Nissan announces massive solar farm plans to power Leaf production in Sunderland

Nissan has announced plans for a huge expansion of renewable energy generation at its factory in Sunderland.

The proposed solar farm would more than double the plant’s renewable energy capacity and mean 20 per cent of all its power would be from on-site renewables.

The plant is home to European production of the brand’s Leaf electric car and if the planned expansion is approved it would generate enough energy to built every Leaf sold in Europe.

Plans for the new 20MW solar farm are being put to a community consultation ahead of an official planning application being lodged later this year.

The new solar array would compliment an existing 4.75MW solar farm and 6.6MW wind farm already on the Sunderland site, taking its total renewable capacity to 32MW.

Alan Johnson, vice president of manufacturing at Nissan Sunderland, said: “Renewables have already made a big difference to our business and we continue to look for ways to make the manufacturing process more sustainable.

“As our products made in Sunderland become increasingly electrified, our manufacturing operations are an important part of the ecosystem that will take us to carbon neutrality.”

Nissan has set itself the goal to achieve carbon neutrality across the company’s operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050. As part of this effort, by the early 2030s every all-new Nissan vehicle in key markets will be electrified, as well as introducing innovations in electrification and manufacturing technology.

The Sunderland plant also produces Nissan’s Juke crossover and the best-selling Qashqai SUV, with the all-new Qashqai due to begin production there later this year.