The rooftops of automotive manufacturing plants have proven fertile ground for solar arrays with Audi, Ferrari and Renault installing extensive fields of solar panels at their respective facilities. Now Jaguar Land Rover has got on board with the largest rooftop solar panel array in the UK sprouting from its new Engine Manufacturing Centre in South Staffordshire.

Comprising more than 21,000 photovoltaic panels, the new system boasts a capacity of 5.8 MW, with Jaguar planning to increase this to over 6.3 MW by the end of this year. Jaguar estimates the installation will meet more than 30 percent of the Engine Manufacturing Centre's energy requirements and reduce the plant's CO2 footprint by over 2,400 tonnes (2645.5 tons) per year.

Energy monitoring facilities are used to continually analyze energy usage throughout the plant so as to identify areas for potential savings of electricity and natural gas, while insulated cladding and cutting-edge heating and lighting systems help minimize energy usage. Additionally, the roof design and automatic louvers maximize daylight and provide natural ventilation.

Jaguar Land Rover will also look to accommodate local wildlife with plans to create an ecological corridor across the bottom of the site that is designed to help local species move safely from one side of the site to the other. It will also seek to attract small mammals, invertebrates, amphibians, bats and birds to the site through the installation of boxes, habitat piles, dead wood stumps and insect houses.

Inside, the plant will be responsible for the manufacture of Jaguar Land Rover's new Ingenium four-cylinder engines, which are the first to be designed and built in-house by the company for use in future vehicles, starting with the Jaguar XE that is set to debut next year.

"Our world-class facility showcases the latest sustainable technologies and innovations," said Trevor Leeks, the Engine Manufacturing Centre's Operations Director. "The completion of the UK's largest rooftop solar panel installation here at the Engine Manufacturing Centre is just one example of this."