Green light for Toyota’s cost-cutting solar array

Yesterday, a huge, embedded solar array was switched on at Toyota UK’s engine production centre in North Wales by Welsh Minister for Economy, Edwina Hart AM.

Up to 10% of electricity necessary for the manufacturing site will be provided by almost 13,000 solar panels, delivered by British Gas.

The installation took three months to complete at the facility, which makes petrol and hybrid engines for Toyota Avensis and Auris models.

Supplied by Tata Power Solar, the panels cover an area equal to nearly eight football pitches.

Per year, the site can generate up to 3,475,000 kWh of energy, which is enough electricity to manufacturer 22,500 car engines.

The solar array is set to cut carbon emissions by more 1,800 tonnes a year.

In 2011, Toyota’s Derbyshire factory set an example by building one of the UK’s largest solar arrays.

Both initiatives are part of the car manufacturer’s pledge to reduce the global environmental impact of its operations.

The Deeside employees around 570 staff and was established in 1992.

Welsh Minister for Economy, Edwina Hart AM, said: “This impressive development certainly ticks all the boxes – it is a major investment in renewable energy that will significantly cut CO2 emissions helping to support Welsh Government targets while providing green energy for sustainable manufacturing.

“I am delighted to turn on this array today which marks another significant milestone in Toyota’s investment in Wales.

“Toyota is a highly valued Welsh Government anchor company working in one of our key sectors and makes a significant contribution to the Welsh economy and the business community in Wales.”

Jim Crosbie, Toyota’s Deeside Plant Director, said: “The significant investment made in the new solar array marks a major advance for Deeside and Toyota Manufacturing UK in our mission to minimise the environmental impact of our operations, cutting carbon emissions and powering our production in a way that’s cleaner and more environmentally efficient.

“It demonstrates that while Toyota is famous for building lower carbon vehicles, we are just as focused on developing greener production methods and nurturing awareness of environmental issues among our members, and our local communities.

“The solar array won’t just reduce our carbon footprint — it will demonstrate to the wider Welsh and UK manufacturing