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Build & Sustainability

Engenera kickstarts bumper solar project for Nissan

The decarbonisation specialist will install a 20MW solar farm following planning permission being granted

North-East-based renewable energy company, Engenera Renewables Group is gearing up to start work on the biggest project in its history after Nissan secured the green light to install an additional 20MW solar farm at its UK plant, the next milestone for its EV36Zero project and the company’s journey to carbon neutrality.

The new 20MW installation, for which planning permission has now been granted by Sunderland City Council, will double the amount of renewable electricity generated at Nissan’s Sunderland plant to 20% of the plant’s needs – enough to build every 100% electric Nissan LEAF sold in Europe. Nissan’s goal is to be carbon neutral across the life cycle of its products by fiscal year 2050.

Engenera Renewables Group, a specialist in renewable energy and decarbonisation partner to many big companies, is responsible for the development and installation of the solar farm, which will comprise almost 40,000 solar panels. Work will begin on the development immediately, and installation alongside the plant’s existing wind and solar farms is expected to be complete by May 2022.

The project also represents a major step towards developing Sunderland as one of the leading UK cities for low-carbon technology and production and create many high-skilled jobs in the area.

This is the first of a potential ten additional solar farms planned under Nissan EV36Zero, announced in July with an initial £1bn investment from Nissan and its partners in future electric vehicle manufacturing, a new Envision AESC gigafactory and Sunderland City Council’s renewable energy Microgrid.

Nissan began integrating renewable energy sources in Sunderland in 2005 when the company installed its first wind turbines on site. These 10 turbines contribute 6.6MW power, with the existing 4.75MW solar farm installed in 2016.

Engenera Renewables Group broadened its offering earlier this year to encompass a wider range of renewable energy solutions, pivoting to become a decarbonisation partner for businesses seeking a holistic solution to better manage all their energy needs and help them align with government targets.

The business works closely with its clients on a range of renewable technologies including commercial solar PV and battery storage; air and ground source heat pumps; combined heat and power; electric vehicle charging points; and LED lighting.

Engenera is also one of the few renewable energy companies in the UK able to offer renewable energy installations at no capital outlay to customers able to sign power purchase agreements (PPAs). This is because it can access a £100 million green bond programme that is financed by multiple PPAs arranged by Engenera.

Bryan Glendinning, chief executive officer, Engenera, said:

“Securing planning permission for this site is a landmark moment for both Engenera and Nissan. This represents the biggest installation new will have worked on to date, and also gives Nissan a big boost towards achieving its goals of becoming completely carbon neutral across the life cycle of its products by fiscal year 2050.

“We are proud to partner with Nissan, and we are also working with many other businesses on their journey towards being carbon neutral, aided by our £100 million fund, which means there is often no upfront cost to the client.”