Solar park to power Toyota hybrid car making plant
Ann Elise Taylor
7th June 2011
A massive solar array will begin to power Toyota’s Derbyshire plant with renewable energy this summer, the company announced today.
will partner with Toyota
on the construction of the solar
array, which will cost more than £10 million and produce 4,600,000 kWh per year.
The solar array, which is being subsidised by the Government's Feed-in Tariff scheme, will consist of 17,000 panels and will cover the area of almost four and a half football pitches, Toyota said. Toyota Auris hybrid, Auris and Avensis cars will be produced by the plant.
According to Toyota, the structure will supply enough energy to build approximately 7,000 cars per year and will eventually lower the plant’s power bills. The company expects to save up to 2,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year through the new solar array.
"With energy costs increasing and a tough financial climate, all businesses are looking at ways to cut their bills as well as reduce their carbon emissions," Jon Kimber, managing director of British Gas New Energy said. "Solar power has the potential to make this happen and really revolutionise the way Britain’s homes and businesses generate energy."
British Gas will install and pay for the solar panels, which are eligible for the current FiT rates. British Gas spokesperson Elliot Grady said although British Gas has participated in large-scale operations before, the Toyota project is the only one the company is currently participating in. The majority of the company’s work is to be focused on the residential sector.
The project is part of Toyota’s 'Sustainability Plant’ vision, which aims to create a symbiotic relationship between the company’s manufacturing efforts, local communities and the environment.
"We are already making a significant contribution to the UK’s low carbon economy with production of Auris hybrid – the first European hybrid car," Tony Walker, Toyota Manufacturing UK deputy managing director, said. "Generating solar power on-site to supply electricity to the plant underlines our commitment to do even more to further reduce our carbon footprint and is yet another example of our environmental leadership."
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