Nissan adding 20-MW Solar to Expanding EV36Zero Hub Microgrid in UK

Nov. 27, 2023
The EV36Zero hub, involving more than 1 billion Euros of investment, also will be powered by a dedicated microgrid powered by wind and solar farms in place at the Nissan complex. The zero-carbon resources will help electrify Nissan and surrounding suppliers

Three of Nissan’s electric vehicle models will be assembled at an expanding United Kingdom plant which is going to be powered by a microgrid while adding new renewable energy resources.

The automaker announced that it is going to ramp up production of two additional EV models at the EV36Zero Hub in Sunderland, UK. The expansion will require a third battery gigafactory to support the facility and electric vehicle production.

The EV36Zero hub, involving more than 1 billion Euros of investment, also will be powered by a dedicated microgrid powered by wind and solar farms in place and planned for the near future at the Nissan complex. The zero-carbon resources will help electrify Nissan and surrounding suppliers, according to the Nissan release.

“The EV36Zero project puts our Sunderland plant, Britain’s biggest ever car factory, at the heart of our future vision,” Nissan president and CEO Makoto Uchida said in a statement. “It means our UK team will be designing, engineering and manufacturing the vehicles of the future, driving us toward an all-electric future for Nissan in Europe.”

Nissan’s EV line will include future versions of the Nissan Qashqai compact crossover, JUKE hatchback and LEAF compact models, the latter of which is one of the UK's most popular vehicles. All three are based on the company’s new all-electric concepts Hyper Urban, Hyper Punk and Chill-Out. More details on the three models will be released at a later time, Nissan reported.

The microgrid planned to power EV and battery production was first initiated by the Sunderland City Council. It will include Nissan’s new 20-MW solar farm, as well as existing nearby wind and solar projects.

The automaker first announced the expanded renewable energy plan for Sunderland in 2021. At the time, Nissan reported that the 37,000-panel extension would bring the on-site renewable energy portion to 20% of the assembly plant’s needs.

Nissan began adding on-site renewables in Sunderland 18 years ago with 10 wind turbines totaling 6.6 MW in capacity. In addition to current solar installments, the new 20-MW solar project would bring the plant’s renewable capacity to 32 MW, according to reports.

Electric vehicles and their batteries are possibly going to serve as mobile microgrids in the future. Other automakers, including Toyota, are exploring research into the bidirectional opportunities for EV microgrids contributing power back into the main grid or backing up homes or other facilities. 



About the Author

Rod Walton, Managing Editor | Managing Editor

For Microgrid Knowledge editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

I’ve spent the last 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. I was an energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World before moving to business-to-business media at PennWell Publishing, which later became Clarion Events, where I covered the electric power industry. I joined Endeavor Business Media in November 2021 to help launch EnergyTech, one of the company’s newest media brands. I joined Microgrid Knowledge in July 2023. 

I earned my Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. My career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World, all in Oklahoma . I have been married to Laura for the past 33-plus years and we have four children and one adorable granddaughter. We want the energy transition to make their lives better in the future. 

Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech are focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.

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