On the 21 August a large-scale embedded solar array was officially switched at Toyota UK s engine production centre at Deeside in North Wales, by Edwina Hart AM, Welsh Minister for Economy, Science and Transport.
Almost 13,000 solar panels will provide up to 10% of all the electricity required for manufacturing at the site, which makes petrol and hybrid engines for Toyota Avensis and Auris models sold throughout Europe.
Designed and installed by British Gas, the array can produce up to 3,475,000 kWh a year enough electricity to build up to 22,500 engines.
The solar array, commissioned as a multi-million-pound project and delivered by British Gas, will significantly reduce the site s carbon emissions. The panels, supplied by Tata Power Solar, took three months to install and cover an area equivalent in size of almost eight football pitches.
The Toyota plant s carbon emissions will fall by over 1,800 tonnes a year, a figure matching the combined weight of over 1,260 Auris hatchbacks.
Established in 1992 and backed by a total investment of £700 million, the Deeside factory employs around 570 people, producing petrol and hybrid petrol engines for the British market and for export to Toyota production centres worldwide.
Toyota s Burnaston factory in Derbyshire showed the way in harnessing solar power as a renewable energy source when it installed one of Britain s largest solar arrays in 2011.
The Deeside and Burnaston solar initiatives are part of Toyota s leadership strategy to reduce the environmental impact of its operations worldwide. Toyota Manufacturing UK enjoys global status as a leading eco-plant, pioneering best practice and sustainable processes that cut pollution, reduce waste, make efficient use of natural resources and work in harmony with nature.
Edwina Hart AM, the Welsh Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, who performed the official switch-on of the array, said: 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.
Jim Crosbie, Toyota s Deeside Plant Director, said: The significant investment 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.