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Toyota installs solar panel scheme

Car giant Toyota will be able to produce thousands of vehicles annually thanks to a new solar panel scheme.

The Japanese car giant is the first UK motor manufacturer to use the ground-mounted system, which will supply energy to help build the new vehicles.

The scheme will be installed at the firm’s Derbyshire site, where the company makes Avensis and Auris models for export and UK markets.

It will consist of more than 17,000 panels, which Toyota has been given planning permission to install.

The panels will help to cut the plant’s power bills, slash its carbon footprint and support energy security.

The scheme will save up to 2,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year and when fully operational it will be capable of supplying enough energy to build around 7,000 cars a year.

The solar panels will cost more than £10 million and will be installed and paid for by British Gas. Installation work has started and the scheme is expected to begin supplying power to the plant in July.

Toyota Manufacturing UK deputy managing director Tony Walker, said: “We are already making a significant contribution to the UK’s low carbon economy with production of Auris hybrid - the first European built full hybrid car.

“Generating solar power on-site to supply electricity to the plant underlines our commitment to do even more to further reduce our carbon footprint and is yet another example of our environmental leadership.”