toyota-burnaston-plantToyota is joining the growing parade of carmakers – GM, Ford, Nissan, and Audi among them – tapping the power of the sun to  build automobiles.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK), in partnership with British Gas, has submitted a planning application to South Derbyshire District Council for a ground-mounted solar array capable of supplying approximately 5% of its Burnaston UK plant’s annual electricity demand.

The proposed solar array, consisting of 17,000 solar panels, will be located within the perimeter fence of the Toyota plant on land designated for industrial use.

“Using solar power to supply electricity to the plant underlines our commitment to the UK’s low-carbon economy and our own ambitions to further reduce our carbon footprint,” said Toyota Deputy Managing Director Tony Walker, Toyota Deputy Managing Director.

Reduced carbon footprint
The scheme will help to reduce the plant’s carbon footprint, support energy security and help reduce its energy bills. Once installed, the panels will save 45,000 tons of CO2 over the lifetime of the panels.

The solar panels will cost in excess of £10 million but will be installed and paid for by British Gas. All of the solar panels will be manufactured in the UK and, as far as possible, local labor will be used for their installation and maintenance, says Toyota.

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Under the arrangement, British Gas will claim the feed-in tariff – a scheme designed to improve the take up of solar PV panels, by paying the owners for the renewable electricity they generate. Toyota Manufacturing UK will benefit from the free renewable electricity generated by the panels and will save money by not having to buy as much electricity from their supplier.

Solar power has the potential to make this happen and really revolutionize the way Britain’s homes and business generate energy,” noted Jon Kimber, managing direct of British Gas New Energy.

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