain management in Europe, said renewable energy was fundamental to Nissan’s vision for what it calls 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,” he said.

The solar farm was devised and built inside Nissan’s test loop at Sunderland by European Energy Voltaics, and all of the electricity generated will be used by Nissan.

The brand recently announced it will launch a new vehicle-to-grid charging scheme in the UK with its all-electric Leaf that will enable owners to sell extra energy stored in their cars' batteries back to the electricity grid for money.

Phill Tromans

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2 June 2016
I heard the very biggest wind turbines can fully recharge a Leaf with just 5 revolutions. Impressive clean'ish energy which even the anti-EV luddites can't deny.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

2 June 2016
This is great news. It will be good to hear when there is less (need for) transportation of vehicles around the globe though. Cars need to be made efficiently and nearer to point of sale.


2 June 2016
Scratch wrote:

Cars need to be made efficiently and nearer to point of sale.

Car plants are assembly plants. Whether you are shipping raw materials, parts, or finished products there is still transportation required. Globalization is here to stay, but localisation is here too. Hence you can enjoy your British-built Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc.

2 June 2016
Yes, @A34, understood. It strikes me as slightly odd to have "green" cars such as Teslas and Leafs shipped in opposite directions across the same stretch of water half way around the world.

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