Hitachi Rail Europe’s train manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, Durham will be partly powered by a 1MW solar array.  

The system consists of 3,800 Trina Solar modules partnered with 28 PowerOne inverters. The solar array will help the £82 million manufacturing facility manufacture new Intercity Express trains to run on the Great Western Main Line and East Coast Main Line.

Hitachi Rail has agreed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) that will provide the manufacturer with an RPI-linked electricity price for the lifespan of the agreement. The installation was financed by Macquarie Lending as part of an agreement with PV installer Photon Energy Ltd.

Commenting on the project, Rob Alford, Photon Energy’s commercial manager, said: “The arrangement lends itself to such applications as data centres, distribution hubs, manufacturing facilities and airports, to name but a few. It is suitable for organisations with extensive roof space that also use a lot of electricity, without involving them in capital expenditure they may not wish to make.”

The 1MW solar array is expected to be completed in January.