Though Nissan's solar projects in Spain have been around for a while now, they are still getting attention from many eco-minded people around the world. Proof of this can be seen again as Nissan has recently been awarded the 2008 Carles Ferrer Salat Award. Presented annually by Fomento del Trabajo Nacional, the award is named after the famous Spanish tennis player for his later efforts in the environmentally friendly business arena.

Two types of solar energy systems, both thermal and photovoltaic, have appeared on Nissan plants in Spain. At one of these installations at the Avila plant, the structure's 1,335 square meters makes it Spain's largest solar installation and is part of Nissan's total of 1,428 solar panels in Spain. Nissan estimates its total CO2 emissions reduction of 381 tons per year due to these solar installations.

Besides these solar installations, renewable wind power is being used at Nissan's Sunderland vehicle plant in the UK. Details after the jump.

Press Release:

NISSAN WINS ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOLADE IN SPAIN

BARCELONA (May 19, 2008) – Creating the largest solar panel structure for industrial use in Spain has not only reduced Nissan Motor Ibérica's carbon footprint and lowered its energy bills, but has also won the company an important award.

In recognition of the moves made to improve its energy efficiency, Nissan has won the 2008 Carles Ferrer Salat Award, presented annually by Fomento del Trabajo Nacional, a confederation of Catalan businesses.

Reducing the CO2 output of its factories is one of the Nissan's objectives for all its workplaces worldwide. The company's environmental strategy – Nissan Green Program 2010 – also promises to cut the exhaust emissions from its cars and LCVs and dramatically increase recycling on a global scale.

Nissan has achieved serious reductions in CO2 emissions by adopting a system of solar energy power supply for its plants at the Zona Franca in Barcelona and at Avila in Castile and León.

By the end of 2007, a total of 1,428 solar, photovoltaic and thermal panels had been installed across both plants, enabling the factories to cut CO2 production by some 381 tonnes per year.

At the Avila plant, where Nissan makes light commercial vehicles, the largest solar panel structure in Spain covers 1,335m2 and will generate 928,000 kW-h of power a year.

"We have instigated the biggest installation of thermal panels for industrial use in Spain and have put in place a large number of photovoltaic panels in our plants in Barcelona and Avila," said José Vicente de los Mozos, CEO of Nissan Motor Ibérica. "This has involved a major financial investment as part of Nissan's global strategy to cut CO2 emissions and protect the environment."

Since 2005, Nissan's factory in Barcelona, the carmaker's biggest plant in Spain, has cut its CO2 emissions by 9,400 tonnes, or 12%. This improves on Nissan's global objective of a reduction of 7% in factory emissions over the same period.

By 2010, Nissan in Spain will have reduced its CO2 emissions by 16,000 tonnes, an improvement of 13% over the 2005 figure. At Zona Franca, reductions are expected to reach 20%.

The Award is named in honour of Carles Ferrer Salat, once Spain's top tennis player but better known in later life as a prominent economist, chemical engineer and business visionary.

He was a founder and twice chairman of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organization (CEO) and was instrumental in modernizing the country's attitude to industry and business, helping Spain to compete on a global stage.

[Source: Nissan]

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