Nissan has completed a new 4.75MW solar farm at its manufacturing site in Sunderland which has been co-located alongside ten existing wind turbines and will provide 100% of its energy to the company’s manufacturing needs.

The new development is already providing solar power to the plant, which is Nissan’s largest manufacturing site in Europe and the centre of production for the all-electric Nissan LEAF vehicle and its batteries.

Colin Lawther, Nissan’s senior vice president for manufacturing, purchasing and supply chain management in Europe, said: “Renewable energy is fundamental to Nissan’s vision for Intelligent Mobility.

“With ten wind turbines already generating energy for our Sunderland plant, this new solar farm will further reduce the environmental impact of Nissan vehicles during their entire lifecycle.”

The 19,000 PV panels that make up the solar project were installed within the loop of Nissan’s vehicle test track in Sunderland by partner company European Energy Photovoltaics.

Nissan began integrating renewable energy sources in Sunderland in 2005 when the company installed its first wind turbines on site, contributing 6.6MW of power.

The additional solar energy brings the total output of renewables to 11.35MW in Sunderland which provides 7% of the plant’s electricity needs, saving the equivalent of 3,000 tonnes of CO2 in the process.

As well as continuing to develop renewable energy projects, Nissan is also carrying out work in residential storage solutions using recycled electric vehicle batteries, and trialling a vehicle-to-grid project.