Toyota harvest solar energy to power UK engine production

Embedded solar array officially switched on at Toyota UK's engine production centre at Deeside in North Wales.

On 21 August a large-scale embedded solar array was officially switched on at Toyota UK’s engine production centre at Deeside in North Wales, by Edwina Hart AM, Welsh Minister for Economy, Science and Transport.

Almost 13,000 solar panels will provide up to 10% of all the electricity required for manufacturing at the site, which makes petrol and hybrid engines for Toyota Avensis and Auris models sold throughout Europe.

Designed and installed by British Gas, the array can produce up to 3,475,000 kWh a year – enough electricity to build up to 22,500 engines.

The solar array, commissioned as a multi-million-pound project and delivered by British Gas, will significantly reduce the site’s carbon emissions. The panels, supplied by Tata Power Solar, took three months to install and cover an area equivalent in size of almost eight football pitches.

The Toyota plant’s carbon emissions will fall by over 1,800 tonnes a year, a figure matching the combined weight of over 1,260 Auris hatchbacks.

Established in 1992 and backed by a total investment of £700 million, the Deeside factory employs around 570 people, producing petrol and hybrid petrol engines for the British market and for export to Toyota production centres worldwide.

Toyota’s Burnaston factory in Derbyshire showed the way in harnessing solar power as a renewable energy source when it installed one of Britain’s largest solar arrays in 2011.

The Deeside and Burnaston solar initiatives are part of Toyota’s leadership strategy to reduce the environmental impact of its operations worldwide. Toyota Manufacturing UK enjoys global status as a leading eco-plant, pioneering best practice and sustainable processes that cut pollution, reduce waste, make efficient use of natural resources and work in harmony with nature.

Edwina Hart AM, the Welsh Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, who performed the official switch-on of the array, said: “This impressive development certainly ticks all the boxes – it is a major investment in renewable energy that will significantly cut CO2 emissions helping to support Welsh Government targets while providing green energy for sustainable manufacturing.

“I am delighted to turn on this array today which marks another significant milestone in Toyota’s investment in Wales. Toyota is a highly valued Welsh Government anchor company working in one of our key sectors and makes a significant contribution to the Welsh economy and the business community in Wales.”

Jim Crosbie, Toyota’s Deeside Plant Director, said: “The significant investment made in the new solar array marks a major advance for Deeside and Toyota Manufacturing UK in our mission to minimise the environmental impact of our operations, cutting carbon emissions and powering our production in a way that’s cleaner and more environmentally efficient.

“It demonstrates that while Toyota is famous for building lower carbon vehicles, we are just as focused on developing greener production methods and nurturing awareness of environmental issues among our members, and our local communities. The solar array won’t just reduce our carbon footprint -- it will demonstrate to the wider Welsh and UK manufacturing sector the tangible benefits renewable energy can deliver.”

Gab Barbaro, Managing Director of British Gas Business Services, said: “We’re proud to have partnered with Toyota to deliver this multi-million pound project. This is the first large industrial solar array that British Gas has delivered in Wales.”

“This project shows that solar is a viable energy solution for companies operating in the heavy industry sector. “

“At British Gas, we’re committed to offering businesses in Wales innovative renewable technology that will deliver a reliable supply of energy, long-term financial returns and significant carbon reduction.”




*The photovoltaic solar array is a mechanically and electrically integrated assembly of PV modules and other necessary components (inverters and switchgear) to form a DC power supply unit. This unit is embedded into Toyota’s private power network to supplement the company’s electrical take-off from the grid with a renewable energy.

About Toyota Manufacturing UK company outline

Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) produces Avensis, Auris and Auris Hybrid models at its vehicle manufacturing plant at Burnaston, Derbyshire, and petrol engines at its engine manufacturing plant at Deeside, North Wales. In 2013, TMUK produced 179,233 vehicles, 203,310 engines for export and local assembly at plants across the world. To date, Toyota has invested over £2.2 billion into its UK manufacturing operations and currently employs over 3,500 members.

Toyota Manufacturing UK’s environmental achievements to date include:

1996 – First UK automotive plant to be awarded ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System)

2000 – Solar panels installed on administration building

2002 – Zero waste to landfill achieved

2003 – Boiler improvements to achieve NOx reduction

2004 – Waste water recycling using reverse osmosis

2004 – Boiler CO2 reduced by steam pressure reduction

2005 – CO2 reduction through thermal efficiency improvement

2007 – Wet lake registered as site of biological importance

2008 – Zero waste to incineration

2008 – Increased use of natural lighting in buildings

2009 – Material recycling facility opened

2009 – Combined heat and power generator installed

2010 – Start of Auris hybrid production

2011 – Largest Solar PV array on a UK manufacturing site installed

2012 – Biodiversity Improvement Project

2014 – Toyota announces auto industry-first partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

About British Gas

British Gas is the UK's leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain –nearly half the country's homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million UK businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Home Services expertise in the country. Find out more at