On-site renewables and cogeneration have won Spanish automaker Seat the 2013 Automotive Lean Production Award, which recognises efficiency in production processes.
Seat, owned by German carmaker Volkswagen, operates the auto industry’s largest on-site solar power plant at its factory in Martorell. The 11-MW solar project, known as Seat al Sol, comprises a 270,000 square metre rooftop array containing 53,000 solar panels. Installation was carried out by Spanish solar developer Gestamp Solar.
The rooftop installation will generate 15 GWh/year, Volkswagen said, or 25% of the energy used in manufacturing Seat’s new Leon, and will reduce the factory’s carbon emissions by 7000 tonnes/year.
Seat al Sol is part of the carmaker’s strategy to reduce its environmental impact. The €35 million project included installation of a cogeneration plant that provides 50% of the power and 90% of the thermal energy used by the factory.
Volkswagen says it aims to make all its factories 25% more sustainable by 2018.