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Jaguar turns sunlight into engines

Solar power: One of the most efficient Jaguar engines ever made will built at one of its most efficient factories.

UK’s biggest rooftop solar-panel completed at Jaguar’s new engine plant

7 Apr 2014

THE roof of Jaguar Land Rover’s all-new $500 million engine factory now houses the UK’s biggest solar panel array, meaning it can get about 30 per cent of its huge energy requirements from converted sunlight.

The expansive installation just been completed at the South Staffordshire site consists of 21,000 photovoltaic panels, which can generate the amount of energy required to power 1600 homes.

Its initial output of 5.8MW will increase to more than 6.3MW by the end of the year, sparing the environment 2400 tonnes of carbon-dioxide that would be released if the energy came from fossil-fuels.

A host of environmentally-sensitive design features have earned the new manufacturing facility an ‘Excellent’ rating by the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, which sets best-practice environmental performance standards.

The BREEAM award came partly as a result of the solar electricity generation systems, but also recognised the other environmental design features, such as the maximised use of natural lighting and ventilation, ‘cutting-edge’ heating systems and insulation.

Various resident wildlife species have also been considered at the factory, with plans to install habitat piles and boxes, and an ‘ecological corridor’ will encourage animals to continue natural movements around the site despite the new construction.

Human species will also benefit from the new facility with around 1400 new jobs created when it reaches full capacity.

Fittingly, the high-efficiency factory will build Jaguar’s new line of Ingenium engines, which will be amongst the most fuel-efficient powerplants ever produced by the Indian-owned English car-maker.

The family of frugal four-cylinder diesel and petrol engines will find their way under the bonnet of the new Jaguar XE, which is due to debut next year – but other models are also expected to receive them in time.

Since 2009, the JLR’s operating CO2 emissions have fallen by 21 percent, while landfill waste saw a 75 per cent chop and water consumption dropped by 17 per cent.

Completion of the new factory will bring Jaguar Land Rover closer to its 2020 target of reducing CO2 emissions and water use by 30 per cent.

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