Image of rooftop Solar PV modules mounted on a commercial building
JLR announces plans to generate more than 25% of electricity demand from solar. Image: JLR

Car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced plans to generate more than a quarter of its UK electricity from renewable energy projects, primarily solar.

Focusing on three UK locations for either manufacturing or non-production, JLR’s new off-grid energy projects aim to produce almost 120MW of renewable energy at their peak.

The three sites include the company’s Halewood plant in Merseyside, the newly named Electric Propulsion Manufacturing Centre (EPMC) in Wolverhampton, and its Gaydon headquarters.

JLR plans to use a mixture of rooftop and ground-mounted panels, as well as solar carports to power processes and electric car charging, in order to boost self-generated energy capability from solar by 16%.

All three facilities are expected to be operational by the end of 2026, with planning already having been granted for an 18.2MW ground-mounted solar array at the company’s headquarters in Gaydon.

These plans form part of the firm’s global renewable strategy, which aims to increase self-generated energy to 36.4% of its global consumption by 2030.

Francois Dossa, JLR strategy and sustainability executive director, said: “These new projects will diversify our energy portfolio, reduce our reliance on grid electricity and help us to reduce our energy bills. The steps we are taking further support our ambitious goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2039 and to hit our mid-term science-based targets along the way.”

Corporate transitions

JLR has ventured into diversifying its sustainability options before, most notably via its partnership with Wykes Engineering announced in August 2023. This joint project aimed to repurpose second-life electric vehicle (EV) batteries for a battery energy storage system (BESS). A Wykes Engineering BESS could comprise 30-second-life I-PACE batteries and is capable of storing up to 2.5MWh of energy at full capacity.

The car batteries will be taken from Jaguar’s prototype and engineering test vehicles and will be used once their health falls below the stringent requirements of an EV, which typically leaves a 70-80% residual capacity.

It is also important to note that JLR is not the first company to announce a plan to use solar as a way to generate renewable energy for its UK sites.

For example, the Allied Irish Banks (AIB) Group said it aims to use a solar facility based in Gorey, Country Wexford in Ireland, alongside a secondary solar farm in Enniscorthy, to supply up to 80% of the firm’s electricity demand.

Another site taking a similar path is the Haynes Motor Museum, which has installed a DC-optimised rooftop solar system on the building’s north-facing roof. The project comprises 648 high-efficiency 370W panels arranged in 18 sets of 36 panels with two SolarEdge Synergy 82.2kW inverters, all installed by Sunlit Solar According to the company, the solar system will be capable of averaging 50% of total daily energy requirements, exceeding 90% on sunnier days.

EDF Renewables UK was also granted the green light to develop a 4MW solar farm to decarbonise the production of The Macallan’s single malt Scotch whisky in Craigellachie in January 2024.

Situated at The Macallan Estate in north-east Scotland, the distillery company will integrate ground-mounted solar panels to deliver up to 50% of the daytime electricity needs at peak output and 30% of the site’s annual demand.