Toyota UK has switched on a large-scale embedded solar array at its engine production centre at Deeside, North Wales.
At the facility, almost 13,000 solar panels will provide up to 10 per cent of all the electricity required for the site’s manufacturing needs. The site produces petrol and hybrid engines for Toyota’s Avensis and Auris models that are sold throughout Europe.
Commissioned as a multi-million-pound project delivered by British Gas, the array of solar panels will significantly reduce the site’s carbon emissions.
The panels were supplied by Tata Power Solar and took three months to install at the site, with the solar panels covering an area equivalent to almost eight football pitches.
Thanks to the new solar panels, the Toyota UK facility can generate just under 3.5 million kWh of electricity annually – enough to produce up to 22,500 car engines.
In addition, the plant’s carbon emissions will fall by 1,800 tonnes a year – matching the combined weight of 1,260 Auris hatchbacks!
Jim Crosbie, Toyota’s Deeside Plant Director, commented: “The significant investment we have made in the new solar array marks a major advance for Deeside and Toyota Manufacturing UK in our mission to minimise the environmental impact of our operations, cutting carbon emissions and powering our production in a way that’s cleaner and more environmentally efficient.
“It demonstrates that while Toyota is famous for building lower carbon vehicles, we are just as focused on developing greener production methods and nurturing awareness of environmental issues among our members, and our local communities.
“The solar array won’t just reduce our carbon footprint, it will demonstrate to the wider Welsh and UK manufacturing sector the tangible benefits renewable energy can deliver.”
Switching on the solar panel array was the Welsh Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart AM.
Hart added: “This impressive development certainly ticks all the boxes – it is a major investment in renewable energy that will significantly cut CO2 emissions helping to support Welsh Government targets while providing green energy for sustainable manufacturing.
“I am delighted to turn on this array today which marks another significant milestone in Toyota’s investment in Wales. Toyota is a highly valued Welsh Government anchor company working in one of our key sectors and makes a significant contribution to the Welsh economy and the business community in Wales.”