SEAT's Spanish factory is home to the largest automotive solar panel installation

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SEAT has received a Lean Production Award in recognition of its efforts in reducing environmental impact

SEAT has completed the largest solar panel installation in the motoring industry. The SEAT al Sol (SEAT Sun) project, the third and final phase of which was completed this November, has seen the Spanish company install 53,000 solar panels at its manufacturing plant, covering a 270,000 square metre area - equivalent to 40 football pitches.

The installation generates 15,000,000 kWh per year, which is a quarter of the energy required annually to produce the new SEAT Leon. This in turn reduces Martorell's environmental impact significantly, saving 7,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year in the production process.

Project SEAT al Sol was developed together with photovoltaic panel developer Gestamp Solar to provide clean energy on an industrial scale, but without interrupting car manufacturing at the Martorell facility. In fact, the intelligent installation of the solar panels has provided an additional benefit - some also serve as overhead protection for completed cars against adverse weather conditions.

Since its inception in mid-2010, SEAT has invested €35m in SEAT al Sol and made it the company's flagship environmental commitment. It complements other emissions reduction initiatives, including Martorell's two train lines, one of which transports vehicles directly to the Port of Barcelona (the Autometro), and the other components from the premises of the Zona Franca of Barcelona (the Cargometro).

These two 40 kilometre lines reduce truck use by 50,000 trips per year, with an estimated emissions reduction of 2,000 tons of CO2.

Moreover, Martorell's cogeneration plant generates 50% of the power and 90% of the thermal energy that it consumes, saving up to 12,800 tonnes of CO2 per year. In addition, thanks to an agreement between SEAT and renewable energy supplier ACCIONA, all of the power comes from renewable sources.

More at www.seat.co.uk

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