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Jaguar installs UK's largest rooftop solar array


April 3, 2014

The installation on Jaguar Land Rover's new plant in South Staffordshire is the largest rooftop solar array in the UK

The installation on Jaguar Land Rover's new plant in South Staffordshire is the largest rooftop solar array in the UK

The rooftops of automotive manufacturing plants have proven fertile ground for solar arrays with Audi, Ferrari and Renault installing extensive fields of solar panels at their respective facilities. Now Jaguar Land Rover has got on board with the largest rooftop solar panel array in the UK sprouting from its new Engine Manufacturing Centre in South Staffordshire.

Comprising more than 21,000 photovoltaic panels, the new system boasts a capacity of 5.8 MW, with Jaguar planning to increase this to over 6.3 MW by the end of this year. Jaguar estimates the installation will meet more than 30 percent of the Engine Manufacturing Centre's energy requirements and reduce the plant's CO2 footprint by over 2,400 tonnes (2645.5 tons) per year.

Energy monitoring facilities are used to continually analyze energy usage throughout the plant so as to identify areas for potential savings of electricity and natural gas, while insulated cladding and cutting-edge heating and lighting systems help minimize energy usage. Additionally, the roof design and automatic louvers maximize daylight and provide natural ventilation.

Jaguar Land Rover will also look to accommodate local wildlife with plans to create an ecological corridor across the bottom of the site that is designed to help local species move safely from one side of the site to the other. It will also seek to attract small mammals, invertebrates, amphibians, bats and birds to the site through the installation of boxes, habitat piles, dead wood stumps and insect houses.

Inside, the plant will be responsible for the manufacture of Jaguar Land Rover's new Ingenium four-cylinder engines, which are the first to be designed and built in-house by the company for use in future vehicles, starting with the Jaguar XE that is set to debut next year.

"Our world-class facility showcases the latest sustainable technologies and innovations," said Trevor Leeks, the Engine Manufacturing Centre's Operations Director. "The completion of the UK's largest rooftop solar panel installation here at the Engine Manufacturing Centre is just one example of this."

Source: Jaguar Land Rover

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

The article could have benefited from some financial information. In many cases renewables such as solar PV make great financial sense, sometimes with and sometimes without government incentives. During a stint in the solar industry I saw cases in New Jersey where through a combination of tax incentives, amortization rules and high electricity prices businesses had large PV installations paid off after 18 months after which they made money. In less extreme cases that period was 3-7 years -- but still! In essence, it often boils down to financing such projects. They will pay for themselves eventually.


The larger point is that step by step the "Baseload" electrical demand is being reduced, offset, replaced, etc, and all of this at a progressively more attractive price. All electrical demands need not be met by any one installation but rather it is the many incremental changes that matter.


@moreover - every time I've done a genuine "how long until payoff" calculation, the answer comes out at "never". Don't forget that banks charge interest on loans, and solar cells do not last forever, and (if you use them) batteries last only a very short time, and maintenance/repairs are not free.

Unless your local government is drastically subsidizing your power (read: stealing from non-adopting users to pay for those who adopt), you begin at a loss, and go backwards. Remember also that subsidies do not last forever either (often only months or a year or two), and as soon as you're back at grid-prices, your loss accelerates.

Solar is cool. It's green. You feel good using it. It's in-vogue. You can advertise with it, and draw customers to you. It's also a fad, it's not price effective, it's not forever, and you're conveniently ignoring the environmental cost of production/installation too.

The ultimate irony, of course, is what the plant manufactures: individual machines that spew pollution.

This is not a green investment. It's an advertising expense.

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