Jaguar Land Rover’s new Engine Manufacturing Centre in Staffordshire is now home to what is thought to be the UK’s largest roof-mounted solar array.

The 5.8MW installation boasts over 21,000 solar modules capable of generating around 30% of the engine manufacturing centre’s annual energy requirements – the equivalent energy consumed by 1,600 homes.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) also has plans to add to the array, taking it up to a 6.3MW install by the end of the year. Commenting on the installation, Trevor Leeks, operations director for the new engine manufacturing centre said: “Our world-class facility showcases the latest sustainable technologies and innovations. The completion of the UK's largest rooftop solar panel installation here at the Engine Manufacturing Centre is just one example of this.”

The new centre also deploys cutting-edge heating and lighting systems that will help reduce the site’s energy consumption. In addition, JLR has committed to creating an ‘ecological corridor’ to help species move from side of the site to the other.

The news will be welcomed by the minister for energy and climate change, Greg Barker, who pledged to help “mobilise the mid-scale solar market” in 2014. Solar Power Portal understands that the upcoming UK Solar Strategy to be published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) identifies a number of barriers currently hampering commercial-scale take up. The document will identify a number of ways to clear the most significant barriers, including streamlining the tariff application procedure.

The new engine construction site represents an investment of more than £500 million for JLR, which predicts that it will create almost 1,400 jobs by the time the plant reaches full capacity.