Toyota to install 17,000 solar panels at UK plant

Japanese auto major, Toyota will install a £10-illion solar array to power operations at its Derbyshire, Burnaston plant following the local authority granting planning approval for the ambitious project.

The company has started work on fitting around 17,000 panels on 90,000 square metres of industrial land, an area around the size of four and a half football pitches – within the plant's boundaries.

According to the company the array would be capable of delivering enough energy to build around 7,000 cars annually at the plant. The plant produces Auris hybrid, Auris and Avensis cars.

The array would save the company CO2 emissions to the tune of 2,000 tonnes every year.

The funding of the panels would come from British Gas which would also install them. The panels are expected to start supplying power to the plant in July, that would allow the installation to get in ahead of the government's proposed cuts to feed-in tariffs for large solar arrays.

According to Jon Kimber, managing director of British Gas New Energy, with rising energy costs and a tough financial climate, all businesses were keen on ways to cut their bills as also to reduce their carbon emissions. He added that solar power had the potential to make this happen and really revolutionise the way Britain's homes and businesses generated energy.