Automotive

Nissan on track with more renewable energy at Sunderland plant

Nissan on track with more rene...
Nissan now uses renewable energy to fulfil seven percent of its Sunderland plant's electricity needs
Nissan now uses renewable energy to fulfil seven percent of its Sunderland plant's electricity needs
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The Leaf has a 250 mile range 
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The Leaf has a 250 mile range 
Nissan now uses renewable energy to fulfil seven percent of its Sunderland plant's electricity needs
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Nissan now uses renewable energy to fulfil seven percent of its Sunderland plant's electricity needs
19,000 photovoltaic panels make up the farm 
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19,000 photovoltaic panels make up the farm 
The solar farm in the middle of Nissan's Sunderland test track
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The solar farm in the middle of Nissan's Sunderland test track
The Leaf is Nissan's take on mainstream electric vehicles
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The Leaf is Nissan's take on mainstream electric vehicles
The Nissan Leaf on the move 
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The Nissan Leaf on the move 
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While it's nice to think electric cars are making a big difference to the environment, manufacturing them is still a dirty business. Nissan is aiming to change this at its Sunderland plant in the UK, which can now generate 11.25 MW of renewable energy thanks to a new solar farm.

Built on the former Usworth Aerodrome, the Sunderland plant is Nissan's biggest European manufacturing plant and features a vehicle test track. Within the loop of this track now sits a solar farm made up of 19,000 photovoltaic panels. These can supply 4.75 MW of power to supplement the 6.6 MW already being generated by 10 wind turbines at the site, the first of which were installed in 2005.

The total 11.25 MW created by renewables will cover about seven percent of the factory's total electricity usage, which Nissan says is enough to build 31,374 cars every year.

The solar farm in the middle of Nissan's Sunderland test track
The solar farm in the middle of Nissan's Sunderland test track

"Renewable energy is fundamental to Nissan's vision for Intelligent Mobility," says Colin Lawther, Senior Vice President for Manufacturing, Purchasing and Supply Chain at Nissan Europe. "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's increased commitment to renewable energy is just one of the steps the Japanese company has taken to cut down on fossil-fuel reliance in Europe. As well as selling the Leaf, we've seen residential energy storage using recycled EV batteries, while a trial is currently underway allowing Leaf owners to charge their cars using cheaper off-peak power before feeding it back into the grid during peak times.

Source: Nissan

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1 comment
Milton
Just for the record: Manufacturing an EV is only marginally "dirtier" than manufacturing an ICE Vehicle. The Environmental debt on a vehicle like the Nissan Leaf is paid off after the first 18,000 miles when compared to an ICE Toyota Camry. Everything beyond 18,000 miles is a net-win for the Nissan... Which ultimately, after 200,000 miles is just under 2X as clean. (106,000 lbs CO2e vs 205,000 lbs CO2e for the Camry).