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August 21, 2014

UK: Toyota switches on large solar array at Deeside facility

A large-scale embedded solar array will be switched on today (21 August) at Toyota UK's engine production centre at Deeside in North Wales.

A large-scale embedded solar array will be switched on today (21 August) at Toyota UK’s engine production centre at Deeside in North Wales.

Almost 13,000 solar panels will provide up to 10% of all the electricity required for manufacturing at the site, which makes petrol and hybrid engines for Toyota Avensis and Auris models sold throughout Europe.

Toyota says that solar array, commissioned as a multi-million-pound project delivered by British Gas, will significantly reduce the site’s carbon emissions. It took three months to install the panels, supplied by Tata Power Solar, which cover an area that’s the equivalent of almost eight football pitches.

The facility can generate up to 3,475,000 kWh of electricity each year – enough to produce up to 22,500 car engines. The Toyota plant’s carbon emissions will fall by 1,800 tonnes a year, a figure matching the combined weight of 1,260 Auris hatchbacks.

Established in 1992 and backed by a total investment of £700 million, the Deeside factory employs around 570 people, producing petrol and hybrid petrol engines for the British market and for export to Toyota production centres worldwide.

Edwina Hart AM, the Welsh Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, who performed the official switch-on of the array, 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 we have 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 sector the tangible benefits renewable energy can deliver.”

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