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PressClub United Kingdom · Article.

Solar farm helps drive MINI Plant

More than 11,500 panels are helping to harness renewable energy to power Oxford’s MINI Plant.

Environment
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Sustainability
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Plants, Facilities
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Production Plants
 

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More than 11,500 panels are helping to harness renewable energy to power Oxford’s MINI Plant.

At more than 20,000 square metres, the plant’s new bodyshop now boasts one of the largest, roof-mounted solar farms to be installed in the UK.

The photovoltaic system is fully commissioned and has a generating capacity over 3 MW comprising over 11,500 solar panels and covers an area equivalent to five football pitches. The installation will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 850 households.

Frank Bachmann, managing director of MINI Plant Oxford, said: “We are delighted that our new solar farm is now up and running and already producing green energy for Plant Oxford.

“It is fitting that the first of these panels have gone onto our new bodyshop as the building has been designed with environmental performance at its heart.”

The plant’s bodyshop, which contains 1,000 robots, was opened at the end of last year to build the new MINI hatchback.

The building already has an impressive list of environmental credentials including 3,869 individually programmable LED lights, a special energy-saving “rest mode” for the robots, a water harvesting system to supply the toilets and so-called heat wheels in the building’s roof control the recirculation and admission of fresh air to reduce the amount of heating and cooling required.

The launch of the solar farm also coincides with Oxford’s first ever ‘Low Carbon Oxford Week’. Plant Oxford was one of the first signatories of the Low Carbon Oxford Charter, which kick started a programme of activities aimed at reducing the city’s carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2020.

Dr Barbara Hammond, Chair of Low Carbon Oxford and Chief Executive of the Low Carbon Hub, said: “I am pleased that MINI Plant Oxford has undertaken such a large solar project here in Oxford. We hope to see other businesses, big and small, install solar PV projects, such as those we are developing with local businesses at the Low Carbon Hub.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

The PV system at MINI Plant Oxford is financed, owned, installed and maintained by Free Green Energy Corporation  Limited (FGEC) and the green electricity generated will be supplied to MINI Plant Oxford under a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement. The solar PV electricity will enable BMW Group UK to reduce its carbon footprint by approximately 1,500 tonnes of CO2 per year.

ENDS

 

The BMW Group

With its three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 28 production and assembly facilities in 13 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2013, the BMW Group sold approximately 1.963 million cars and 115,215 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2013 was € 7.91 billion on revenues amounting to approximately € 76.06 billion. As of 31 December 2013, the BMW Group had a workforce of 110,351 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.

Further information about the BMW Group can be found here:

Web: www.bmwgroup.com

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For further information, please contact:

Rebecca Baxter, External Communications Manager

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e-mail: rebecca.baxter@bmwgroup.com

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CO2 emission information.

The values for fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and energy consumption shown were determined in a standardised test cycle according to the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 in the version currently applicable. The figures refer to a vehicle with basic configuration in Germany and the range shown considers transmission (automatic or manual) and the different wheels and tyres available on the selected model and may vary during the configuration.

The values of the vehicles labelled with (*), are already based on the test cycle according to the new WLTP regulation and are translated back into NEDC-equivalent values in order to allow a comparison between vehicles. More information on the transition from NEDC to WLTP test procedures can be found here.

These figures are intended for comparison purposes and may not be representative of what a user achieves under usual driving conditions. For plug-in hybrid vehicles and battery electric vehicles the figures have been obtained using a combination of battery power and petrol fuel after the battery had been fully charged. Plug-in hybrid vehicles and battery electric vehicles require mains electricity for charging. The CO2 emissions labels are determined according to Directive 1999/94/EC and the Passenger Car (Fuel consumption and CO2 Emissions Information) Regulations 2001, as amended. They are based on the fuel consumption, CO2 values and energy consumptions according to the NEDC cycle.

A guide on fuel economy and CO2 emissions which contains data for all new passenger car models is available at any point of sale free of charge. For further information you can also visit this link.

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