Toyota unveils solar power scheme

Toyota is installing a large scale solar panel array at the firm's vehicle plant in Derbyshire, to help power its manufacturing facilities.

The factory provides Auris and Avensis cars for customers across the UK as well as export markets. The Japanese company has received permission to install 17,000 panels at the site.

Together with supporting energy security, the new ground-mounted system will help to reduce the plant's carbon footprint and cut its power bills.

Enough electricity will be produced by the solar power generation system to build approximately 7,000 cars a year at the Midlands factory.

When fully operational, the scheme will save up to 2,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, the firm added.

The solar panels will cost more than £10 million and will be installed and paid for by British Gas. Installation work has started and the scheme is expected to begin supplying power to the plant in July.

Tony Walker, Toyota Manufacturing UK deputy managing director said: "We are already making a significant contribution to the UK's low carbon economy with production of Auris hybrid - the first European built full hybrid car.

"Generating solar power on-site to supply electricity to the plant underlines our commitment to do even more to further reduce our carbon footprint and is yet another example of our environmental leadership."

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