Nissan plans major renewable energy expansion at Sunderland plant

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Nissan is planning for a significant expansion to renewable energy generation at its Sunderland plant in the UK in line with its work on carbon neutrality.

The solar farm extension would run alongside the plant’s existing wind turbines and solar farm, and would result in 20% of the plant’s energy coming from all onsite renewables

The proposed 20MW solar farm extension would run alongside the plant’s existing wind turbines and solar farm and would result in 20% of the plant’s energy coming from all onsite renewables.

This would then generate enough power to build every Nissan Leaf sold in Europe.

The plans are going under consultation with the local community this week and a formal planning application is expected to be submitted later this year.

Nissan is planning to achieve carbon neutrality across the company’s operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050. It has already set the goal for all new Nissan vehicles in key markets to be electrified by the early 2030s but innovations in manufacturing technology will also play a role.

Alan Johnson, vice president manufacturing at Nissan Sunderland, said: “As our products made in Sunderland become increasingly electrified, our manufacturing operations are an important part of the ecosystem that will take us to carbon neutrality.”

Nissan’s first work on renewable energy sources in Sunderland started in 2005 when the company installed its inaugural wind turbines on site. These 10 turbines contribute 6.6MW power, with the existing 4.75MW solar farm installed in 2016. The proposed 20MW solar farm extension would take the total output of renewables to 32MW at the plant.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.