The U.K.'s largest solar panel array sits atop the roof of Jaguar Land Rover's Engine Manufacturing Centre in South Straffordshire. The entire facility has been designed to be sustainable and has even been awarded with BREEAM's 'Excellent' rating for its design.
The array has more than 21,000 photovoltaic panels with a capacity of 5.8MW. The company plans to increase this to 6.3MW by the end of the year. It is estimated the system will generate more than 30 percent of the energy required by the manufacturing center, which is the equivalent to powering more than 1,600 homes. Overall, the solar panels will reduce the center's CO2 footprint by more than 2,400 tons a year.
"Our world-class facility showcases the latest sustainable technologies and innovations. The completion of the UK's largest rooftop solar panel installation here at the Engine Manufacturing Centre is just one example of this," said Trevor Leeks, operations director of the Engine Manufacturing Centre. "As the first manufacturer to win the 'Responsible Business of the Year' last year, environmental innovation lies at the heart of Jaguar Land Rover's business."
The Engine Manufacturing Centre is the first new plant Jaguar Land Rover has built from scratch, with an investment of more than $660 million. It will also create more than 1,400 jobs by the time the plant reaches full capacity.
Alongside the solar panels, the center has installed heating and light systems that help to minimize energy through insulated cladding and maximize daylight. The plant is also equipped with extensive energy monitoring facilities that analyze the amount of energy that is being used to identify where improvements can be made.
The finished product will also have an ecological corridor that will encourage natural movement of species from one side to another. There are also plans to include habitat piles, dead wood stumps and insect houses to accommodate for small mammals, invertebrates, amphibians, bats and birds.
The center will manufacture premium engines with advanced technology called Ingenium, which will be built entirely in-house. The Jaguar XE, which debuts in 2015, will be the first vehicle to be equipped with the four-cylinder engine.