Nissan Aims for 100% Green Produced European Leaf

Nissan is ramping up its green energy production capabilities with the go-ahead for an additional solar farm facility in the UK.

The automaker has been given the green light to install an additional 20MW solar farm at its Sunderland plant, seen as the next milestone for its EV36Zero project and the company’s journey to carbon neutrality. The facility, for which local planning permission has now been granted, will double the amount of renewable electricity generated at Nissan’s auto plant to 20% of the plant’s needs, enough to build every 100% electric Nissan Leaf sold in Europe.

Work will begin on the development immediately, and installation alongside the plant’s existing wind and solar farms is expected to be complete by May 2022.

This is the first of a potential ten additional solar farms planned under the automaker’s production strategy announced in July with an initial £1Bn ($) investment from it and its partners in future electric vehicle manufacturing, a new Envision AESC gigafactory and Sunderland City Council’s renewable energy Microgrid.

In October, Envision AESC received planning permission for its new 9GWh-capacity gigafactory, to be built on land adjacent to the vehicle plant. The project also includes plans for a 1MW battery storage system using second-life Nissan EV batteries, which will also allow for excess energy generated during daylight hours to be captured and used at different times, helping to balance demand on the grid.

Alan Johnson, vice-president manufacturing at Nissan Sunderland, said:  “We have been using renewable sources on-site for more than 15 years. The expansion of our solar farm is an integral part of the Nissan EV36Zero project and the company’s journey to carbon neutrality.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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