Plans have been unveiled to expand the solar farm at Nissan in Sunderland with the aim of making the plant run entirely on green energy.
The proposed 37,000-solar panels extension would be a further step in Nissan’s ambition to become carbon neutrality, the firm said.
Sunderland City Council is now considering the application.
If approved it would result in 20% of the plant’s energy coming from onsite renewables.
This would mean enough to build every single zero-emission Nissan Leaf sold in Europe, the company said.
The application has been submitted by Engenera Renewables Group to operate the development for a 40-year period, after which the solar farm will be decommissioned and the site restored to its existing condition.
According to the application, the development has been brought forward in “direct response to the objectives of government renewable energy law” and the council’s green energy ambitions, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.
This includes the local authority “developing Sunderland as a leading UK city for low-carbon technology and production based around Nissan and in the surrounding area west of the A19”.
The development, called the Hylton Plantation Solar Farm, will “contribute to Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK’s aim of being supplied by 100% green energy”, the company said.
The new farm would result in a reduction of approximately 4,500 tonnes of carbon emissions associated with energy generation annually – equivalent to removing 2,500 standard cars from the road each year, the planning statement said.
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